The Bánh Xèo Recipe
Bánh xèo is served with large lettuce leaves and fresh herbs in Việt Nam. Take a lettuce leaf in your palm and load it with herbs and a torn piece of the stuffed pancake. Roll it up like a spring roll and dip it in the dipping sauce, and savor the crunchy edges by eating it quickly.
Although each region has its own method of making and eating crepes, they all contribute to the distinctiveness and appeal of this classic bánh xèo.
- 255g rice flour
- 85g wheat flour
- 2-3 tsp turmeric powder
- 830ml water
- 390ml coconut milk
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 2 sprigs of green scallions, chopped
- 450g of shrimp (medium to small size)
- 680g of pork belly
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 650g bean sprouts
- 100g garlic chives, cut in 6-8 cm length
- Vegetable oil for cooking
- 2 head mustard greens
- 1 butterhead
- 1 bunch mint
- 1 bunch coriander
- 1 bunch fish mint
- 1 bunch Vietnamese perilla
- 1 cucumber, washed, thinly sliced
- 1 green firm banana
Nước chấm (dipping sauce)
- 500ml water
- 3-4 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2-4 tbsp sugar
- 300ml coconut water
- 3-4 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp, minced garlic
- 1 tbsp, minced red chili
- To make nước chấm, heat and stir the water, vinegar and sugar until dissolved. Leave till cool. Add in the coconut water, fish sauce, garlic and chili. Mix thoroughly. Adjust the taste to your liking. Balancing out the sour, sweet, salty and spicy. Aim for a bold, forward finish. The sauce may be prepared early in the day and let sit at room temperature.
- For the batter, combine all batter ingredients except scallions in a mixing bowl for at least 3-6 hours, or overnight. (whisk till smooth) Add scallions only before making the bánh xèo.
- Boil the pork belly until cooked, then slice thinly, set aside.
- Wash the bean sprouts, herbs and veggies set aside.
- Before making bánh xèo. Peel off the outer layer of the green banana skin, leaving a thin layer of skin for texture. Add the lemon juice to a bowl of cold water. Slice the banana thinly and let it soak in lemon water for 30 minutes. (set aside to serve along with table salads)
- Making bánh xèo, each crepe takes about 10 minutes. On medium-high heat add 1 tbsp of oil and some onions in a medium-size nonstick skillet. Immediately add a few pieces of pork and shrimps. Sauté, lightly mixing until lightly golden browned and aromatic, about 20 seconds.
- Whisk the batter well, pour in some batter and quickly tilt and rotate the pan so the batter is evenly spread. add more batter if it wasn’t enough to cover the pan. The batter should dramatically sizzle (making that xèo noise) and bubble. There should only be a thin layer of batter that almost flakes off at the pan edges where it’s thinner. If your batter doesn’t do that and is too thick.
- Lower the heat to medium. Add some bean sprouts and garlic chives, and cover with a lid for 3 minutes. The batter should also be slightly cooked and transparent around the edges.
- Remove the lid, lower the heat to medium-low and wait for the crepe to become crispy. Drizzle in 1 tsp of the oil around the rim of the pan. This takes about 5-7 minutes. It also lets steam escape so the batter can crisp up. The edge will have pulled away from the skillet and turned golden brown. At this point, use a spatula to check underneath for a crispy bottom. Lower the heat if you need to cook it longer. When you are satisfied, use a spatula to fold in half, transfer to a plate and serve immediately.
- Serve it with lettuce/mustard greens, fresh herbs, and nước chấm. Some people like to use rice paper wrappers to make fresh spring rolls with this crepe. To eat, tear a piece of lettuce roughly the size of your palm, place a piece of the bánh xèo on it, add cucumber, green banana slices and herbs, shape into a bundle, and dunk into the dipping sauce.