With its light crunchiness from rice flour and fragrant taste from turmeric powder, Vietnamese Banh Xeo is sure to tantalize both your eyes as well as your palate.
Whether you bravely attempt it for the first time or serve it nightly for family dinners, our Banh Xeo recipe will make the process super easy yet still full of flavor.
What is Vietnamese Banh Xeo?
Vietnamese Banh Xeo is a type of savory crepe that originated in the central region of Vietnam.
The pancake-like dish consists of a thin layer of rice flour, turmeric, and coconut milk batter filled with pork slices, shrimp, onions, and bean sprouts.
This combination creates a unique flavor and texture blend that is both crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
The name “Banh Xeo” literally translates to “sizzling cake” due to the sound it makes when it’s cooked in a hot skillet or wok.
It is usually served with lettuce wraps or herbs accompanied by fish sauce for dipping. The dish is full of flavor and texture, making it an enjoyable and delicious experience.
Read more: 20+ Best Vietnamese food to try.
What does Banh Xeo taste like?
Banh Xeo is a savory Vietnamese pancake made from rice flour, turmeric, and coconut milk. It has a crispy outer layer and a slightly chewy center.
The flavor profile of Banh Xeo varies depending on the ingredients used to make it. Common flavors include shrimp, pork belly, mushrooms, and bean sprouts.
Other ingredients such as mung bean paste or fried onion can also be added for additional flavor.
Its taste can range from salty to sweet depending on how much filling is added to the pancake. Generally, it tastes like an umami-rich pancake with a crunchy texture – making it an incredibly satisfying snack or meal!
To make this delicious treat, you need the right kitchen equipment:
- A nonstick pan or skillet to fry your Vietnamese pancake in – preferably one that’s about 10 inches wide for the maximum size Banh Xeo.
- A ladle or large spoon to scoop out the batter onto the hot skillet.
- Plenty of paper towels on hand to absorb any excess oil as you cook.
- A plate lined with lettuce leaves or other greens like kale to serve it on. This helps keep the Banh Xeo warm and gives it that signature crunch.
- A stirring spoon or spatula to flip the Banh Xeo over as needed.
- Chopsticks for easy eating, as Banh Xeo is traditionally eaten with your hands.
What is in Banh Xeo?: The main ingredients
Glutinous rice flour
When purchasing glutinous rice flour for Banh Xeo, it is important to find a product that contains only pure glutinous rice flour.
You should check the ingredients used in the production process, since some manufacturers may use additives that can affect both taste and texture.
Tumeric powder is an important ingredient in the classic Vietnamese Banh Xeo. It adds a vibrant yellow color as well as a distinctive flavor to this flavorful crepe-like snack.
Tumeric is also known for its health benefits, including its anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant content.
Mung beans are an ideal choice for making Banh Xeo due to their firm, slightly sweet flavor and the fluffy texture they create when cooked.
These small, green legumes can be cooked quickly and have a slightly sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with savory ingredients.
Pork belly’s high-fat content and marbled texture make it incredibly flavorful, while its delicate nature allows it to cook quickly and evenly in the pan.
It also releases plenty of flavor-enhancing rendered fat during cooking, which helps to give the dish its signature savory taste.
Shrimp is a great choice for making Banh Xeo. It adds flavor and texture to the dish, while also providing an abundance of essential nutrients such as protein, Vitamin D, iron, zinc, and selenium.
When cooked correctly it can be crunchy and delicious, with a subtly sweet flavor that pairs nicely with other ingredients in the dish.
Coconut milk is an essential ingredient that adds a rich, creamy, nutty flavor. It also helps bind the batter together for easy flipping during cooking.
Vegetables and herbs
Banh Xeo is also often served with lettuce, cucumber, and other herbs such as mint or cilantro.
The combination of savory fillings and fresh herbs creates a flavorful balance for Banh Xeo that can’t be beaten!
Some tips for making Banh Xeo batter
Vietnamese Banh Xeo batter should be the consistency of heavy cream, with just enough flour to make it spread thinly on a hot skillet.
In addition to using the right ratio of liquid and dry ingredients, there are several other tips that can help you craft the perfect Banh Xeo:
- Use cold water when mixing your batter – this can help keep the gluten strands in the flour from developing too much and resulting in a dense product.
- Stir your batter for about two minutes, ensuring all ingredients are mixed well and there is no lumpiness.
- Let your batter rest for at least 20 minutes before cooking; this will give the starch time to absorb some of the moisture, helping to make the crepe more pliable and crispy.
- Ensure your cooking surface is hot enough before adding the batter; this will help create a nice golden color on top of each Banh Xeo.
- Keep the heat around medium to low when cooking, as high temperatures can cause your product to burn.
Tips for cooking Banh Xeo
Creating a perfect Banh Xeo requires some practice, but it’s not as hard as you think! Here are some pointers to get you going:
- Start by preparing your ingredients: mix the rice flour, water, and turmeric powder together in a large bowl. If you’d like to add additional flavorings such as mushrooms or bean sprouts, now is the time to do so.
- Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat and brush some oil onto it before pouring in the batter. Use a spoon and spread it evenly across the bottom of the pan.
- Add your ingredients – this could be pork or shrimp, but make sure not to overcrowd the pan so that everything cooks evenly. Sprinkle some scallions over the top for extra flavor and texture.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid, and cook for around 5 minutes until crispy and golden.
