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Vietnamese crispy pancake

Vietnamese crispy pancake

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Banh xeo is a savoury pancake fill with prawn, pork and bean shoots. Its name literately translates as ‘sizzling cake’, the sound of the batter hits the hot oil. Watch the video to see how is made and best way to enjoy this irresistible treat.


Recipe & Photo: Lili Tu –  Video: Mai Nguyen

PREP TOTAL TIME SERVINGS
30 mins
60 mins
10-12

Main ingredients:

Pancake batter

  • 2 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 11/2 cup water
  • 1 ½ cup coconut milk
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced

Fillings

  • 100g dried mung bean
  • 500g prawn, peeled and deveined, slices in halves lengthwise
  • 500g pork shoulder or pork belly, cut into thin slices
  • ½ cup of Asian shallot, thinly slices
  • 500g bean sprouts
  • 3 gloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Black pepper
  • Fish sauce
  • Sugar
  • Vegetable Oil for frying

Dipping sauce

  • 5 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 5 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoon of lime or lemon juice
  • 200ml of warm water
  • 3 gloves of chopped garlic
  • 1 bird eyes chillies, finely chopped

To serve

  • 2 iceberg or butter lettuces
  • 2 bunches of mustard green leaves
  • 3 bunches of mixed Vietnamese herbs
  • 200g of carrot and daikon pickle

Method:

  1. Put the dried mung beans in a bowl, cover with water and set aside to soak for 30 mins. Drain and transfer to a steam for 20 mins.

  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flours, turmeric powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Add water and coconut milk and whisk until mixture is smooth. Strain through sieve if there are lumps. Set batter to rest for at least 20 minutes.

  3. Marinate the pork with 1 teaspoon of fish sauce,1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of sugar. Set aside for 15 minutes.

  4. Heat up a frying pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil, ½ of chopped garlic, a bit of sliced  Asian shallot in, stir fry until fragrant, add the prawns, a pinch of salt and pepper then stir fry for 2-3 mins, until the prawn is cooked. Remove and set aside.

  5. Wipe the pan clean, continue the process with the pork, and season to taste.  Remove and set aside. (Note: make sure you thinly sliced the meat, or else you need to stir fry the meat for 2 minutes, add 1/3 cup of water, lid on and put in on simmer for 10 minutes or until the meat is tender, then turn the heat back on and stir fry until the all the juice dry out.)

  6. Wash the greens. Pick the leaves off the herbs.

  7. To make the dipping sauce, add fish sauce, water, sugar and lime juice into a bowl and mix well until sugar is completely dissolved. Then add garlic and chilli and stir.

  8. Place a frying pan or wok over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and then add one portion sliced shallot, pork and shrimp then ladle 1/2 cup of batter into pan. Swirl pan to coat bottom evenly. Add bean sprouts over half the pancake.

  9. Cover pan and cook for 1 minute and lower heat to medium. Remove cover, drizzle another 1 tablespoon of oil around outer edge of crepe and continue to cook until edges begin to brown. When bottom is crispy, fold the pancake in half and remove from the pan. Continue until you finish all the batter and filling.

  10. Wrap pieces of cooked banh xeo in a lettuce leaf or mustard green, adding some herbs and dip in nuoc cham. 

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