During summer months, I love eating and making simpler dishes because it gets pretty hot in my kitchen. Some dishes I’ve been eating are my turmeric fish, com suon, and steamed chicken. Recently, I discovered a new to me Vietnamese dish called Vietnamese Pizza. Yes VIETNAMESE pizza. It’s such a cool and inventive dish! It looks like a normal pizza, but it is way easier to make. The “pizza dough” is made with rice paper, and the “tomato sauce” is just eggs. The resulting pizza has a crispy texture with all these wonderful, savory toppings on it. It’s seriously, in my opinion, one of the coolest Vietnamese dishes out there.
Where does Vietnamese pizza come from?
Vietnamese pizza or banh trang nuong is a street food that originates from Da Lat, a city in Southern Vietnam. It is a relatively new dish to Vietnamese cuisine, only arriving on the scene within the last 10 years. Traditionally, Vietnamese pizza is made by first grilling rice paper over charcoal. After the rice paper gets nice and crispy, butter is smeared on top. It is then layered with toppings of the person’s choosing. Toppings you typically see are some type of minced meat like pork, green onions, and chili sauce. The last step is to crack and smear a quail egg over the top to bind everything together. All of this goes really quickly because the grill is hot. The resulting pizza is super crispy with a yummy balance of salty, sweet, and savory flavors.
When I approached this recipe, I knew I wanted to make some changes on because I wanted it to work for me. First off, I don’t have a grill because I live in a very small apartment, so I used a grill pan instead. Second, I wanted to mix up the toppings I used. Instead of a quail egg, I used regular eggs, and I used scallion oil instead of butter.
Ingredients, Substitutions & Adjustments
- Ground Pork – I love using ground pork because pork is slightly sweet and savory. However, you use can any kind of protein you want. You can use chicken, beef, or even tofu.
- Seasonings (salt, white pepper, granulated sugar, and fish sauce) – These seasonings give the pork a balance of sweet, salty, and savory. White pepper can be substituted with black pepper. Granulated sugar can be substituted with brown sugar.
- Scallion oil (green onions & vegetable oil) – Green onions and vegetable oil combine to make scallion oil. Vegetable oil can be substituted with grapeseed oil.
- Rice paper – Rice paper is like the pizza dough in this recipe. I like using Three Ladies Brand rice paper.
- Eggs – Eggs are like the tomato sauce in this pizza. I used large eggs for this recipe. A good substitute for eggs is quail eggs which is what street vendors typically use in Vietnam.
- Fried shallots – Fried shallots provide texture and some savory notes to this pizza. A good substitute is toasted peanuts.
- Sriracha – Adds spiciness to the pizza. You can choose any kind of hot sauce you like.
- Kewpie mayonnaise – Adds richness to the pizza. Kewpie mayonnaise is richer than normal mayo because it is made with only egg yolks. Normal mayo is made with the whole egg. You can use any kind of mayonnaise you want for this pizza.
Making my Vietnamese pizza
First prep your toppings. Combine all the ingredients for the ground pork and brown over medium high heat until cooked through. Set aside. Next make your scallion oil. Heat vegetable oil over medium high heat until hot, and pour over minced green onions. Set aside. Lastly, whisk your eggs. Now you’re ready to make your pizza! Make sure all your components are ready and accessible nearby. That would be your rice paper, scallion oil, eggs, ground pork, sriracha, mayonnaise, and fried shallots.
Heat grill pan over high heat until the pan is hot. Grab 2 rice papers. Wet one side of one rice paper. Press the other rice paper on top. Lay the rice papers on the grill pan, and use the back of a spoon to flatten the rice paper to the grill pan. Move the spoon in a circular motion to get the rice paper to lie flat and to prevent air bubbles from forming between the rice papers. The rice paper won’t want to lie flat, so you have to really work for it.
Cook the rice paper until it is white and opaque. It should also be flat at this point. Now you can layer on your toppings. Add 2-3 spoonfuls of the scallion oil. Follow that with 2-3 spoonfuls of the eggs. Let it cook for 10 seconds to solidify the egg a bit. Top with 2-3 spoonfuls of the ground pork. Remove from the heat. Finally drizzle some sriracha and kewpie mayo on top. Finish it off with fried shallots. Repeat this process until you use up your toppings or your rice paper.
Tips on how to make the perfect Vietnamese pizza
- What if I don’t have a grill pan? – If you don’t have a grill pan, you can use a cast iron skillet or a wok.
Test the heat of the grill pan – Use the first 2 rice papers to test the heat of your grill pan. If the grill pan isn’t hot enough, it will take more than a minute for the rice paper to become opaque, and it won’t get that crispy texture you want.
Press the rice paper down in a circular motion – Since you add water to one rice paper, it will curl up. Use the back of a spoon to press the rice papers into the grill pan in a circular motion. The goal of this method is to distribute the heat evenly throughout the rice papers and prevent any air bubbles from forming. You want a nice flat crispy surface before adding your toppings.
- Use an actual charcoal grill – Like I mentioned above, this dish is traditionally made over a charcoal grill, so I would highly recommend using one if you can. You get a much crispier pizza using a charcoal grill because the heat is more intense and distributed more evenly.
- Customize your toppings to your tastes – Like Western pizzas, you can use any topping you want for this pizza recipe. The only required ingredients are the rice paper and the eggs. Everything else is your choice.
Did you make this dish?
If you made this dish, I would love to see!
Vietnamese Pizza (Banh Trang Nuong)
Ground Pork Topping
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 2 stalks green onions minced
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
Prepare your toppings.
- Ground pork: Mix all the ingredients for the ground pork and brown in a large pan until the pork is cooked through. Set aside.
- Scallion oil: Heat vegetable oil over high heat until hot (1-2 minutes). Pour over minced green onions and set aside.
- Eggs: Whisk eggs and set aside.
Now you're ready to make your pizzas!
- Make sure your toppings are prepped and accessible nearby. Heat your grill pan over high heat until it is hot.
- Take 2 rice papers. Wet one side of one and press the other one on top. Place both on the grill pan.
- Use the back of a spoon to press the rice papers onto the grill pan. Move the spoon in a circular motion to make sure all parts of the rice paper have even exposure to the heat and no air bubbles form between the rice papers. Because the rice paper is dry, it won’t want to lie flat, so moving the spoon in a circular motion will get it to lie flat on the pan.
- Cook the rice papers until they turn white and opaque. Once it becomes opaque, you can now place your toppings on the pizza.
- With the rice paper still on the grill pan, smear 2-3 spoonfuls of scallion oil. Follow with 2-3 spoonfuls of whisked eggs. Use your spoon to smear the scallion oil and eggs, so it covers the entire rice paper. Cook for ~10 seconds.
- Add 2-3 spoonfuls of the ground pork. Remove from the grill pan.
- Drizzle sriracha and kewpie mayonnaise on top. Finish it off with fried shallots.
- Repeat this process until you run out of rice paper or toppings.