- Flip the Banh Xeo and cook for another 2-3 minutes until golden brown. You can check if it is cooked by pressing lightly with a spatula.
- Serve immediately and enjoy! Banh Xeo pairs nicely with fresh greens like lettuce, mint, basil, and cilantro as well as Nuoc Cham sauce. Bon appetit! With these tips, you’re sure to create an authentic Vietnamese pancake that your family and friends will love. Enjoy!
Tip for making dipping sauce
Banh Xeo is a savory Vietnamese crepe that is traditionally served with a dipping sauce. To make the perfect dipping sauce for Banh Xeo, mix together equal parts fish sauce and lime juice.
You can adjust the proportions to taste – adding more lime juice if you like it sour or more fish sauce if you like it salty. For a sweet flavor, add some sugar or honey.
Finally, season with garlic, chili peppers, and thinly sliced shallots to add a spicy kick to the dip! Serve your tasty dipping sauce alongside your crispy Banh Xeo – enjoy!
What do you eat with Banh Xeo?
Banh Xeo is typically served with herbs like basil and mint to provide freshness, and lettuce leaves to act as edible wrappers for the delicious ingredients.
Accompanied by sweet fish sauce, Banh Xeo can be a delectable treat perfect for any occasion.
To enrich the flavor even further and offer some crunchy textural contrast, it’s common to pair this meal with raw vegetables such as cucumber slices and pickles.
How to eat Vietnamese crepe?
To begin eating Banh Xeo, start by placing some of the crepes onto your plate. You can then top it with desired ingredients such as lettuce, herbs (mint leaves, cilantro), bean sprouts, cucumber slices, or other vegetables.
If you’d like to add meat to your Banh Xeo wrap, choose pork belly slices or shrimp.
Once you have your ingredients lined up, grab a small piece of the crepe with a pair of chopsticks or tongs. Gently fold it over and add some fillings to create a wrap.
Dip it in Vietnamese Nuoc Cham sauce before taking a bite — this is an essential part of enjoying Banh Xeo!
Finally, eat your delicious wrap with either more vegetables or its accompanying side dish, usually steamed rice.
FAQs about Banh Xeo recipe
How many calories are in Banh Xeo?
One serving of this delicious savory Vietnamese pancake can contain up to 500 calories, depending on the ingredients used. Therefore, it is important to take into account the number of servings you will be eating when determining how many calories you are taking in.
How do you make Banh Xeo crispy?
To get the perfect crispy texture for Banh Xeo, the batter must be cooked on a hot skillet until golden brown. It’s important to use enough oil when cooking to ensure the crepes are crispy and not soggy. Once the batter has been poured onto the skillet, it should be spread evenly so it creates a thin layer.
The crepes should also be flipped once one side has become golden brown. This will help crisp up both sides of the banquet-style crepe. After flipping, cook for an additional 1-2 minutes before removing from heat and serving. With these few simple steps, you can easily make a delicious and crispy Banh Xeo!
Why is my Banh Xeo not crispy?
The Vietnamese Banh Xeo should be crispy and golden when prepared correctly. If your Banh Xeo is not achieving this texture, there are several possible causes:
The heat of the pan may not be high enough which can result in undercooking or sogginess. Make sure to preheat the pan before adding the batter.
Too much moisture in the skillet can also cause sogginess. If this is the case, use a paper towel to lightly dab and absorb any excess liquid before cooking.
The batter may have too high a water content or not enough flour or cornstarch which can result in a limp texture. Experiment with the proportions of ingredients to adjust the batter.
Not using a non-stick pan can also cause sticking which can result in an uneven texture or tearing as you flip the Banh Xeo.
What is Banh Xeo batter made of?
Banh Xeo is a traditional Vietnamese crepe made from a batter of rice flour, water, salt, and turmeric powder. It also includes coconut milk and chopped spring opinion to create the signature yellow hue and fragrant aroma.
How long does Banh Xeo batter last?
Banh Xeo batter usually lasts up to three days when stored in the refrigerator. It is recommended that it be used within 24 hours of preparation to maintain its best flavor and texture. To keep Vietnamese Banh Xeo batter fresh for a longer period of time, it can be frozen for up to two months.
Can I make Banh Xeo in advance?
Yes, you can make Banh Xeo in advance. To do so, prepare the batter according to the recipe and cook it as usual. Once cooked, let the pancake cool for several minutes before cutting it into 6-8 pieces. Place each piece on a plate or tray and cover it with plastic wrap or foil to prevent moisture loss. Store in the refrigerator for up to three days before reheating and serving.
Is Banh Khot batter similar to Banh Xeo?
No, Banh Khot and Banh Xeo are not the same batters. Although both dishes originate from Vietnam, each uses a different type of pancake-like batter. Banh Khot is made with a thinner rice flour batter that is formed into small individual cupcake-shaped pancakes. These cakes are then filled with your choice of ingredients and fried until golden brown.
On the other hand, Vietnamese Banh Xeo is made with thicker rice flour and coconut milk batter that forms one large crepe-like pancake. This pancake is then filled with your choice of ingredients before being folded in half to secure them inside.
A final thought on Banh Xeo recipe
This easy Vietnamese Banh Xeo recipe is the perfect way to enjoy a delicious, authentic meal at home.
These crispy crepes are filled with shrimp, pork, and bean sprouts, and served with a dipping sauce made of fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar.
Whether you’re cooking for yourself or for a group, this dish is sure to please. So what are you waiting for? Give it a try today!