Bánh xèo (literally “sizzling cake”) are Vietnamese savoury pancakes made out of rice flour, water, turmeric powder, stuffed with slivers of fatty pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts and then pan fried. Traditionally, they are served wrapped in mustard leaf, lettuce leaves, and stuffed with mint leaves, basil, fish leaf and/or other herbs, and dipped in a prepared nước mắm called nuoc cham (Vietnamese fish sauce thinned with water and lemon). In the Central region, the pancake is dipped in a special ‘tuong’ sauce which consists of liver, hoisin sauce and garlic. (Wikipedia)
How to make Banh xeo (Vietnamese pancake)
400g rice flour (=14oz)
2tsp turmeric powder
500ml water (=2 ¼ cup)
250ml beer (or coconut milk) = 1 cup
3 stalk spring onion, chopped (=1/3 cup)
300g pork belly
Salt & pepper
Mix the batter:
-Mix 400g rice flour and 2 tsp turmeric powder (or 1 package Banh xeo flour) with 1 tsp salt and 500ml water. Stir until well combined.
-Add 250ml beer( or coconut milk). Stir well again.
-Add chopped onion and let the batter rest for 30 mins.
Prepare the pork and shrimps:
-You can either peel and devein the shrimps, or just trim off the tips and the legs.
– Cut the pork belly into thin slices
– Season with salt and pepper, ½ tsp each.
– Mix well and set aside for 15 mins
Make the pancake:
-Heat a pan on medium high heat, grease with some vegetable oil
-Add 2 shrimps and a few pork slices and sautee both sides until the shrimp and pork change color.
-Ladle some batter and tilt the pan in a circular motion to spread the batter evenly.
-Cover and cook for 1 min.
-Add some beansprouts, cover and cook for another 1 min
-Fold the pancake into half so that the 2 shrimps stay on opposite quarter.
– Cook for another 1 min and transfer to a plate.
-Continue until you finish the batter. If you can manage 2-3 pans at a time, it’s faster.
– Serve with a lot of fresh mustard leaves, lettuce leaves, cucumber and herbs (mint, perilla, cilantro etc.) and light dipping fish sauce.
-To serve, you cut the pancake into halves, take a whole piece of lettuce, top with some herbs and wrap the pancake inside, and dip with the sauce..
How to make dipping sauce
– Basic fish sauce
– “Tuong” sauce (Da Nang style)
Other tips to make crispy banh xeo crepes:
– Use a good frying pan with thick/heavy bottom, especially cast-iron pan
– Use more cooking oil (2-3 tbsp) for each crepe
– Use less coconut milk (or not at all) in the batter
– Fry 2 times: 1st time only make the crepes until you finish the batter. 2nd time you fry the crepes again and add bean sprouts.