Banh Xeo Vietnamese Sizzling Crepes

banh xeo

Banh xeo recipe has been sitting in our queue for way too long. A while back, we had a small dinner party and made Banh xeo (Vietnamese sizzling crepes). We took advantage of the outdoors burner and were flipping banh xeo for our guests like street vendors in Vietnam. We were smokin I tell ya! Banh xeo is savory and delicate crepe made of rice flour, turmeric powder, and coconut milk and filled with various meats such as pork, shrimp and veggies such as bean sprouts or mung beans. Each region in Vietnam has it’s slight variation with the southern region larger and having more veggies and mung beans and the central region typically smaller, poured in a mode, and without the mung beans.

As in our report of Van Restaurant’s banh xeo, the distinction between a good versus a great banh xeo is the thinness and crispiness of the crepes. We have a few tricks up our sleeves to make ours crispy…the first is cook the bean sprouts ahead of time. Second is to use beer in the batter (totally unproven but we seem to think it does compared with water), and third, vary the heat and add a bit of oil during the cooking process as described below.

banh xeo
Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Sizzling Crepes) one bag makes about 10-12 crepes
Printable Recipe 

Fillings

  • 1 /2 lb pork butt, cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 ts salt
  • 1/2 ts sugar
  • 1/2 ts fish sauce
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 lb of shrimp (medium to large size, deveined and peeled)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups of bean sprouts (in small bowl wrapped in plastic wrap, steam small batches in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes, drain and set aside)
Batter

  • 1 package of banh xeo mix (basically rice flour either with turmeric pre-mixed or separate–we used the package above, but many brands are available)
  • 3 cups of water or beer
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of chopped scallions
  • 1/2 ts salt

Accompaniments

banh xeo

 

In a mixing bowl, combine banh xeo mix, coconut milk, and beer and mix well. Let the ingredients meld together for about 20 minutes and add green onions. Marinate the pork with salt, pepper, sugar, and fish sauce and set aside. Season shrimp with touch of salt and pepper and set aside.

 

Before starting to pour your crepes, make sure you have have plenty of counter space and line up all your ingredients ready to go–largest nonstick pan you have, a ladle and flexible spatula, batter, pork, shrimp, onions, and small bowl of cooking oil.

banh xeo
On high heat, heat 1 teaspoon of cooking oil in a nonstick frying pan and sautee a few pieces of pork–when it’s about 1/3rd of of the way done, add onion slices and shrimps since they are quicker to cook. Distribute the shrimps and pork evenly prior to adding the batter. Don’t use too much filling–you don’t want to overload the crepes. 

Stir batter with ladle and add about 3/4 quarter ladle full into the center of the pan and quickly swirl the pan to evenly distribute a thin layer batter to the very edges of the pan. Try to go for as thin a layer as possible. You may have to adjust how much batter you use depending on how big your pan is.

Place a lid over for about 1.5 minutes or so. When you check the crepe notice that the area of uncooked batter in the center will get smaller and smaller (see above). When the crepe is almost completely cooked, the edges of the crepe start to curl up a bit and turn golden brown. Now take another small amount of cooking oil in a spoon distribute oil around the edges so the crepe gets crispy, won’t burn, and will be easier to flip (see how the edges are lifting off the pan?–below)

banh xeo

Now add the pre-steamed beansprouts to one side of the crepe. Turn the heat down to medium heat and place the lid over for another 1 minute or until gold brown. Using the flexible spatula carefully flip over the other half. When golden and nicely browned, don’t try to lift the crepe out of the pan with a spatula….just tilt the pan and slide the crepe over to a plate and serve immediately. When pouring the next crepe, add more oil as needed.

Unfortunately, this is something that doesn’t hold well if made in advance–no matter how crispy you make it, after some time banh xeo will lose it’s crispiness. So don’t have guests wait–tell them to dig in right away!

 

banh xeo

Enjoy with plenty of lettuce, mustard greens, mints, basil, and perilla. You can either break off small pieces of banh xeo and form lettuce wraps or combine all the herbs and break off some banh xeo and eat in a bowl. Some Vietnamese even wrap the banh xeo spring roll style with rice paper. Dip or dress with nuoc mam cham dipping sauce along with pickled carrots and daikon.

So that’s our trick to get banh xeo crispy, thin, and without breaking. What are your tricks? But while we emphasize thin and crispy, even a noncrispy and broken banh xeo is still delicious!

Happy Holidays and a Delicious and Joyful New Years to everyone!

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63 Responses to “Banh Xeo Vietnamese Sizzling Crepes”

  1. 1

    Joy — December 28, 2009 @ 7:12 am

    Enticing! I think I need to manufacture a vegetarian version to try! :)

  2. 2

    KennyT — December 28, 2009 @ 9:36 am

    This is something to die for!

