Vietnam - Banh Xeo
Sizzling crepe. This… was harder than I expected, haha. I think maybe I needed to add more rice flour or let it sizzle in the pan for longer, but it mostly stuck to the pan when I tried to use a spatula to flip it. I had to make a lot of scrunched up crepes before I got one that was decent to photograph hah.
EDIT: One of my friends told me that I needed to use more oil. Banh Xeo is very deceptively greasy because you can’t just use a drop of oil. You need a LOT of it (about 2-3 tbsp).
The flavor is REALLY good. The main flavor of the crepe is coconut milk and turmeric which is so simple, but so flavorful. They work together beautifully, and because of that turmeric, the color of the crepe is very appealing. You would think there are eggs in this because of the color, but no eggs! The shrimp and bean sprouts are a wonderful addition, and the shrimp has an excellent bite and texture which is great with the crispness of the crepe itself.
Have you tried banh xeo before? Let me know in the comments!
1 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 cups rice flour
2 cups water
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb raw medium shrimp (peeled and deveined)
Salt and pepper
1/2 lb bean sprouts (trimmed)
2 scallions (thinly sliced)
1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, rice flour, water, turmeric, and oil until well mixed. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
Add oil to a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Cook shrimp on both sides until a lovely orange in color. Once the shrimp is fully cooked, toss in the bean sprouts. Turn off the heat, and continue to mix until the sprouts are wilted. Set the shrimp and bean sprouts aside.
To make the Banh Xeo, heat a 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat – I’d recommend maybe cooking on high heat. The original recipe says to use cooking spray or wipe with a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil. My friend suggests using more oil than you think you need, about 2-3 tablespoons.
Whisk the batter one more time to mix in any flour that has potentially settled at the bottom. Add about 1/4 cup of the batter to the middle of the skillet. Tilt and swirl the batter around until the pan is coated with a thin layer. Cook the crepe until edges start to curl. Continue to cook until the batter has no wet spots.
Add the shrimp and sprout mixture onto half the crepe. Sprinkle some of the scallions and cilantro. Lower the heat to medium, cover the pan and let sit for one minute (I personally don’t think this part is necessary). Then flip the crepe over the filling, like an egg omelet. Don’t add too much of the ingredients on it because the extra moisture will wilt the crispy crepe.
Serve with nouc mam (fish sauce).
My friend sent me this tip for the dipping sauce:
Muddle a few fresh or frozen red chilis together with a pinky tip sized piece of garlic.
In a separate container, mix 3 – 1.5 – 1 ratio of warm water, fish sauce, and sugar. Once the sugar has melted from the stirring, add the muddled chili in. Squeeze in 1/2 fresh lime to taste (to cut the saltiness of fish sauce), but that depends on how much you’re making. Then scrape the lime pulp into it for style points. Mix and serve.
Refrigerate the extra amount for literally any other Vietnamese dish or even rice alone.
Recipe adapted from I’m not the Nanny.