Thick Noodles and Fish Cake Soup (Banh Canh Cha Ca)

5 Simple ingredients are all that's need to make these homemade noodles!

When you think about making homemade noodles, you probably think about passing dough through a pasta press machine and expending hours of effort just to make a small batch of noodles.  Undoubtedly, fresh noodles are amazing. This recipe for Thick Noodles is completely different and much simpler.  It doesn’t require a lot of equipment, just a potato ricer.  If you don’t have a potato ricer, you can simply roll-out the dough and cut the noodles by hand.  The dough requires no resting time so you can make the dough, boil the noodles and have fresh, homemade noodles in about 15 minutes.  How’s that for fast!?!?

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

This recipe uses equal amounts of rice flour and tapioca starch.  If you would like chewier noodles, increase the tapioca starch and use 1 1/4 cups to 3/4 cups rice flour.

Be sure to use boiling water.  The boiling water is needed to cook the rice flour and tapioca starch and activate the elasticity in the dough.  If you are not able to stretch the dough or it’s breaking off in chunks, the water was not hot enough.  This means when you run the dough through the potato ricer, the noodles will be broken into little bits instead of forming into long strands.  If this happens, microwave the dough for 1-2 minutes on High and see if that improves the elasticity.

If you’re rolling out the dough and cutting the noodles by hand, reduce the amount of boiling water to 7 oz instead of 1 cup.  This makes the dough drier and easy to roll.  Be sure to coat your work surface and rolling pin with rice flour when working with the dough to keep it from sticking.

These fresh noodles are best if consumed within 5 days.  To reheat, spread out on a plate and microwave on Low for 1 minute.  Optionally, dunk in boiling water for 15 seconds and then drain.  If using the noodles in a soup, you can also drop them directly into the broth and warm them up that way.

Click the link to see product information for the my potato ricer.  There are lots of comparable products but I like this one the best because it’s light-weight, easy to use and inexpensive.

Watch the video below for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Pressure Cooker Pho Ga/Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup and Crab Noodle Soup (Bun Rieu).


Thick Noodles
1 cup rice flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup boiling water
2 tsp vegetable oil, divided

Noodle Soup
20 oz thick noodles (recipe above)
5 cups chicken stock
1/4 small onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp fish sauce
8 oz Fish Cakes or fish balls
1/4 cup chopped green onions and cilantro
1/8 tsp ground black pepper


Add rice flour, tapioca starch and salt into a mixing bowl.  Mix on Low speed for 15 seconds.  Add the vegetable oil and boiling water and mix on Low (2) speed for 1 minute.  Scrape around the bowl and push dry ingredients toward the center.  Mix on Low (2) speed for 2 more minutes.  Increase to Medium Low speed (3-4) and mix for another 2 minutes.

Dust the work surface with rice flour and then scoop out the dough.  With floured hands, pat the dough into a loaf.  Cut in half and then pat each half into a rough ball.

Prepare a water bath by filling a large bowl with cold water and then adding 1 cup ice.  Bring a large pot to a rapid bowl.  Add 1 tsp vegetable oil to the water.

Coat the inside of the potato ricer with vegetable oil or non-stick cooking spray.  Place one of the dough balls into the potato ricer and then slowly squeeze the handles together to extrude the noodles.   After all of the dough is pushed through, dip the bottom of the ricer into the water and slowly swirl to release the noodles.  Repeat the same steps with the second dough ball.  Gently stir the noodles and boil for 3-4 minutes or until they float to the top.  Transfer the cooked noodles to the cold water bath.  Swirl the noodles in the cold water for 1 minute.  Drain and rinse with cold running water.  Shake the colander to remove the excess water.  If not serving right away, add 1 tsp vegetable oil to the noodles and toss together.  Cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve.

Bring the chicken stock to a boil.  Add the sliced onions and fish sauce and simmer for 2 minutes.
Put the thick noodles into a soup bowl.  Layer on top, thinly sliced Fish Cake.  Add a generous amount of the broth.  Top with the chopped green onions and cilantro mix along with freshly ground black pepper.

Serve with a side of fresh greens, herbs, red chilies and fish sauce.  Enjoy!

Yields: 20 oz cooked noodles, 2-4 servings noodle soup

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

A hearty and scrumptious soup that is so simple, you'll want this for your Top 10 easy meals.

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10 Responses to Thick Noodles and Fish Cake Soup (Banh Canh Cha Ca)

  1. Cindy Quach December 11, 2017 at 6:41 pm #

    Hello Trang,
    I’ve made several of your dishes and love your clear and concise instructions. I used the noodles here to make a banh tam bi and they were awesome. I do not have a ricer with the larger holes so I cut by hand. My only issue is that my cooked noodles stuck together even when I oiled them quite well. Also, in putting them together and serving, the noodles all broke to about inch and half chunks..still delicious but wonder if I”m doing something wrong?

    I’m a huge fun…yours is my go to site for Vietnamese dishes!

    • Trang December 11, 2017 at 7:10 pm #

      Hello Cindy,
      Thank you for your kind words. I am glad to hear you’re enjoying the recipes. The noodles are somewhat delicate and pulling and stretching too much may cause them to break. If the noodles are cold, it helps to warm them up a bit in the microwave. This will make them soft and pliable and easier to move. The cooked noodles really shouldn’t break unless they were really tangled together. Perhaps spread them out on a larger plate. This will help with sticking together and may make the noodles easier to move around and serve. Good Luck!

  2. Phuong August 18, 2017 at 10:22 am #

    Iam doing something wrong if my dough is pretty hard to push out of the potatos ricer?

    • Trang August 25, 2017 at 2:25 pm #

      Hi Phuong,

      The dough should be soft but it does take a little bit of effort to push it through the potato ricer.

  3. hieu October 6, 2015 at 8:16 am #

    Hi Trang,
    Love your site. I’ve made a couple of dishes using your recipes. Thank you for sharing. Fresh noodles sounds inviting, but I do not have KA stand mixer. Is there other way around?

    • Trang October 8, 2015 at 2:06 am #

      Hi Hieu,

      If you don’t mind some manual labor, you can mix the dough in a big bowl and then knead by hand until it’s smooth. Hope that helps!

  4. Thuan June 9, 2015 at 3:17 pm #

    Hi Trang. Thanks for the recipe! I’ve made the noodles for the first time following your video. The outcome is amazing and the noodles are delish! Would you be able to work on the fresh rice noodles (bún tươi và bánh phỡ)? It would be great with your tofu and rice noodles dish.


    • Trang June 13, 2015 at 6:55 pm #

      Hi Thuan,

      I am glad you enjoyed this recipe. These noodles are super easy to make. The fresh rice noodles bún tươi are much more difficult to make. I am experimenting and trying to simplify the recipe but it is challenging. If everything goes well, I’ll share it in the near future. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Anne April 29, 2015 at 7:58 pm #

    I’ve copied & pasted quite a few recipes from your website into my email account for future references. There are too many to mention, but some standouts are the “banh tet (New Year Sticky Rice Logs)”, “Cha Ca (Fish Cakes)”, and this recipe. This recipe shows how to make fresh noodles for banh canh, which is one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes. I’ve bought “fresh” banh canh (packaged in plastic bags) from the grocery stores before, but they never tasted the same as home made noodles. So, I’m glad you have a recipe for it here.


    • Trang May 3, 2015 at 5:59 pm #

      Hi Anne,
      Thank you for your continued support! I am happy you’ve found a few recipes to add to your recipe box. I love making fresh noodles too. It’s super easy and so much healthier than the store-bought versions. Happy Cooking 🙂

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