Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Crispy Rice Cake)

Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Crispy Rice Cake)

By 5 April, 2011

These crisp savoury rice flour crepes are very popular in Vietnam and are generally eaten as a snack.  Some versions are made with coconut milk, but this one is both delicious and simple to prepare. The pork is optional but adds flavour.
Make sure to prepare the fish sauce before you start making the crepe.
This recipe was given to me by Hhan Nguyen, sous chef at Six Senses resort, Con Dao, Vietnam where I was a guest courtesy of Travel Indochina.

Ingredients

Instructions

Per person
Make the pancake batter: in a small bowl mix the rice flour together with the 8 tablespoons water. Stir until smooth.  It should be the consistency of pouring cream - add a little more water if needed. Stir in the turmeric and season with salt and pepper.
Heat a medium non-stick frying pan (20cm base measurement), add half the oil and when hot, add the prawns, pork and onion. Cook over medium high heat for 1 - 2 minutes. Turn up the heat and pour in the batter, swirling the pan so that it covers the base of the pan - the batter should sizzle as it hits the pan. Scatter the pancake with the green onions and beansprouts. Cover with a lid and steam 1 - 2 minutes or until batter is cooked through.  Remove lid and drizzle the remaining oil around the sides of the pancake (this helps to make it crispy) - it is cooked when the edges are crispy and golden.  Remove pan  from heat, fold pancake in half and serve with the fish sauce and an assortment of fresh green herbs (basil, mint, coriander) and lettuce leaves.
To make the fish sauce: pound the garlic and chilli in a mortar and pestle until smooth.  Add the sugar and pound for another minute. Stir in the fish sauce, water and lime juice, tasting as you go.
Note: Vietnamese people often cut the the pancake into pieces, wrap it in a lettuce leaf, top with fresh herbs and fish sauce and eat with their hands - a delicious version of the better known 'sang choy bow'.

 


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