Banh Xeo: Vietnamese savory crepe
Banh Xeo, which literally translates to sizzling cake, is a savory Vietnamese crepe-like meal. It's one of my favorite southern Vietnamese dishes. It's made by using a batter of rice flour, tumeric, and water and stuffed with pretty much anything (shrimp, bean sprouts, pork belly). There is also a similar dish, called banh khoai, which hails from the central region of Vietnam. I actually prefer banh khoai, because it's cruchier and smaller but my mom is from the southern region so I'm a little more familiar with banh xeo.
Like pretty much every Vietnamese dish, it's eaten by wrapping some banh xeo in lettuce and herbs (basil and/or mint) and dipping it in dipping fish sauce, nuac cham.
This was my first attempt at making it, and I don't think it came out as I'd like. The batter was way too watery, and I didn't get a good enough fry on it. I did use a shortcut, and used a pre-made batter mixture from the Asian grocery store. Live and learn and try again!
- Banh xeo mix, see picture below
- 1/2 lb peeled, deveined shrimp
- 1/2 lb pork belly, cut in 1" thin strips
- 2 c. bean sprouts
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- serve with: Boston or red leaf lettuce, mint, basil and nuoc cham
- Prepare the banh xeo batter per directions on bag.
- In a large pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tbs vegetable oil. Saute pork belly until done, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Cook shrimp until no longer translucent, about 3 minutes; set aside.
- Steam or pan fry bean sprouts. Combine bean sprouts, pork, shrimp and green onions in a bowl.
- Wipe pan clean and add 1 tbs vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
- Layer thin coating of banh xeo batter. Allow batter to get bubbly and crispy. After 2-5 minutes, add in pork belly, shrimp and bean sprout mixture. Fold in half and slide onto a plate.
- Serve with lettuce, herbs, and nuoc cham.