Banh Xeo

Pan cake
Photo credit – Dat Khach (Flickr)

Bánh xèo  is Vietnamese  savory crunchy seafood crepe.    “Xèo ” means the loud sizzling sound it makes when the rice batter is poured into the hot skillet.  Bánh xèo is made of rice flour, water, turmeric powder, stuffed with slivers of fatty pork (pork belly), shrimp, diced green onion, and bean sprouts. In the Mekong Delta,  the batter contains coconut milk and cooked mung bean.  Banh Xeo is served hot  with tasty dipping sauce, and  vegetable plate (lectures, mints, basil, herbs).

Recipes

  1. Recipe of banh-xeo   – from Enjoy Life.  Best instructions and pictures.
  2. Recipe – from HungryHuy
  3. Recipe – from theravenouscouple
  4. Recipe – from yummies4dummies

Cooking Tips

  • Banh Xeo is fried with  oil, so it’s quite greasy.  Therefore,  we’d use about 2 tablespoons of coconut milk in the batter.
  • Use yellow food color instead of turmeric powder.
  • The cake is more crunchy if  use beer in the batter.
  • You also buy ready mixed  Banh Xeo flour . Link to Online shopping from 99 Ranch Market in the US.

 

Requirements for the best Banh Xeo

  1. Crunchy everywhere and crunchy until the last bite
  2. Not too thin (easy to break when rolling and dipping),
  3. Not greasy
  4. Bean sprout, pork and shrimp are not over cooked
  5. Coconut milk and turmeric powder should not overpower other flavors
  6. Good dipping sauce – plays an important role in taste and flavor of each bite

How to eat Bánh xèo?

Traditional way,  people eat banh xeo by hand.  Wrap a piece of crepe with a lettuce leaf along with  herbs, then roll it like taco.  Dip  the roll in the sauce, and take a bite.   It is a delicious bite that  has balance flavor and taste (crunchy, savory, aroma…).

Traditional style of eating Banh Xeo is not suitable at the restaurants,  because it is very messy.  Let’s eat Banh Xeo  “my modern” way.

  • Use scissors.  First, cut vegetables and herbs in to small size like making salad, and place the vegetable into a new  plate. Second, cut Banh Xeo into bite-size pieces (not too small).
  • Eat with chopsticks.  For each bite, place a piece of banh xeo on the salad plate, pour some sauce on the top.  Now, eat that piece of banh xeo together with some salad and sauce. Enjoy each savory bite of banh xeo.   Continue eating this way until finishing all banh xeo.

References

  1. Banh Xeo restaurant review  – Youtube video in Vietnamese.   This is 70 years old  famous Banh Xeo Dinh Cong Trang restaurant in Saigon, Vietnam.  In section 2:30-4:00, see how to make Banh Xeo.
  2. banh-xeo-vietnamese-pancake  – good article to read.   Review the video shot at the  restaurant in Vietnam.
  3. Bánh Xèo – My Favouritest Fusion
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