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plate of Vietnamese crepe with fresh herbs
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5 from 31 votes

Vietnamese crepe with prawn and pork (Bánh Xèo)

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Steaming time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Vy Tran

Equipment

  • 10 inch non-stick frying pan or shallow wok

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 1 cup sliced scallion, green parts only
  • 1 lb prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 8 oz pork butt/shoulder/belly, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups bean sprouts
  • 1/3 cup yellow split mung bean, soaked for 6 hours or overnight
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil for frying

Dipping sauce

  • 2 tbsps fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsps granulated sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 red bird's eye chili, thinly sliced

For serving

  • 1 handful of Thai basil
  • 1 handful of Vietnamese mint
  • 1 handful of peppermint
  • 1 handful of of perilla leaves
  • a few baby leaves of mustard green
  • a few pieces of lettuce

Instructions

  • To make the batter, combine rice flour, cornstarch, turmeric, and salt in a bowl. Whisk in coconut cream and water. Stir in the green scallion. Set aside to rest for 1 hour.
  • To make the dipping sauce, combine everything in a bowl and whisk together until combined. Set aside until ready to serve.
  • Wash and drain the pre-soaked mung bean. Put the mung bean in a steamer and steam for 15 minutes or until mung bean is soft. Set aside.
  • Add a tablespoon of oil to the pan over med-high heat. Add the portioned prawns and pork and cook until pork browned and prawns opaque, about 1 minute. Separate the mixture on two opposite sides of the pan leaving a border in the middle.
  • Ladle 1/3 cup of batter into the pan, swirl to cover the pan and fillings. Add a little bit of batter to fill the empty spots.
  • Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cooked mung bean all over the pan. Add 1/2 cup of bean sprouts to one side of the pan.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 3 minutes until everything is cooked through.
  • Uncover the lid, drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil around the edges and cook for another minute until the bottom and edges are crispy.
  • Slide a spatula under one side and fold crepe over to cover the fillings. Transfer the folded crepe to a plate.
  • Slide finished crepe onto prepared rack and place in oven to keep warm at 225 degrees F while you make the remaining crepes.
  • Repeat with remaining oil, batter and fillings for 5 more crepes, wiping the pan with absorbent paper between batches.
  • Serve the crepes immediately with mustard green, lettuce, herbs and nuoc cham.

Notes

  • Once you make the batter, let it rest for an hour. The batter can be made 2 days ahead, covered, and stored in the fridge. Bring the batter to room temperature before you cook it.
  • Use a non-stick, well-seasoned skillet or shallow wok. Avoid cast iron pans as they make it harder to swirl the batter.
  • Portion out your fillings so all the crepes have the same amount of prawns, pork, mung bean, and bean sprouts. Use a large chopping board, baking sheet, or plate large enough to hold all the portions.
  • Give the batter a quick stir to redistribute the flour that had settled at the bottom.
  • Medium-high heat is the best level for making it crispy without burning it. If the batter didn’t sizzle and bubble upon contact, the skillet isn’t hot enough.
  • Use a tablespoon of oil to coat your pan. My mom taught me to get extra crispy Vietnamese crepes, you need copious amount of lard, at least 1/3 cup per crepe. The extra lard is poured off once the crepe is cooked so you're actually not consuming all of it.
  • Cook your prawns and pork directly on the pan which adds more flavor.
  • Use about 1/3 cup of batter per crepe. My recipe will give a total of 6 crepes.
  • Pick up the pan and swirl the batter all around to coat the bottom and all the fillings. If needed add extra batter to fill the empty spots.
  • If you have a hard time swirling the batter, the consistency is too thick. Add half a tablespoon of water at a time to thin it. 
  • To make it easier to fold the crepe later on, distribute the fillings on two sides, leaving a border in the middle without anything.