Central- style pancakes

Central- style pancakes

Bánh xèo miȅn trung

By
From
Street Food Asia
Serves
4–6 a s a n entrée o r snack
Photographer
Alan Benson

‘Bánh xèo’ literally means ‘sizzling’ in Vietnamese; when you pour the batter into a hot pan it sizzles madly, hence the name. In the central part of the country, the bánh xèo are much smaller than they are in Saigon – and my guy on Cô Giang Street makes this dainty-sized one. The batter is made using regular flour, rice flour, turmeric and coconut cream and the secret to crisp, crusty, crunchy bánh xèo is to cook them in quite a hot pan. On the street, they use copious amounts of oil but they get crisp just as well in a non-stick pan with minimal oil. Inside the bánh xèo are prawns, bits of pork, bean sprouts and cooked mung beans and, to eat the pancake, which is served folded over, you wrap large pieces of it together with fresh herbs in rice paper and lettuce leaves and dunk it into nuoc cham. It’s one of my all-time favourite things to eat; I just love it.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
50g dried mung beans, soaked overnight then drained
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
400g raw school prawns or other small prawns, shell on
200g boneless pork belly, fat trimmed and thinly sliced
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
50g bean sprouts
pinch sea salt and ground white pepper

Pancake batter

Quantity Ingredient
80g rice flour
20g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
160ml coconut cream
160ml chilled soda water
1 spring onion, thinly sliced

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
12 mustard green leaves, (see glossary)
1 handful perilla leaves, (see glossary)
1 handful mint leaves
100ml Nuoc cham, for dipping

Method

  1. Half-fill a wok or large saucepan with water and bring to a rapid boil over a high heat.
  2. Line a steamer basket or bamboo steamer with baking paper and punch a few small holes in the paper. Drain the mung beans and place them in the steamer, then set over the pan and cover with a lid. Steam for 15 minutes, or until the beans are soft. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, make the pancake batter. Sift the rice flour and plain flour into a bowl, add the salt and turmeric and mix well. Pour the coconut cream and soda water into the bowl and whisk to form a smooth batter. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Place a frying pan over a medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil together with the garlic and prawns and stir-fry for 2 minutes, or until the prawns are just cooked. Remove the prawns and set aside. Wipe the pan clean, then add the remaining oil and repeat this process with the pork belly.
  5. Lightly oil a non-stick 15–18 cm crêpe pan and place it over a medium heat. Sprinkle a third of the spring onion into the pan and pour a third of the batter into the centre, then pick the pan up by the handle and tip it to spread the batter over the entire surface of the pan. Pour any excess back into the original batter. (The pancake should be quite thin.)
  6. Scatter some mung beans, school prawns, pork, spring onion and bean sprouts over half of the pancake. Season with the salt and white pepper, then reduce the heat to low and cook for about 6 minutes, or until the pancake is crisp and browned. Using a spatula, fold the pancake in half and slide it onto a large plate. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  7. To serve, cut the pancakes into three or four pieces. Pick up a mustard green leaf and top it with a pancake piece and a couple of perilla and mint leaves. Roll the leaf up to form a parcel and dip it into nuoc cham before eating.
Tags:
South-East Asian
Asian
Street Food
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again