Bánh Xèo or when literally translated “Sizzling Cake” is a Vietnamese style crepe / pancake prepared with rice flour, turmeric, pork, shrimps and a variety of vegetables like spring onions and bean sprouts. It got its name from the sound it produces when cooking it, when the batter made out of rice flour is poured into the hot fillet gives that sizzling sound not found on usual pancakes.
Bánh Xèo is popular across the whole of Vietnam but each region will have their own style or method of preparation that sets it apart from others. The Southern-Style usually uses coconut milk, in Central Regions they don’t use turmeric and they also use pork liver, neighbouring countries also had inherited the dish hence the Cambodians and the Thais have their own versions as well.
This dish is usually consumed by hand accompanied with a some greens like mustard greens or lettuce leaves, it can be consumed as a side or even as mains. Cooking and the recipe of this dish is quite simple but since there are a lot of elements in making one it can be time consuming to prepare it as you have to prepare them one by one. What’s bad is after all that preparation, the time devouring this will easily take just a portion of that hassle as this is so good. Do you think it’s all worth the effort? Well for me it is.
- 1½ cups rice flour
- ⅔ cup flour
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 3½ cups water
- 400 ml can coconut cream
- 1 bunch spring onions, chopped into 2 cm long pieces
- 500 g shrimps, shelled and deveined
- 700 g pork belly
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 500 g pounds bean sprouts
- lettuce leaves
- fish sauce
- freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup water
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bird's eye, finely chopped
- In a large bowl combine all batter ingredients apart from the spring onions. Set it aside for at least 2 hours.
- Mix in spring onions just before cooking.
- In a place the pork and add a bit of water just enough to cook the pork, season with fish sauce and freshly ground black pepper. Bring it to a boil and simmer until pork is tender and cooked, water should have reduced.
- Remove pork and let it cool, once cooled down thinly slice the pork.
- Rinse bean sprouts under cold running water then drain thoroughly.
- In a non-stick pan add a small amount of oil and sauté some onions. Add the pork and cook until lightly browned, add the shrimps and cook until it changes to orange colour. Remove from heat then set aside.
- Combine fish sauce ingredients together in a small bowl then set aside.
- In a flat non-stick pan add some oil then pour some batter, tilt it on all directions to spread it out evenly. Add some of the cooked pork and prawn; and some bean sprouts. Cover and let it cook for 3-4 minutes in low heat. Open cover then fold crepes in half.
- Serve with fish sauce dip.