Vietnamese Crepe (Bánh Xèo)

Bánh Xèo is a crispy Vietnamese pancake that gets its name from the sizzling noise the batter makes when it hits the hot pan. It’s like a savory crepe that is full of fresh ingredients. Bahn Xeo is served everywhere in Vietnam, often on a plate with various other ingredients that the customers themselves roll up with rice paper– this DIY aspect makes Bahn Xeo as fun to eat as it is to make!

As a complex dish, I’ve found that many restaurants throughout Vietnam make it very differently, and through much trial and error of different recipes, I’d like to share my absolute favorite. It’s an incredibly unique food that everyone should try for themselves.

Bahn xeo in an open face crepe

Bánh Xèo is comprised of three elements: the pancake, the fillings, and the sauce, all wrapped up in a rice paper roll. The batter is made from combining rice flour, turmeric, coconut milk, an egg, water, sugar, and salt together in a bowl. Shrimp and mushrooms are sautéed, and placed inside on the crepe, along with green onions, bean sprouts, cilantro, and mint. To pull it all together, it’s paired with nuoc cham, a popular Vietnamese sauce. This dish can be made vegetarian by substituting tofu for the shrimp!

How to make Vietnamese crepes

In a mixing bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the batter until smooth. Place in refrigerator and chill.

When better has chilled, turn a pan on medium-high heat and put the mushrooms in there until they have softened up and are tender. Put aside. Mix the shrimps with 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. ground pepper. Add 1/2 amount of minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of oil to a pan and sauté until fragrant. Add the shrimp and cook on medium-high until pink, about three to four minutes.


Heat a pan on medium-high heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon oil and swirl until it coats the pan. Stir the chilled batter up. Pour enough batter to fill the pan,  quickly spread it all over to the edges and distribute evenly. When the batter touches the pan you should immediately hear it sizzle. Once you’ve reached this step, you should let the batter fry without touching it for a few minutes until you can lift the edge up a little bit.

When you are able to lift up the edges, flip the pancake to the other side and cook for one minute, and set aside. Repeat this step until all batter is used.

How to eat bánh xèo

This Vietnamese pancake can be eaten by itself or wrapped in lettuce or rice paper. I’ve found that using rice paper allows you to get a bite of all the textural components and helps to keep everything together when you dip it in the sauce.

Bánh Xèo Tips

Make sure to chill the batter— this is essential to getting the crepe to the right consistency. Once chilled, and make sure your pan is sizzling hot and sprayed with oil before putting in the batter. Pour just enough batter to thinly cover the entire width of the pan, quickly spreading it all over to the edges of the pan. When the batter touches the pan, you should immediately hear it sizzle. Once you’ve reached this step, you should let the batter fry without touching it for a few minutes. When it’s solid enough that you can lift the edge up a little bit, it’s ready to be flipped. Once flipped, let fry for roughly one or two more minutes.

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Bánh Xèo

Bánh Xèo is a crispy Vietnamese pancake that gets its name from the sizzling noise the batter makes when it hits the hot pan. It’s like a savory crepe that is full of fresh ingredients.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: Banh xeo
Author: Globally Flavored

Ingredients

  • For the batter
  • 2 cups of rice flour or 1 cup of almond flour & 1 cup of regular flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 16 oz. can coconut milk
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • For the fillings
  • 2 cups of mushrooms
  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 3 garlic clove minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 3 tsp neutral oil
  • For Serving
  • 5 green onions thinly sliced
  • Handful of cilantro
  • Handful of mint
  • Handful of lettuce
  • 2 cups of bean sprouts
  • Rice paper optional
  • Nuoc Cham

Instructions

  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the batter until smooth. Place in refrigerator and chill for 10-15 minutes.
  • When better has chilled, turn a pan on medium-high heat and put the mushrooms in there until they have softened up and are tender. Put aside. Mix the shrimps with 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. ground pepper. Add 1/2 amount of minced garlic and 1 tbsp of oil to a pan and sauté until fragrant. Add the shrimp and cook on medium-high until pink, about three to four minutes.
  • Heat a pan on medium-high heat. Add 1/2 tsp. oil and swirl until it coats the pan. Stir the chilled batter up. Pour enough batter to fill the pan, quickly spread it all over to the edges and distribute evenly. When the batter touches the pan you should immediately hear it sizzle. Once you’ve reached this step, you should let the batter fry without touching it for a few minutes until you can lift the edge up a little bit. When you are able to lift up the edges, flip the pancake to the other side and cook for one minute, and set aside. Repeat this step until all batter is used.
  • Assembling the crepe
    You can take one of the crepes and simply place about 3 shrimp, a few mushrooms, sprinkle of green onions and lettuce, two sprigs of cilantro and mint into the middle and fold over like an omelet.
    Another way is to take one crepe and cut it into three pieces. Then grab one sheet of rice paper and run it under hot water for about 5 seconds on each side. It does not need to feel completely wet, the water will soften it by the time you finish the next step. Lay it flat on a plate and place ⅓ of the pancake, about 3 shrimp, a few mushrooms, sprinkle of green onions and lettuce, two sprigs of cilantro and mint in the center of the rice paper. Fold in the left and right sides inward, then start to roll the rice paper top to bottom until it encloses all the food inside. Repeat this process with the other remaining ⅔ of pancake. The trick is not to overstuff the roll.
  • Serve with nuoc cham

Did you enjoy this recipe? Check out more Vietnamese recipes!



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