Banh Xeo – Sizzling Pork and Shrimp Crepes

banhxeo
Banh Xeo (Photo is from Google Image)

 

Bánh xèo  is Vietnamese  savory crunchy pork and shrimp crepes.    “Xèo ” means the loud sizzling sound it makes when the batter is poured into the hot skillet. 

Bánh xèo is made of rice flour, turmeric powder, stuffed with slices of pork belly, shrimps, green onion, cooked mung beans, 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 very rich with pork, shrimp, and  fry with a lot of oil.  Therefore,  do not use a lot of coconut milk.  I suggest to add about 2 tablespoons of coconut milk in the batter. Many recipes suggest use full can of coconut milk that too rich for Banh Xeo.
  • For more crunchy cake, use a lot of oil, control medium high heat, rotate the pan.  Also, the cake is  crunchy if  add beer in the batter
  • Do not use low heat, cake becomes greasy.
  • Use yellow food color instead of turmeric powder. The turmeric mixed with hot oil makes house smells too strong after frying many cakes.
  • You also can buy ready mixed  Banh Xeo flour .

 

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).  Note that in Vietnam, the famous Banh Xeo is too thin, and fry with little oil, so it becomes soft if  we do not eat right away.  My sister’s Banh Xeo is thicker and still crunchy after 4 hours.
  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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