Banh Xeo, also known as Vietnamese crepes or Vietnamese pancakes, is a beloved dish in Vietnamese cuisine. With its golden and crispy exterior and flavorful filling, it has gained popularity worldwide. In this article, we will explore the secrets of making perfect Banh Xeo and learn about its history, nutrition facts, and more. So let’s get started on this delightful culinary journey!
What is Banh Xeo?
Banh Xeo originated in Vietnam and its name translates to “sizzling cake.” It is believed to have originated in the central region of Vietnam during the reign of the Nguyen Lords, but its exact origin story remains uncertain. The dish was traditionally prepared for special occasions and family gatherings.
The name “Banh Xeo” is derived from the sizzling sound that occurs when the rice batter touches the hot skillet. The sizzling effect gives the dish its characteristic crispiness.
Banh Xeo flour
Banh Xeo flour is a specialized flour mixture used to make the rice batter for Vietnamese crepes. It typically contains rice flour, cornstarch, turmeric powder, and salt. You can find Banh Xeo flour in Asian grocery stores or prepare your own by combining the ingredients in the right proportions.
More traditional Vietnamese recipes from rice flour
Vietnamese pancakes recipe
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Course: Main course
To prepare delicious Banh Xeo, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 cup water
- 8-10 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 cup sliced pork or chicken (optional)
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1/2 cup sliced onions
- Fresh herbs (cilantro, mint)
- Lettuce leaves
- Nuoc Cham (dipping sauce)
- Non-stick skillet or crepe pan
- Whisk or blender
- Chopping board and knife
- Mixing bowls
- Ladle or measuring cup
- In a mixing bowl, combine rice flour, coconut milk, turmeric powder, and water. Whisk until smooth, ensuring there are no lumps. Let the batter rest for 15 minutes.
- Heat a non-stick skillet or crepe pan over medium heat. Add a little oil and swirl it to coat the pan evenly.
- Pour a ladleful of the batter into the skillet and quickly swirl it to cover the entire surface. The batter should be thin and evenly spread.
- Arrange a few shrimp, pork or chicken (if using), bean sprouts, and sliced onions on one half of the crepe. Allow the crepe to cook for 2-3 minutes until the edges turn crispy.
- Fold the crepe in half, covering the filling, and cook for another minute. Gently transfer the Vietnamese pancakes to a plate.
- Repeat the process for the remaining batter and filling ingredients.
- Serve the Banh Xeo with fresh herbs, lettuce leaves, and nuoc cham dipping sauce.
Is Banh Xeo healthy?
Here is an approximate nutritional breakdown for one serving (including the filling and dipping sauce):
- Calories: 350
- Carbohydrates: 40g
- Protein: 16g
- Fat: 15g
- Fiber: 3g
- Sodium: 450mg
Vietnamese crepes can be a part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation. The dish is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals from the filling ingredients and fresh herbs. However, it is important to be mindful of the oil content and portion sizes.
Tips for achieving crispiness
- Ensure that the skillet is properly heated before pouring the batter.
- Use a non-stick skillet or crepe pan to prevent sticking.
- Allow the crepe to cook undisturbed until the edges turn crispy.
- Fold the crepe while it is still hot to maintain the crispiness.
How to eat Banh Xeo?
Traditionally, Banh Xeo is served as a do-it-yourself dish. Here’s how to enjoy it:
- Take a lettuce leaf and place a piece of yellow pancake on it.
- Add some fresh herbs, such as cilantro and mint, to the leaf.
- Roll the leaf to create a small parcel, ensuring the filling is secured.
- Dip the Vietnamese pancakes parcel into the Nuoc Cham sauce.
- Enjoy the explosion of flavors and textures in each bite!
How to pronounce Banh Xeo?
Banh Xeo is pronounced as “bahn say-oh.” The “X” in Vietnamese is pronounced like an “s” sound.
Why is my banh xeo not crispy?
If your Vietnamese crepes is not achieving the desired crispiness, consider the following factors:
- Insufficient heat: Ensure that the skillet or pan is properly heated before pouring the batter.
- Thick batter: The batter should be thin and easily spreadable. Adjust the consistency by adding more water if needed.
- Overcrowding the pan: Avoid adding too much filling or making the crepes too large, as it can make them difficult to handle and result in a softer texture.
What is the origin of Banh Xeo?
Banh Xeo originated in Vietnam, specifically in the central region, and has since become a popular dish across the country. But Central Vietnamese Banh Xeo is smaller in size and thicker compared to its southern counterpart as above.
Can I make Banh Xeo vegan-friendly?
Yes, you can make a vegan version of Vietnamese pancakes by omitting the shrimp, meat, and using plant-based ingredients like tofu or additional vegetables.
How do I store leftover Banh Xeo?
Store any leftover Vietnamese crepes in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat in a skillet or oven to restore crispiness.
Can I freeze Banh Xeo for later use?
Vietnamese pancakes is best enjoyed fresh. However, you can freeze the cooked crepes and reheat them in a skillet when needed. Note that the texture may differ slightly.
What are some creative fillings for Banh Xeo?
Besides shrimp and meat, you can experiment with various fillings like mung bean sprouts, mushrooms, sliced bell peppers, or even cheese for a fusion twist.
Get ready to indulge in the crispy goodness of Banh Xeo! It’s a delightful dish that brings together vibrant flavors and textures, making it a favorite among Vietnamese cuisine lovers. So grab your ingredients, follow the recipe, and savor the deliciousness of this Vietnamese pancake sensation!