Bo Bia

I am so excited to share my recipe for Bo Bia this week. I love this recipe so much because of the story behind it. Typically when most people think of Vietnamese food, they think pho, banh mi, or spring rolls (specifically the pork and shrimp spring rolls). However, these dishes are not what most people living in Vietnam eat on a daily basis simply because they cannot afford it. Most Vietnamese people are poor, and the ingredients used to create these dishes are pretty expensive. My mom always says that we are lucky we get to eat this stuff whenever we want because when she was growing up, these dishes were a treat. And that is still true for so many people living in Vietnam. Instead, my mom grew up eating stuff like this dish Bo Bia because it was much more affordable.

bo bia

What is Bo Bia?

Bo Bia is a spring roll that is sold on the streets of Vietnam. It is made with Chinese sausage, jicama, dried shrimp, egg, and Thai basil all wrapped in rice paper. It is then eaten with a hoison dipping sauce. There are many variations to this spring roll, and you can add or take out whatever you like. For example, sometimes people leave out the egg or the jicama is steamed instead of sautéed. I go through all that below.

ingredients

Ingredients, Substitutions & Adjustments

Bo Bia

  • Chinese sausages (lap cheong) – This is my favorite sausage. It has a good balance of sweet and savory flavors, and is easily identifiable by its unique red color. There are definitely no substitutes for Chinese sausage because of how distinct its flavor is.
  • Garlic – Adds flavor and texture to the jicama.
  • Dried shrimp – Adds flavor and texture to the jicama. Make sure to soak dried shrimp for 10 minutes before using.
  • Jicama – One of the traditional fillings for Bo Bia. Jicama is basically a Mexican turnip, so you can substitute it with any turnip you find at the store. Another good substitute is daikon.
  • Carrot – This is an optional ingredient. It mostly adds color and a little flavor to the jicama.
  • Soy sauce – Adds umami flavor to the jicama. To make this gluten free, use tamari instead.
  • Sesame oil – Adds flavor to the sauteed jicama.
  • Eggs – One of the traditional fillings for Bo Bia. If you don’t like eggs, I would leave them out.
  • Thai basil – Adds a slight minty-ness to the spring roll. If you can’t find Thai basil, I would use mint and/or cilantro.
  • Rice paper – Used to wrap the spring roll. It wouldn’t be a spring roll without rice paper. I would get whatever rice paper you can find at the grocery store.

Hoison dipping sauce

The sauce for these spring rolls is made with hoison sauce, minced garlic, peanut butter, water, and corn starch to thicken it. It is then topped with toasted peanuts and a little bit of sriracha for an extra kick. If you are allergic to peanuts, you can leave those components out.

How to make bo bia

The first thing you gotta do is clean your dried shrimp. Soak them in a bowl of water for 10 minutes. Next boil your Chinese sausage. Add 2 tablespoons of water to a small pan and add the Chinese sausage. Bring the water to a simmer, and simmer covered 10 minutes until they are cooked through. Once done, slice them thinly and set aside. See picture above for exact shape.

Now onto your jicama filling. Saute garlic and dried shrimp over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the jicama and saute for 2 minutes. Next add the carrots and soy sauce and saute for another 3-5 minutes until the jicama is soft. Add the sesame oil. Stir and remove it from the heat. Set aside.

Lastly, cook your eggs. Whisk eggs. Pour eggs into a large pan in a thin layer. Add the salt. Cook for 30 seconds on one side until it is cooked through. Flip over and cook the other side. Once done cooking, let it cool for a few minutes before slicing them into thin strips. Set aside.

Now it’s time to make your spring rolls! Hydrate rice paper in warm water and lay on a flat surface. Add some of the jicama, egg strips, Chinese sausage, and Thai basil to the bottom half of the rice paper (see picture above for reference). Tightly roll 1-2 times. Fold the ends over the roll so it looks like an open envelope. Roll it the rest of the way until you have a perfect spring roll. Repeat this process until you run out of filling or rice paper. Serve with hoison dipping sauce.

hoison dipping sauce

Which dipping sauce should you use for bo bia?

Vietnamese peanut sauce is the traditional dipping sauce used for spring rolls, and it is so easy to make. First saute garlic for 30 seconds until soft. Add hoisin sauce and peanut butter. Stir and cook for 30 seconds. Add the water and corn starch. Stir and cook for 1 minute until it thickens. Eyeball the consistency so it is as thick or thin you like. If it is too thin, let it cook a bit more. If it is too thick, add more water. Top with a bit of sriracha and some peanuts before serving.

Bo Bia

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Bo Bia

Get the Recipe:
Bo Bia (Chinese Sausage Spring Rolls)

A yummy and easy recipe for spring rolls filled with Chinese sausage, jicama, dried shrimp, and Thai basil.
5 from 15 ratings

Ingredients
 
 

Bo Bia

Vietnamese Peanut Sauce

Equipment

Instructions
 

Bo Bia

  • Soak dried shrimp for 10 minutes in a bowl of water.
  • Boil the Chinese sausage to cook them through. Add 2 tbsp of water and Chinese sausage to a small pan. Bring water to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes until they are cooked through. Slice them thinly and set aside. You want to cut them diagonally so you get nice long thin strips.
  • Next make your jicama filling. Saute garlic and dried shrimp over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the jicama and saute for 2 minutes. Next add the carrots and soy sauce and saute for another 3-5 minutes until the jicama is soft. Add the sesame oil. Stir and remove it from the heat. Set aside.
  • Lastly, cook your eggs. Whisk eggs. Pour eggs into a large pan in a thin layer. Add the salt. Cook for 30 seconds on one side until it is cooked through. Flip over and cook the other side. Once done cooking, let it cool for a few minutes before slicing them into thin strips. Set aside.
  • Now it’s time to make your spring rolls! Hydrate rice paper in warm water and lay on a flat surface. Add some of the jicama, egg strips, Chinese sausage, and Thai basil to the bottom half of the rice paper (see picture above for reference). Tightly roll 1-2 times. Fold the ends over the roll so it looks like an open envelope. Roll it the rest of the way until you have a perfect spring roll. Repeat this process until you run out of filling or rice paper.
  • Serve with hoison dipping sauce (instructions below).

Vietnamese Peanut Sauce

  • Saute garlic for 30 seconds over medium heat until soft.
  • Add hoison sauce and peanut butter. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Mix the water and corn starch together and add it to the sauce. Stir and cook for 1 minute until it thickens. Eyeball the consistency so it is as thick or thin you like. If it is too thin, let it cook a bit more. If it is too thick, add more water.
  • Top with a bit of sriracha and some peanuts before serving.
Serving: 4spring rolls, Calories: 820kcal, Carbohydrates: 85g, Protein: 43g, Fat: 34g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 322mg, Sodium: 2965mg, Potassium: 680mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 2848IU, Vitamin C: 24mg, Calcium: 184mg, Iron: 8mg
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