How to Make Bánh gối (Deep-Fried Pillow Cake) at Home

Like most cakes in Vietnam, pillow cake is not baked but deep fried to create a charming yellow pastry skin, crispy and fragrant.
August 11, 2021 | 14:28
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How to Make Bánh gối (Fried Pillow Cake) From A to Z at Home
Vietnam pillow cake - look at its shape like a pillow. Yeap very delicious pillow.

Vietnamese Fried Pillow Cake is known as Bánh Gối. The cake has named “Pillow” because its appearance looks like a pillow. This cake is surely familiar with most of Hanoians. It’s found that many people and tourists are very fond of this dish.

Today, we will show you how to make this hot, delicious, and crunchy cake for your family. Let’s start now and follow our most crispy Vietnamese fried pillow cake recipe.

- Total time: 90 minutes

- Servings: 4-5 people

- Total calories: 2.940 kcal

Ingredients

To make the crust

250gr wheat flour

50gr sticky rice flour

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 chicken egg

130ml plain milk (or water)

1 tablespoon cooking oil

1 teaspoon salt

To make the stuffing

16 boiled quail eggs (or 4 chicken eggs)

200 gr minced pork shoulder

Slices of marinated Chinese sausage (optinal)

50 gr glass noodles

1/2 onion (or cassava/legume)

1/4 carrot, green onion

Shiitake mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, pepper

How to Make Bánh gối (Deep-Fried Pillow Cake) From A to Z at Home

Not less important is making dipping sauce with fine proportion of garlic, chili, sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, and water.

The sweet salty cake is also served with some fresh herbs such as lettuce, coriander and pattaya pickles to reduce its oily taste and raise guests’ appetite.

To make the pickles

Papayas (or cucumber), carrots, salt, sugar, vinegar or lemon juice, garlic and fresh chili.

How to Make Bánh gối (Deep-Fried Pillow Cake) From A to Z at Home
The filling ingredients are finely chopped and blended with minced pork and seasonings.

Instructions

- To make the pastry skin, mix the wheat flour, sticky rice flour and turmeric powder together

You can only use wheat flour but the rice flour is recommended because it will make the crust more crispy.

- Add chicken egg and milk (or water) and combine to perfect ratio, making soft and moist dough

The egg will help to create a shiny yellow colour for the crust. If you don’t like egg, you can skip it.

- Stir the mixture well then add water little by little. Knead until the dough becomes smooth. The right amount of water is 100ml. However, while kneading, if the dough is dry, add a little water to make it more smooth.

- When the dough becomes smooth and flexible, cover it with a food wrapper and let it sit for about 30 – 60 minutes.

- Roll out the dough to 2mm thick. Don’t roll the dough too thin because you need to use it to wrap the filling later.

- Divide it into small round pieces with a diameter of 10cm.

You can take a bowl or anything that have a round shape to press it down. Press it down enough to cut the dough to round layer, then you will have a beautiful round crust.

- To make the stuffing, after soaking the wood ears, mushroom and vermicelli become soft, wash them and leave to drain. Then cut and mince them into small pieces.

- Wash the spring onion and cut into small pieces.

- Peel and wash the onions and carrots then slice them into small cubes. You only need to cut half of the carrot for the filling. The other half will be used to make the dipping sauce.

- Take a big bowl, add ground pork, minced wood ears, vermicelli, mushroom, minced onion, spring onion, and carrot then mix well. Seasoning the filling with 1 teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of sugar and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Mix them well and leave to marinate for 15 minutes.

- Brush egg yolk on the pastry

- Put the stuffing at the middle with an egg and shape the pastry into a pillow by folding in the edges

- Heat the cooking oil

- Fry the cakes until they are half-done

- Before the meal, fry the cakes again until they are crispy and yellow

When making pillow cake, you must pay attention to make sure the filling is not too dry. If you use pork, the fat of the pork helps keep the filling moist.

How to Make Bánh gối (Deep-Fried Pillow Cake) From A to Z at Home
Put the filling in the round pastry skin, fold the skin into a shape of a half circle, then skillfully crimp the edges together to make a pillow-shaped cake. Pillow cakes are deep fried until the pastry skin turns yellow, crispy, and fragrant.

The taste of the fried pillow cake is balanced with a dipping sauce made of garlic, chili, sugar, vinegar, fish sauce, and water.

- To make the dipping sauce, mix fish sauce, sugar, lemon juice, water in the ratio 1:1:1:5 (2 tablespoons fish sauce, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 10 tablespoons water). Stir until sugar is completely dissolved, then add minced garlic and chili.

- To make the pickles, papayas and carrots are peeled, thinly sliced, soaked in salt and washed. Add sugar, vinegar or lemon, a little salt, minced garlic, chopped chili to taste.

Vietnamese pillow cake stuffed with Aussie beef filling

How to Make Bánh gối (Deep-Fried Pillow Cake) From A to Z at Home
Pillow-shaped cake stuffed with Aussie beef filling. Source: VOV

Winners of the preliminary round of 2018 Taste of Australia Culinary Competition, once used the Australian ingredients to make Vietnamese pillow cake. They tried adding a little Aussie lemon myrtle leaf and had surprising results. The pastry skin is more fragrant and the dry lemon leaf absorbs the moistness of the dough, making the cake skin crispier.

The filling for Vietnamese pillow cakes includes glass noodles, wood ear mushrooms, and kohlrabi. Those ingredients are finely chopped and blended with minced pork and seasonings. In this step, the Pegasus team used beef as the main ingredient and they added Australian red wine to make the beef moister. Then, they added spices: shallot, and wattle seed.

They also created their own dipping sauce, which really impressed the jury panel. Two winners used red wine to replace the traditional vinegar, and surprisingly, the taste went well with the cake. They also make a second thicker sauce using traditional Vietnamese spices for foreigners who are not familiar with dipping sauces.

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