  3. 3

    Zoe — December 28, 2009 @ 12:40 pm

    Cool. Your recipe has Kaffir lime leaves in it? Interesting. I never try that before. By the way, what is Sago flour? We have a similar dessert in Viet Nam, honey Comb cake. In fact I just made one yesterday.

    http://trucvy-zoe.blogspot.com/2008_07_01_archive.html

    -Zoe

  4. 4

    Zoe — December 28, 2009 @ 12:40 pm

    opps…put the wrong comments on the wrong blog :-) My bad. Ba'nh xe`o looks really good by the way.

    -Zoe

  5. 5

    Cooking-Gallery — December 28, 2009 @ 1:11 pm

    Yum! I love Bahn xeo…! Please make Bahn Cuon next time…It's my favourite Vietnamese snack- maybe you have a good trick to share:)

  6. 6

    BNDQ8 — December 28, 2009 @ 1:18 pm

    wonderful recipe!!it looks super delicious!!

  7. 7

    Jessica Lee Binder — December 28, 2009 @ 2:01 pm

    We had Ban Xeo at Brodard back In September but it was so bland. It didn't have lots of the stuff you have in it though. It was just the crepe with mung bean sprouts in it. =( I'd love to try a good one. Virgin has some $99 flights between CA and NY. Any chance you'll come to NY and show us?

  8. 8

    www.dhaleb.com — December 28, 2009 @ 2:06 pm

    This looks REALLY yummy! I've had the pleasure of growing up near Little Saigon in CA and I've had a few banh xeo's in my time. Oh how I miss such authentic Vietnamese food since I've moved to NYC…

  9. 9

    Ravenous Couple — December 28, 2009 @ 5:17 pm

    Joy: You can definitely make this vegetarian. Add tofu, preferably fried and any type of mushrooms you like. Try other veggies as well!

    KennyT: We wouldn't go that far, but definitely worth a try!

    Zoe: No problem!

    Cooking Gallery: You just might get your wish for banh cuon!

    BNDQ8: Thank you!

    Jessica: Sorry about the Brodard one.. we never get banh xeo from there, just the nem nuong. Oohh, thanks for the tips about Virgin Air, we'll have to look into it!

    Dhale: NYC does lack in good VNmese food..but thank you for visiting our site so that we could discover yours!

  10. 10

    sijeleng — December 28, 2009 @ 5:25 pm

    Although I love banh xeo, I seldom make it because it really does demand that you eat it as soon as it is cooked. But it's hard to find good banh xeo at most restaurants. Fortunately, there is one restaurant in town that does make a very good version. I'll have to try the beer trick next time I make some.

  11. 11

    Ravenous Couple — December 28, 2009 @ 7:13 pm

    sijeleng: Fortunately for us, Kim is willing to whip them up for others and she eats last :)

  12. 12

    lilyng — December 29, 2009 @ 12:00 am

    These banh xeo looked so crispy

  13. 13

    Mochachocolata Rita — December 29, 2009 @ 1:15 am

    ohhhh me wants! how come i havent seen this in hk viet eateries T_T

  14. 14

    Big Boys Oven — December 29, 2009 @ 1:20 am

    wow looks really amazing, so well crafted! nice, just perfect, can I have one pls! :)

  15. 15

    Ravenous Couple — December 29, 2009 @ 2:43 am

    lilyng: They were crispy, but since there are fillings inside, invariably they lose the crispiness after awhile.

    Rita: Not sure why, but maybe they should start! We like to make not so common Vietnamese dishes :)

    Big Boys Oven: Thank you!

  16. 16

    Fresh Local and Best — December 29, 2009 @ 2:51 am

    It's great to see this recipe. My mom used to add beer when she made the batter and she swore that it made the crepe crispier. This is one of my favorite summer dishes, I just love the combination of refreshing herbs and soy beans. It looks great!

  17. 17

    noobcook — December 29, 2009 @ 4:14 am

    love the fillings and the star-fruit shapes atop the salad is adorable! Happy Holidays!

  18. 18

    Lori Lynn — December 29, 2009 @ 5:29 pm

    Oh, we haven't made these in a while. Yours look delicious!

    Wishing you a tasty New Year!
    LL

  19. 19

    Ravenous Couple — December 29, 2009 @ 8:51 pm

    FLB: since it's nearly perpetual summer here in cali, we enjoy it year round :)

    noobcook: auntie 8 grew the star fruit in her garden and they were ripe and it add some extra tang!

    LL: Happy New Years to you too!

  20. 20

    Bonnibella — December 29, 2009 @ 8:54 pm

    I think the carbonation from the beer or when using soda water helps with the airiness. I never thought of pre-steaming the bean sprouts, good idea.

