Vietnamese Sizzling Crepes – Banh Xeo Recipes

I’m documenting all the recipes variations I have tried and cooking process for making banh xeo (Vietnamese sizzling crepes) until I get that thin and crispy result I wanted.    I’ve only made banh xeo 6 times for the past ten years.  This time has been the best so far.  My folks said achieving a thin and crispy banh xeo requires that perfect batter, pan, and heat setting.  I have three more recipes using different brands of banh xeo flour mix and one from scratch to try.  So I will update this post with my future experiences later.

Prep and Cook time: about 2 to 3 hours
Servings: Makes about 9 or 10 sizzling crepes/banh xeo
Note:  I attempted to use a cast iron pan for the first crepe and gave up.  Then I use a non-stick 8-inch pan by Food Network. I cooked the banh xeo using a gas burner this time.

Ingredients: 

1 bag of banh xeo mix (Ba Chuong Vang or “3 golden bells” brand)
1 12 oz bottle of Corona beer
1 14 oz can of coconut milk
1.5 Tbsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup uncooked mung bean
1/2 cup water + 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup rice flour
1 bunch scallion
1 red onion
1 lb small shrimp with shell on
1/2 lb pork butt
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 lb bean sprouts
black pepper (optional)
1/4 tsp salt (optional)

Serve with: 
Vietnamese sweet and sour fish sauce (nuoc mam)
red/green leaf lettuce
mint leaves
fish mint
sorrell or mustard leaves
pickled carrots and daikons

Directions:

1.  Prep the banh xeo batter: Chop the scallion into fine pieces.  Mix the banh xeo flour, coconut milk, beer, rice flour, water, and scallion together.  Stir well, and store in the refridgerator. I was recommended to store the batter and let it settle overnight but didn’t.
 
2.  Prep the shrimp and pork: I rub the shrimp and pork butt with a little salt and black pepper.  Cook the shrimp then take the tails off.  I sliced the pork butt into thin small pieces then cook it a pan until medium well.
3.  Cook the mung bean.  I do not soak the mung beans for banh xeo.  I just rinse the beans until the water is clear and fill the pot with 1.5 inch of water above level and cook the mung beans until it is medium firm. Through previous failures, cooked or overcooked mung beans makes my banh xeo breaks apart easily and taste mushy.

4.  Slice the red onion as thin as possible.  Wash and rinse bean sprouts. Prep the vegetables and nuoc mam sauce.

Get ready to cook! 

Note: I tried to use a cast iron pan to make the first banh xeo but it was a failure.  After two surgeries on my right hand, I can’t handle this heavy cast iron pan.   I took folk’s advice to turn on high heat and add the oil after putting in the batter, but that didn’t work quite so well.  So I ended up using a non-stick 8-inch Food Network pan instead.  It works just fine for me.

5.  With the non-stick pan, I turn on high heat, add in 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil.  Then lower to medium high heat. I add about 1/2 teaspoon of mung beans.  Then I add in about 3 or 4 small shrimps and a few pieces of pork.  Wait for about 10 seconds.  Then I add in the thin onion slices.  Then quickly pour in 1.5 ladle of batter.

6.  Then quickly turn heat to medium and cover the pan with lid for about two minutes.

7.  Take lid off and continue to cook the banh xeo for another minute.  Add in a handful of bean sprouts. Cook for about 15 seconds before folding the banh xeo in half. After folding the banh xeo, I wait for about another 15 seconds before transferring it onto a plate.

Enjoy! 

Whenever my banh xeo turns out not so thin and crispy, I make banh xeo spring rolls.

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