Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Banh Xeo/Sizzling Crepe

Sizzling Crêpes (Banh Xeo) are paper-thin omelets stuffed with shrimp, pork, and bean sprouts, wrapped in lettuce and herbs, and dipped in a sweet-tart dipping sauce. Banh xeo ("bahn SAY-oh") is a popular street snack in Vietnam, especially the south. The name means "sound crepe," and it indicates the sound the batter makes when it hits the hot pan. I wish to visit Vietnam one day and until i do, this recipe will do.


Crepe Batter
Rice flour -- 1 cup
Sugar -- 1/2 teaspoon
Salt -- 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric -- 1/4 teaspoon
Coconut milk -- 1 cup
Water -- about 1/2 cup
Scallions - chopped - 1/4 cup

Filling(Variations are at bottom of page)
Oil -- 2-3 tablespoons
Shallots or scallions, minced -- 2-3 tablespoons
Garlic, minced -- 2-3 cloves
Shrimp, peeled and deveined -- 3/4 pound
Fish sauce -- 2-3 tablespoons
Salt -- to taste
Mung bean sprouts

1 head red leaf lettuce or green lettuce, washed and dried, leaves separated and left whole
1 cup loosely packed fresh thai basil
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves

Nuoc Cham dipping sauce -- recipe is at bottom of page


For the crepes:

Adjust 2 oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 200 degrees.

Whisk the water, rice flour, coconut milk, scallions, turmeric, sugar and salt together until uniform. Add in chopped scallions/spring onions.

Heat the oil in a wok/skillet over medium-high flame and add shallots or scallions and garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes without browning.

Add the shrimp and sauté until the shrimp is cooked through. Add the fish sauce and salt to season. Remove shrimp to a bowl and set aside.

Wipe out the wok/skillet (i used the crepe pan) and reheat over medium flame. Add a small amount of oil.

Stir the crepe batter well and pour 1/2 cup batter(amount depends on the size of pan) into the wok/skillet/crepe pan. Swirl the pan to coat the bottom.

Lay 3 or 4 of the cooked shrimp over one half of the crepe and then sprinkle a small handful of sprouts over the shrimp.

When the the middle of the crepe looks cooked through and the edges of the crepe begin to brown, fold the crepe over to cover the filling and slide onto a plate.

Hold in a warm oven as you finish the rest of the crepes.

Serve the crêpes with the individual bowls of sauce, passing the garnish platter separately.

(To eat, slice off a wedge of the crêpe, wrap it in a lettuce leaf, and dip it into the sauce.).

Pork Banh Xeo: Substitute half of the shrimp with pork loin or pork belly cut in thin strips. Sauté the shallots and garlic first, then add the pork to cook through, and finally add the shrimp.

Vegetarian Banh Xeo: Substitute fried, shredded tofu for the shrimp to make a vegetarian version. Add a variety of mushrooms to give a meaty flavor. Use soy sauce instead of fish sauce.

Banh Xeo with Egg: Beat 4-5 eggs and pour a little over each crepe after you add the batter to the skillet, but before you add the fillings. Cover the pan for about a minute to let the egg set, then continue with the filling ingredients.

Sauté some sliced mushrooms with the rest of the filling.

Include some peeled, seeded and thinly sliced cucumber or julienne carrot with the rest of the salad ingredients if you like.

Nuoc cham is the all-purpose Vietnamese condiment served with and poured over many dishes. Its salty-sour flavor is wonderfully bright and fresh. Nuoc cham will keep for about a week in the refridgerator.

About 1 cup
Water -- 1/4 cup
Fish sauce -- 1/4 cup
Lime juice -- 3 tablespoons
Unseasoned rice vinegar, unseasoned -- 2 tablespoons
Sugar -- 2 tablespoons
Garlic, crushed -- 1 clove
Chile pepper, sliced into rounds -- 1
Carrot, shredded or julienne -- 1 tablespoon



Little Corner of Mine said...

Looks really delicious! Lots of Vietnamese posts these days. Is your inspiration coming from the couple you invited to CNY party?

lilyng said...

Jin from Baltimore

i hope you read this.

Robyn from Boulder is sorry she misplace your address.

Please write to me Would love to be friends.

lilyng said...


yes and no.

we made bun bo hue, banh xeo and kuih siput this weekend.

Nathan said...

Thank you for the recipe, I have had Bahn Xeo before and loved it. I learned that "Bahn" means cake in Veitnamese and "Xeo" like you said is just the sound it makes when it hits the pan.

I have had these with ground pork, shrimp, thinly sliced almost shredded jicama, bean sprouts and the herbs on the side with the dipping sauce, etc. so tasty.

I really wanted to know how to make it but my friends grandpa doesn't share his secrets lol.

Mary said...

Now this is a recipe I can do! Thanks so much, Lily.

lilyng said...

nathn and mary

for your information, you can buy the ready-mix in the asian store and follow the instructions behind. Just add water and coconut milk and spring onions. it costs less than a dollar for a pkt.

ch3rri said...

Your Banh Xeo look so crunchy. I want to eat some too. :)

Big Boys Oven said...

this is nice, I womder what suace goes well with this sizzling crepe?

lilyng said...

big boys oven

don't wonder, the nuoc cham is the best dipping sauce.

dp said...

ooooh! I love these! Thais also have a version and we commonly put in eggs and mussels. I love the pairing of fresh herbs with the fried crepe.

Anonymous said...

I love the look of this recipe! I just want to be sure what you mean by coconut milk. Do you mean the clear, watery stuff you get when you break open a coconut, or the thick white stuff that comes in a can?

lilyng said...


coconut milk is the unsweetened coconut milk/cream which comes in 400ml or 56 ml cans.

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