  21. 21

    Krissy @ The Food Addicts — December 29, 2009 @ 10:11 pm

    nice job on the banh xeo, guys! my mom loves making this, but daniel isn't a big fan of it. it's a great way to eat a ton of herbs and vegetables!

  22. 22

    Jack and Joann — December 30, 2009 @ 12:04 am

    Wow! Delicious looking. Thanks for the recipe.

  23. 23

    Bianca @southbay rants n raves — December 30, 2009 @ 1:03 am

    Asian crepes? Sounds good to me!
    Happy New Year!

  24. 24

    Trissa — December 30, 2009 @ 9:57 am

    I've been reading a lot about how street food is the next big thing as a food trend – it makes sense when you have crepes that look as good as this.

  25. 25

    Cheah — December 30, 2009 @ 4:06 pm

    This dish looks yummy and you have a lovely blog, with nice pictures.

  26. 26

    Ravenous Couple — December 30, 2009 @ 4:35 pm

    Bonibella: That's a great thought on how the carbonation of the beer helps with the airiness and hence, crispiness!

    Krissy: You're right it is a great way to eat alot of fresh herbs–isn't most Vietnamese food that way though? :)

    Jack and Joann: Thanks for stopping by!

    Bianca: Happy New Years to you and your family!

    Trissa: Street food is the trend right now in LA with tons of food trucks…none with this though!

    Cheah: thanks for stopping by!

  27. 27

    OysterCulture — December 30, 2009 @ 7:16 pm

    Can't wait to try this – it looks amazing! I'll knock hubby's socks off with this one – I like that idea =)

  28. 28

    Kung Food Panda — December 31, 2009 @ 4:15 am

    I have to say I'm a big fan of Banh Xeo! Hopefully one day I can try out the version you two make! :)

  29. 29

    Ju (The Little Teochew) — December 31, 2009 @ 8:55 am

    Sizzling crepes??? Oh yum yum! They look awesome! Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful, fabulous 2010!!

    Hugs
    Ju

  30. 30

    pigpigscorner — December 31, 2009 @ 2:42 pm

    Reminds me of a foldover omelette. Looks so good! and the sides look really crispy. Happy new year to both of you!

  31. 31

    Anonymous — December 31, 2009 @ 3:14 pm

    Looks delish! You don't use mung beans though?

  32. 32

    Julia — December 31, 2009 @ 3:48 pm

    Gorgeous! I'll bet getting invited to a dinner party by you guys is a treasured thing! Happy New Year!

  33. 33

    foodhoe — December 31, 2009 @ 4:25 pm

    Ooh! I love all of your recommended herbs and greens, it sounds fantastic. Great photos too!

  34. 34

    Ellie — January 1, 2010 @ 12:46 am

    What a piece of CREPES! Love it! Wishing you a very happy new year :)

  35. 35

    JennDZ - The Leftover Queen — January 1, 2010 @ 1:28 am

    This looks so yummy! May have to make this too! :)

  36. 36

    taste tester — January 1, 2010 @ 6:38 am

    Happy new year to you both!

  37. 37

    3 hungry tummies — January 6, 2010 @ 6:52 am

    yours look perfect, Mine was a little burned :)

  38. 38

    Gastronomer — January 7, 2010 @ 12:32 am

    Thanks for reminding me about the dinner party I missed out on ;-)

    As always, this looks downright delectable!

  39. 39

    Lori — January 26, 2010 @ 6:55 pm

    I attempted to make this but I felt like I had to add egg. I dont know why but I thought there was egg in it. I will try your recipe. Looks so delicious!

  40. 40

    Taylor and Jennifer — February 17, 2010 @ 3:50 pm

    I have been craving this for awhile, but have never made it before! Thank you for posting this recipe! I will try it out soon.

    -Jennifer

  41. 41

    Ravenous Couple — February 18, 2010 @ 6:03 pm

    Thanks everyone for all your comments!

  42. 42

    Vietnamese Food — September 26, 2010 @ 8:10 am

    Mmmmm… I love Banh Xeo! The first time I made them was the the first time my (italian) boyfriend had them and he enjoyed it too. Although he was getting use to the concept of eatting it all by hand.

    You see, I can speak italian. He only knows how to count (sometimes), say Pho, Banh Xeo and cam on. I said to him, “Well that’s fine because when you are in Vietnam you could just say “Hai Banh Xeo. Cam on”" lol

  43. 43

    Anonymous — March 3, 2011 @ 5:37 am

    LOve it!!! I like add a scrambled egg on top while tje banh xeo is cooking..it yummy!

