We ate this a lot in Vietnam and first had it in the markets of Hoi An. So delicious! Bánh xèo translates into sizzling pancake as the batter sizzles when it hits the pan. The idea here is that you fill this crispy pancake with shredded vegetables, meat or tofu , egg or fish and herbs and then wrap pieces of it in crisp lettuce and dip it into a punchy dipping sauce. Perfect for using leftovers.
I used a mixture of leftover shredded chicken (about 1 breast) and some tofu that I pan fried until crispy and then added in some soy sauce. Will put instructions for that below.
200ml coconut milk
200ml water - you may need 3-4 Tablespoons to thin the mix
200g rice flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 - 1 tsp turmeric
Whisk or blend until smooth. Rest for at least 30 minutes or the make the morning of or the night before for best results. You may need to loosen it with a little water. It should be a little runnier than single pouring cream. You can always adjust
To cook the pancakes, heat a tsp of oil (I used coconut oil as it handles a high heat) in a non stick or cast iron pan. When it’s hot, pour in just less than half a cup of the batter and swirl to form a pancake shape (much like making crepes) When it forms bubbles and is half set, flip to cook the other side. They are best eaten out of the pan but I cooked them all in a row and stacked them up. This makes 10-12 20cm pancakes.
To eat, fill one side with vegetables, herbs and protein of your choice and fold the otherside over. Cut into four and then wrap pieces of the crepe in lettuce leaves. Dip into the sauce and eat. Yum!
Fillings - you really can use what ever you have on hand. Think crunchy vegetables, fresh herbs and some sort of shredded protein. This recipe is great for using up leftovers!
Shredded carrot and kohlrabi
Fresh mint. Also try coriander, Thai basil, Vietnamese mint
Mung bean sprouts
I used shredded chicken and pan fried tofu which I cut thinly. Leftover shredded pork or thinly sliced beef. Pan fried fish or prawns, egg strips, edamame beans etc..
Nuoc nam dipping sauce
2 T warm water
1 T sugar
2-3 T fish sauce
2 T rice wine vinegar
1 T lime juice
1/2 or 1 small clove garlic
1/2-1 red chilli, finely sliced
Dissolve the sugar in the water. Add remaining ingredients. Adjust to taste. You want it nice and punchy as this is pretty much seasoning the whole dish. I used 3 T of fish sauce which worked for us!
This obviously has fish sauce in it but if you don’t eat fish sauce for whatever reason, try the peanut coriander dipping sauce here. Perhaps with some lime juice added in or wedges on the side.
Slice a block of tofu and dry well on a tea towel or paper towels, Squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Heat some oil ( I used coconut oil) and brown the piece in the pan until golden. I did this in 2 batches. When the piece are all golden add in 2 tsp soy sauce and toss to glaze. Remove from the heat. Slice thinly.