bánh xèo – vietnamese crepe

bánh xèo

scenes from a weekend:
i spent the better part of the weekend
running around
like a squirrel collecting nuts for the winter.
i stockpiled the freezer
with dumplings/gyozas/wontons
for the coming winter.
i baked bread for the week’s breakfast
(acorn squash + hazelnut loaf,
adapted from this recipe)
and made soup for the week’s lunch
(roasted chicken noodle).
all in addition to
doing both CSA runs
during the city’s running festival,
getting an oil change,
most importantly,
Date Night.
we saw the Skeleton Twins
have you seen it?
i loved it.

bánh xèo

the final day we made bánh xèo,
a dish that, for me, signifies
the close of summer,
as we put away warm weather kitchen toys,
dust off cold weather kitchen toys.
it wasn’t a particularly warm day,
but the sun was out,
the game was on,
and we had somehow managed to
do all our chores in two days.

how was your weekend?

bánh xèo

bánh xèo

*note: we used a mix. dw mentioned something about making the batter from scratch, rice flour + turmeric + a bunch of other starches and i nixed that notion. it’s a special kind of flour, used in special proportions and frankly, my interest in making things from scratch doesn’t extend going to those lengths. i’m not loyal to any brand, at least not yet. we used two bottles of beer + some water. in this instance, it was instinctive: we gauged how thin the batter was based on our experience when making with my family during summer cookouts. you want the batter to be loose, not thick like pancake, but not straight water either. it was hit or miss for us the first few we made then we got our groove.

1 bag of bánh xèo mix
2 bottles of beer (whatever you have, i used an IPA) if you want to nix the beer, water is fine
approx 1/4 – 1/2 cup water
3 green onions/scallions, chopped and added to the batter

mix the bánh xèo mix with beer (or water) and stir until fully incorporated. add in the scallions. set aside.

1 lb pork belly, sliced thin
1 pound shrimp, deveined and tails off
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 bag of bean sprouts, rinsed
1/2 cup of chive blossoms, cut 3″ long

oil, i used a mix of canola + coconut

to serve: nuoc mam cham, or soy sauce + lettuce and whatever herbs you like, ie: mint, basil, cilantro

have your mise en place together, everything in a line in order of succession:
1. oil
2. onions
3. sliced pork belly
4. shrimp
5. batter
6. mix of bean sprouts + chive blossoms

heat a non-stick pan coated with a light layer of oil on medium-high.
add in a few onions and 4-6 pieces of sliced pork belly. allow the onions to sweat a smidge.
add in 2-3 shrimp.
using a ladle, pour 1 ladle full of batter into the pan. swirl the pan to coat it evenly, but thinly.
grab a handful of bean sprouts/chive blossom and pile it on one side of the pan.
lid the pan for about 1 minute (if you don’t have a lid, use a foil)
remove lid and allow the bánh xèo to cook through, get crispy around the edges, about 4-5 minutes.
carefully, fold the bánh xèo in half, like omelette.

serve hot.


bánh xèo

12 thoughts on “bánh xèo – vietnamese crepe

  1. I’ve never had these, Lan! They look absolutely mouthwatering. Like to the point where I want to fold them all up and see how many I can stuff into my face at once. Love this so much, and love the scenes from your weekend 🙂

  2. These are beautiful. The mise en place directions are very clever and practical…fabulous idea! I’ll be on the look out for some of that banh xeo mix…do you think a Chinese market would have it Lan?

    1. yes, i meant to make note of which brand i got… in most asian markets (chinese, korean or vietnamese), in the flours/grain aisle will have a section with the pre-made mixes. just look for the term “bánh xèo” on the package.

  3. Oh my gosh! LOVE these, sound so delicious. So you just pour the batter over everything that’s in the pan already? Seems even simpler than banh cuon 🙂 I can’t wait to try! Love the turmeric hue…. reminds me visually of eggs but it must have the most unique texture.

    Go you guys, getting so much done in two days!!

    1. yes. but it really is up to you. if you would prefer to not have your bean sprouts cooked through, add that just before you fold over the crepe.

      i used to think it was eggs in the batter to make it that yellow hue. oh the things i didn’t know growing up! 🙂

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