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Banh Xeo Recipe: Crispy Vietnamese Pancake Delight

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Scrumptious homemade Banh Xeo

Banh Xeo is a crispy, savory Vietnamese crêpe that brings together flavors and textures in a delightful way. Made from rice flour, coconut milk, and filled with shrimp, bean sprouts, and herbs, Banh Xeo offers a delicious, crunchy bite that’s perfect for any meal.

When you take the time to make Banh Xeo at home, you get to enjoy the authentic taste of Vietnamese street food right in your kitchen. It’s satisfying to wrap each piece in lettuce and herbs and dip it into a tangy nuoc cham sauce. Whether you’re new to Vietnamese cuisine or a seasoned fan, this dish is sure to impress.

Don’t let the idea of making crêpes intimidate you. With simple ingredients and easy steps, Banh Xeo is both accessible and fun to prepare. Dive into this recipe, and you’ll find a new favorite that’s sure to become a regular in your cooking routine.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

When making Bánh Xèo, you need the right ingredients. Here’s a list:

  • White rice flour: This is a must. Avoid using wheat or all-purpose flour.
  • Corn starch: Adds crispiness to the crepe.
  • Tapioca starch: Helps with elasticity.
  • Coconut milk: Gives a rich flavor.
  • Turmeric: Adds color to the batter.

For the filling:

  • Pork belly: You can use pork shoulder if you prefer.
  • Shrimp or prawns: Fresh is best, but frozen works too.
  • Onions: Adds a bit of sweetness.
  • Salt and pepper: For seasoning.

You may also need:

  • Oil: Preferably vegetable or canola for cooking the crepes.
  • Water: To adjust the batter consistency.

For serving:

  • Lettuce leaves: Green leaf lettuce can be substituted if needed.
  • Herbs: Such as mint, cilantro, and basil.

Feel free to make substitutions as long as they don’t drastically change the texture and flavor. Happy cooking!

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Batter

    • Mix together 1 cup of rice flour, 1 tablespoon corn starch, 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl.
    • Add 1 3/4 cups of water and 1/2 cup of coconut milk. Stir well until smooth.
    • Add sliced green onions and set the batter aside to rest for about 30 minutes.
  2. Cook the Filling

    • Heat a pan over medium-high heat with a bit of oil.
    • Add thinly sliced pork and shrimp. Cook until the pork is browned and the shrimp turns pink.
    • Remove the meat and set it aside.
  3. Cook the Crepes

    • Use a non-stick pan. Heat it over medium heat with a small amount of oil.
    • Pour a ladle of batter into the pan and tilt to spread it thinly.
    • Cook for 1-2 minutes until the edges begin to lift.
  4. Add the Filling

    • Place the cooked pork, shrimp, and a handful of bean sprouts on one half of the crepe.
    • Cover the pan with a lid and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  5. Finish and Serve

    • Fold the crepe in half over the filling.
    • Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter and filling.
    • Serve the crepes wrapped in lettuce and herbs like basil or mint.
    • Dip each bite in nuoc mam sauce and enjoy!

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Use Fresh Ingredients
Fresh ingredients make your Banh Xeo taste much better. Fresh herbs like mint, basil, and lettuce add a crisp, vibrant touch.

Get the Batter Right
Mix the batter well to avoid lumps. Letting it rest for 30 minutes helps the flour absorb the water, making the crepes light and crispy.

Cooking Tips

  • Use a nonstick pan to prevent sticking.
  • Wait for the pan to be hot before pouring the batter. This helps achieve a crispy texture.
  • Cook on medium-high heat for the best results.

Filling Tips

  • Marinate your proteins for added flavor.
  • Balance the flavors with a mix of sweet, salty, and spicy ingredients.

Perfecting the Fish Sauce
Fish sauce is crucial. Mix fish sauce with lime juice, water, sugar, and chili to create a perfect dipping sauce.

Storage

  • Store leftover cooked Banh Xeo in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.
  • Reheat in a pan to keep them crispy—avoid the microwave as it makes them soggy.

Freezing

  • You can freeze the batter for up to one month. Make sure to thaw completely and stir well before using.
  • Do not freeze the cooked pancakes—they lose their texture.

Serving Style
Serve immediately after cooking for the best taste. Pair with plenty of fresh herbs and dipping sauce for a full experience.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

When making Banh Xeo, you can customize the recipe to suit your taste. Here are a few fun variations and ways to serve this delicious Vietnamese crepe.

Veggie Lovers

Vegetarian Banh Xeo: Substitute the pork and shrimp with tofu, mushrooms, or a combination of both. Add extra mung bean sprouts and other favorite vegetables like bell peppers or carrots.

Protein Swaps

Chicken and Shrimp Banh Xeo: Replace pork with chicken. Thinly slice chicken breast and cook it with shrimp for a different flavor profile.

Different Batters

Coconut-Free Batter: If you’re not a fan of coconut milk, you can use water or a mix of water and milk to make the batter lighter.

Serving Suggestions

  1. Wrap It Up: Cut or break off a piece of Banh Xeo and wrap it in a large leaf of lettuce or mustard greens.
  2. Herbs for Flavor: Add fresh herbs like mint, cilantro, or basil for extra freshness and a burst of flavor.

Dipping Sauce

No Banh Xeo is complete without the classic dipping sauce. Mix together:

  • Fish sauce: 2 tablespoons
  • Water: 1/4 cup
  • Sugar: 1 tablespoon
  • Lime juice: 1 tablespoon
  • Garlic and chili: Minced, to taste

Enjoy your Banh Xeo with this tangy and savory sauce.

Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.