his recipe for Banh Xeo (Crispy Vietnamese Crepes) features thin, crispy yellow crepes filled with Chinese pork belly and bean sprouts.
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What is banh xeo?
Bánh Xèo means "sizzling pancake" and refers to the sizzling sound ("xeo") the batter makes when it is poured into a hot pan.
It is a thin, crispy rice pancake (also known as a Vietnamese crepe) made with rice flour, water, unsweetened coconut milk and turmeric powder, which gives it its yellow hue.
Traditionally, the crepe is filled with pork belly, shrimp/prawn, yellow mung beans, green onions, and bean sprouts.
Banh xeo is typically served alongside lettuce leaves and fresh herbs such as Vietnamese mint, Thai basil, Vietnamese perilla leaves, cilantro. It's also paired with cucumber, pickled daikon and carrot and nuoc cham (Vietnamese dipping sauce).
Why you'll love this recipe
This version recipe for banh xeo is a bit of a little twist on the traditional dish, using Chinese roasted pork belly, rather than thinly sliced pork belly.
Contains no seafood: no prawns or shrimp in this version which is great for allergies, but you can definitely add it in if you prefer.
Uses Chinese roasted pork belly: also known as siu yuk, which adds a crispy texture, additional flavor and streamlines the process.
Yields a crispy crepe: adding a combination of cornstarch and potato starch helps the pancakes remain shatteringly crisp.
Gluten-free and dairy-free: there's no addition of wheat flour to the batter.
Ingredients you'll need
For the batter:
- rice flour: is a naturally gluten-free flour; different than glutinous rice flour
- cornstarch: adds lightness to the crepes
- potato starch: gives the crepes its crispness
- sea salt: or kosher salt, for flavor
- coconut milk: preferably full-fat; if using low fat coconut milk, add in 2 tablespoon vegetable oil; gives the crepes additional aroma and flavor
- turmeric powder: is a yellow-orange spice used predominantly in Indian/Asian cuisine, especially in curries; gives the crepes its yellow color
- green onion/scallions: chopped
- sparkling water: or carbonated water, or beer
- roasted Chinese pork belly (siu yuk); you can also use raw thinly sliced pork belly -- but cook first, before adding in the batter
- bean sprouts: washed and drained
- green onions/scallions: chopped
You can find these ingredients at your local Asian supermarket.
Find roasted Chinese pork at Chinese BBQ houses.
How to make banh xeo at home
In a bowl, combine rice flour, cornstarch, potato starch, salt, coconut milk, water and turmeric powder. (Note: my turmeric powder appears red in color below).
Give it a good whisk to combine and let it sit for about 1 hour at room temperature.
To the rested batter, stir in the green onions and sparkling water.
Heat up a large frying pan or skillet over medium high heat.
Add in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
Add a few pieces of pork belly and green onion, sautéing until lightly browned.
Pour about ¼- ⅓ C of batter (depending on the size of your pan) into the pan and quickly swirl the pan to coat the pan evenly in a thin layer.
Cover with a lid, leaving it slightly ajar and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Remove the lid and let the crepe continue to cook and crisp up.
Add in the bean sprouts and fold the crepe in half. Cook for an additional minute.
Remove the crepe and place onto a baking sheet lined with a wire rack.
Repeat with the remaining batter and ingredients.
How to serve
Banh xeo is eaten with your hands or using chopsticks.
Serve banh xeo immediately with fresh lettuce, herbs, and nuoc cham (Vietnamese dipping sauce).
Cut or break of small portion of the crepe and wrap it in the lettuce and herbs. Dip in the sauce and enjoy.
You can also wrap banh xeo in re-hydrated rice paper (also used in goi cuon - Vietnamese fresh spring/salad rolls) along with fresh greens/herbs and roll it up before serving.
How to store
If you have any leftover Vietnamese crepes, place them into an airtight container and in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
However, it is best to enjoy the crepes freshly made.
How to reheat banh xeo
The best way to reheat banh xeo is to place any leftover crepes on a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack and bake in a 350F oven for 10-15 minutes, or until crisp.
Using a wire rack ensures air flow circulating so it evenly crisps up both sides of the pancake.
Variations & substitutions
You can add shrimp/prawn and cooked yellow mung beans as a filling.
If using raw shrimp/prawn/pork belly, sauté first with a little vegetable oil, before pouring in the crepe batter.
Expert tips & troubleshooting
Note: the crepe batter may not appear yellow after adding the turmeric powder, however, after cooking, the color will intensify.
Use a nonstick skillet or frying pan if you have one.
Depending on how large your skillet is, you may need to adjust the amount of batter (anywhere from ¼- ⅓ cup), if using 8" or 9" pan.
Cook the crepes on medium-low heat, and adjust accordingly.
Don't completely cover the pan with the lid -- leave it ajar to release steam, if your lid doesn't have a vent; if there's too much steam, the crepes will be soggy.
If the pancake batter is too thick, add 1 tablespoon of water to thin it out, until it reaches a consistency that produces a thin crepe.
Conversely, if the pancake batter is too thin, add 1 tablespoon of rice flour and stir it in, until it reaches a pourable consistency.
Add more vegetable oil to the pan to help the crepes crisp up.
If you add too many green onions or mung bean sprouts, that can cause steam and the crepe to be sticky and soggy. Use less and adjust accordingly.
Other Vietnamese recipes you may like
Be sure to check out these recipes:
Let me know if you try out this recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
Banh Xeo (Crispy Vietnamese Crepes)
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 100 g rice flour
- 20 g cornstarch
- 20 g potato starch
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 80 ml coconut milk
- 200 ml water
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 stalk green onion chopped
- 30 ml sparkling/carbonated water or beer
- ½ lb roasted pork belly thinly sliced
- a handful bean sprouts washed and drained
- 2 stalks green onions chopped
- green leaf lettuce leaves
- Vietnamese mint leaves
- Vietnamese perilla leaves
- Thai basil
- cucumber sliced
- fresh lime cut into wedges
- nuoc cham (Vietnamese dipping sauce)
Make the batter:
- In a bowl, combine rice flour, cornstarch, potato starch, salt, coconut milk, water and turmeric powder.
- Give it a good whisk to combine and let it sit for about 1 hour at room temperature.
- To the rested batter, stir in the green onions and sparkling water.
Cook the crepes:
- Heat up a large frying pan or skillet over medium high heat.
- Add in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
- Add a few pieces of pork belly and green onion, sautéing until lightly browned.
- Pour about ¼- ⅓ C of batter (depending on the size of your pan) into the pan and quickly swirl the pan to coat the pan evenly in a thin layer.
- Cover with a lid, leaving it slightly ajar and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the lid and let the crepe continue to cook and crisp up.
- Add in the bean sprouts and fold the crepe in half. Cook for an additional minute.
- Remove the crepe and place onto a baking sheet lined with a wire rack.
- Repeat with the remaining batter and ingredients.
- Serve immediately with fresh herbs, lettuce, and nuoc cham dipping sauce.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.