Learn . Laugh . Eat

Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Pancake with Prawns)

Prep: 20 mins

Cook: 20 mins

Learn how to make Vietnamese pancakes from scratch with this quick and easy Banh Xeo recipe! Using fresh vegetables, herbs and prawns for a healthy, homemade crepe alternative.

The Batter

  • 100g rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Pinch of salt
  • Approx 200ml coconut milk
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • Oil for frying

The Filling

  • 8 cooked prawns, slices in half lengthwise
  • 100g bean sprouts, picked and washed
  • ½ cucumber, sliced
  • ¼ head of iceberg lettuce, sliced
  • Fresh herbs such as: mint, Thai basil and coriander

The Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed (adjust amount to taste)
  • ½ - 1 whole fresh bird-eye chilli, sliced (adjust amount to taste)
  • Note: If the dipping sauce is a little too strong, you can add 1 tbsp. of water to dilute the strength

Preparation

First up, prepare your vegetables. Slice the cucumber and iceberg lettuce, and arrange on a large plate with the washed beansprouts, cooked prawns and your choice of fresh herbs. Then finely slice the spring onion, keeping the darkest green rings on the plate with the other herbs and vegetables, and reserving the rest to go into the pancake batter.

Next, make your Nuoc cham dipping sauce. Slice the chilli and crush the garlic cloves, adjusting the amount to your taste preference, and then combine in a ramekin with the other dipping sauce ingredients, making sure to mix well to dissolve the palm sugar. Leave to one side for later.

Finally, get your batter going. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice flour, ground turmeric and pinch of sea salt. Gradually add in the coconut milk while mixing, adjusting the amount until your batter has a consistency slightly thicker than single cream. (Hint: if you need to check your batter, try making a test pancake! Your batter should easily swirl to cover the base of a frying pan, and if not, you need to add a little more coconut milk).

Cooking

Let’s get cooking! Set a frying pan over a medium-high heat, and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Once the oil is warmed, add a sprinkle of your sliced spring onion and fry for one minute. When softened, crank the heat up and pour in approximately 2-3 tablespoons of batter, swirling it to coat the entire bottom of the frying pan. (Hint: you’re after a thin, crispy, crepe-like pancake, so make sure you don’t pour in too much batter!)

Reduce the heat to a medium, and while the pancake is cooking, pile up one side of it with your choice of fillings: layering the vegetables, prawns and herbs in one half. When the pancake is cooked through and the bottom becomes golden-brown and crispy, fold the empty half of the pancake over the top of the filling. Press in gently with the back of the spatula to sear for a further 30 seconds, then remove onto a separate plate. Repeat until all the batter or all of the fillings have been used, keeping the cooked pancakes warm under a tea towel or in a slightly warmed oven until ready to serve.

Once all the pancakes have been fried, arrange on a large serving plate with a drizzle of Nuoc Cham dipping sauce over the top, and the rest in a ramekin to the side. Enjoy!


The Batter

  • 100g rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Pinch of salt
  • Approx 200ml coconut milk
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • Oil for frying

The Filling

  • 8 cooked prawns, slices in half lengthwise
  • 100g bean sprouts, picked and washed
  • ½ cucumber, sliced
  • ¼ head of iceberg lettuce, sliced
  • Fresh herbs such as: mint, Thai basil and coriander

The Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed (adjust amount to taste)
  • ½ - 1 whole fresh bird-eye chilli, sliced (adjust amount to taste)
  • Note: If the dipping sauce is a little too strong, you can add 1 tbsp. of water to dilute the strength

Preparation

First up, prepare your vegetables. Slice the cucumber and iceberg lettuce, and arrange on a large plate with the washed beansprouts, cooked prawns and your choice of fresh herbs. Then finely slice the spring onion, keeping the darkest green rings on the plate with the other herbs and vegetables, and reserving the rest to go into the pancake batter.

Next, make your Nuoc cham dipping sauce. Slice the chilli and crush the garlic cloves, adjusting the amount to your taste preference, and then combine in a ramekin with the other dipping sauce ingredients, making sure to mix well to dissolve the palm sugar. Leave to one side for later.

Finally, get your batter going. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice flour, ground turmeric and pinch of sea salt. Gradually add in the coconut milk while mixing, adjusting the amount until your batter has a consistency slightly thicker than single cream. (Hint: if you need to check your batter, try making a test pancake! Your batter should easily swirl to cover the base of a frying pan, and if not, you need to add a little more coconut milk).

Cooking

Let’s get cooking! Set a frying pan over a medium-high heat, and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Once the oil is warmed, add a sprinkle of your sliced spring onion and fry for one minute. When softened, crank the heat up and pour in approximately 2-3 tablespoons of batter, swirling it to coat the entire bottom of the frying pan. (Hint: you’re after a thin, crispy, crepe-like pancake, so make sure you don’t pour in too much batter!)

Reduce the heat to a medium, and while the pancake is cooking, pile up one side of it with your choice of fillings: layering the vegetables, prawns and herbs in one half. When the pancake is cooked through and the bottom becomes golden-brown and crispy, fold the empty half of the pancake over the top of the filling. Press in gently with the back of the spatula to sear for a further 30 seconds, then remove onto a separate plate. Repeat until all the batter or all of the fillings have been used, keeping the cooked pancakes warm under a tea towel or in a slightly warmed oven until ready to serve.

Once all the pancakes have been fried, arrange on a large serving plate with a drizzle of Nuoc Cham dipping sauce over the top, and the rest in a ramekin to the side. Enjoy!

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