Thursday, November 10, 2011

Banh Xeo - Vietnamese Sizzling Crepes

Banh Xeo literally means sizzling crepes. They are savory and very thin crepes made of rice flour, turmeric powder, and coconut milk, and filled with pork, shrimp and veggies (such as bean sprouts or mung beans). The thinner and crispier they are, the better.

How to Prepare the Batter
  • 2 cups of rice flour mixed with half a teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 1/2  cups of water
  • 3/4 cup of coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup of chopped scallions
  • 1/2 ts salt
What to Put in the Filling:
  • 1 /4 lb pork (thin slices)
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 ts salt
  • 1/2 ts sugar
  • 1/2 ts fish sauce
  • 1/4 lb of shrimp
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of bean sprouts
It Goes with: lettuce, mustard greens, mints, basil, perilla, fish sauce, pickled carrots and radish. To eat, just wrap it with a lettuce leaf and herbs.

How to Do It:
  1. Whisk together the rice flour, turmeric powder and salt. Add water and coconut milk and whisk until mixture is as smooth and fluid as yoghurt.  Set batter to rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat up a 10-inch non-stick pan/skillet/light wok over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and then add one portion of pork, shrimp, onions, scallions, and mushrooms. Stir fry until pork and shrimp are half done, and ladle 1/2 cup of batter into pan. Swirl pan to coat bottom evenly. Add bean sprouts over half the crepe (on the right). Drizzle another 1 tablespoon of lard/oil around outer edge of crepe and lower heat to medium.
  3. Cover pan and cook for 1 minute. Remove cover and continue to cook until edges begin to brown. Loosen crepe from bottom of pan with a soft spatula. When bottom turns light brown and crispy, fold crepe over bean sprouts.
How to Eat It: Wrap pieces of banx xeo in a  lettuce leaf , together with leaves of mint, basil, or any other Vietnamese herb, dip it in fish sauce, and gulp!

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