Bánh xèo (Vietnamese crepe)2012-08-27
This is my favorite Vietnamese dish besides pho. The perfect bánh xèo is crispy on the outside and with enough filling on the inside. I prefer to have green onions in the batter as they turned unctious and gives a deeper flavour to the dish. I haven’t seen it this way at most restaurants though. When serving, there should be lots of lettuce so that you can wrap each morsel of crepe in it, roll it up and dip in nuoc mam cham or peanut sauce.
I find that Thai rice flour (available at Hong Kong Trading, Olofsgatan 5) is best for making bánh xèo as experienced during Saturday’s cooking workshop. My batter, made the previous day, didn’t turned out so well because I used Vietnamese rice flour. Use the brand seen here in the slider and your batter won’t fail you.
The recipe below is from Charles Phan of Slanted Door in SF but as always, I’ve tweaked a few ingredients 😉
- 80mL yellow mung beans
- 150mL unsweetened coconut milk, stirred before using
- 125mL tapioca starch
- 250mL rice flour (the Thai brand is best)
- 500mL water
- 100 mL of thinly sliced spring onions
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 300g boneless pork, thinly sliced
- 500g raw shrimps, shelled and deveined
- 200g bean sprouts
- 1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
In a small bowl, soak the mung beans in warm water until they are softened, about 30 minutes. Drain the beans and transfer them to a blender. Add the coconut milk and puree until smooth.
Transfer the mung bean puree to a large bowl and whisk in the white rice flour, tapioca starch, water, spring onion, turmeric, and salt. Let the crêpe batter rest for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight.
Sautee the shrimp in 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil until cooked. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Stir fry the pork in 1 tablespoon of oil until cooked. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a 26-cm nonstick skillet (cast iron is best for crispy crepes). Stir the crêpe batter and pour 1 ladle of it into the pan or just enough to thinly coat it; tilt and swirl the pan to coat it evenly with the batter. Add more batter if you have holes in your crepe. The first crepe won't be perfect and sometimes, it takes 2-3 crepes before the pan is "conditioned" to make perfect crepe. You can discard these first crepes if serving for guests.
When the pan is conditioned, start making your crepes "for real" with the filling inside.
Scatter some pork, shrimp and bean sprouts over one half of the crepe. Drizzle more oil, about 1 teaspoon, around the edges if needed. Cover the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until the batter has set (the crepe is no longer gooey in the middle). Remove the lid and cook until the bottom of the crêpe is golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Fold one side of crepe over the filled half.
Slide the crêpe onto a plate and serve with lettuce leaves, mint and nuoc mam cham or peanut sauce. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, serving the crêpes as soon as they are cooked.
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