Banh Xeo

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Banh xeo breakfast.jpeg

Banh Xeo (Bánh xèo) is Vietnamese pancakes/crepes/okonomiyaki. It's a great way to consume a lot of fresh lettuce and herbs. It's also gluten free. I (Mika) didn't have this dish for a long time after leaving Saigon because it was usually made with seafood and meat. It's easy to make it vegan though!

Also, I prefer to let it sit for several hours at room temperature or for a couple days in the fridge. Some say Banh Xeo isn't fermented but I believe it does become fermented in that hot/humid weather in Vietnam.

There are a lot of regional differences, so, like Okonomiyaki, I think you can arrange this recipe in any ways you want! The only common ingredients seem to be rice flour, turmeric, and coconut milk with lettuce, fresh herbs and bean sprouts.

Ingredients[edit]

Batter[edit]

  • 1/2 cup mung beans
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch (could be less; substituted; or none and adjust the liquid amount)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1.5 tsp turmeric
  • salt

Filling suggestions[edit]

  • tempeh
  • king trump mushrooms
  • vegan chick'n/pork belly
  • konnnyaku (devil's roots)
  • bean sprouts
  • egg
  • scallion

Garnish[edit]

  • lettuce (lots of big leaves! should be fresh and crisp)
  • mint
  • thai basil
  • scallion

Sauce[edit]

  • Vietnamese sweet and soup dip (thai chili, sugar, rice vinegar, fish sauce, garlic)
  • Vegan fish sauce

Preparation[edit]

Banh xeo setup.jpeg

1. soak dried mung beans in water for >30 minutes.

2. blend 1. with coconut milk until homogeneous. (very loud!)

3. mix in rice flour, cornstarch, turmeric, and salt.

4. let it sit for >8 hours (my preferred method but some recipes say 1 hour is ok)

5. chop up the fillings like veggies and faux meat in chunks

6. saute the filling until well cooked

7. stir and mix the batter (the flour tends to sink) and pour onto 6. The goal is to make something that's between a crepe and a pancake.

8. add bean sprouts and scallion (and an egg if desired).

9. when the batter is cooked, fold in half.

  • To eat, use a fork or your hand to tear a chunk out of the crepe, put in a large lettuce leaf with fresh herbs, wrap it, dip it in the sweet and sour dip and eat.
  • It's very messy.
  • If you prefer to eat with a fork, you can tear up the lettuce and pour the sauce on top.