  44. 44

    Vietnamese Steak and Eggs Bo Ne — August 15, 2011 @ 9:26 am

    [...] Vietnamese have a literal and figurative way of naming food. The “xeo” in banh xeo doesn’t really have a meaning, except that it’s the sound of tumeric rice batter [...]

  45. 45

    Losing It – Week 4 | Fried Rice & Eggs — September 12, 2011 @ 11:41 pm

    [...] and walked 1 mile (I also pigged out on Banh Xeo in celebration for my son’s 3 month birthday…it’s an Asian [...]

  46. 46

    billy — September 20, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

    How do you steam bean sprouts in the microwave?

  47. 47

    billy — September 20, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

    Nevermind, I just google’d it. Seems so simple. I’m never boilding my veggies again.

  48. 48

    Cooking for the Family: Banh Xeo « Suburbanette — September 30, 2011 @ 7:34 am

    [...] after two or three tries I was a pro!  The result was an ultra light, crispy shell. Thanks to the Ravenous Couple for giving me basic guidelines on how to piece the whole thing [...]

  49. 49

    TC — November 25, 2011 @ 11:52 am

    Is there a special pan you use to make it extra crispy? Or any old frying pan?

    • The Ravenous Couple replied: — November 29th, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

      actually, the restaurants use a big wok–adding oil along the edges of the crepe as you’re frying also help.

  50. 50

    Edward Vu — January 1, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVmq9dq6Nsg

    1st funny video of year 2012 for me, just sharing.

  51. 51

    El — January 15, 2012 @ 7:44 pm

    Hi, what beer did you use? I used 1 cup of budweiser beer and 2 cups of water and there was a VERY strong bitter beer taste in the banh xeo. Which beer would you recommend? Also, would sparkling water be any good?

    Thankyou, from the UK :)

    • The Ravenous Couple replied: — January 16th, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

      we usually use some sort of pale ale, never tried it with budweiser

  52. 52

    Thao — May 23, 2012 @ 7:39 am

    You can heat it up in the oven and it still be nice and crispy.

  53. 53

    Anne Pinita — May 26, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

    thanks for the recipe, I had to check with 10 sites to make sure there is no egg. The owner of a Viet restaurant in Chicago which has his wife make it so deliciously, was telling me, add water, flour, and egg yolk after I asked if it was mung bean flour, rice flour, water and tumeric. Today I made it with coconut milk, tumeric, and rice flour…with water and it came out quite nice. I need practice!

    Cam On~

    Anne

  54. 54

    Vietnamese egg rolls cha gio — May 27, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

    [...] get one afternoon to learn from a Vietnamese grandmother? For us, and some friends, it was crispy banh xeo and Vietnamese egg rolls, called chả giò in the south and nem rán in the north. Since we [...]

  55. 55

    Huyen — September 3, 2012 @ 7:02 am

    I want to make this dish for my siblings. However is there a risk involve if I use beer as part of the batter? Is it safe for 12 years old to eat Banh Xeo?

    • The Ravenous Couple replied: — September 5th, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

      you don’t have to use beer at all! just substitute w/ water

  56. 56

    EricU — November 30, 2012 @ 9:30 am

    I did find that it does differ by region in Vietnam as you guys have written. Thought I knew Banh Xeo well —until last month when was taken to a place in Hoi An by a friend there who had told me it was her favorite. The Banh Xeo there in Central Vietnam was actually crisper (though not smaller) and she was right – it was probably the best have ever had. I am definately going to get Sang to take me back there next trip to Hoi An!

  57. 57

    Backyard Travel Release New Tour: Homestay in Vietnams Mekong Delta | Social Dada — December 18, 2013 @ 4:46 pm

    […] on the island, travelers will have the chance to learn the art of making the local specialty Banh Xeo, a type of savory pancake, and dine with their newly adopted family, exchanging culture and […]

  58. 58

    Vietnamese Crispy Crepes (Banh Xeo)| LunaCafe — December 29, 2013 @ 8:32 am

    […] Then Ravenous Couple: Banh Xeo Vietnamese Sizzling Crepes […]

  59. 59

    Cinnamon — February 9, 2014 @ 4:10 pm

    Hi! We had a special cooking class in Hoi An and we made these! they were delicious! I’m going to give it a go tonight :) I did however forget to get a packet of banh xeo mix.. but I do have rice flour and turmeric in my cupboard, what would be the measurements for these? I’ve seen in other recipes 2 cups flour and 2 tsp turmeric, is this about right?? Thanks!!!

  60. 60

    {pressrelease} berlin tourism — May 16, 2014 @ 10:58 am

    […] on the island, travelers will have the chance to learn the art of making the local specialty Banh Xeo, a type of savory pancake, and dine with their newly adopted family, exchanging culture and […]

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