Looking to learn how to make the best homemade Vietnamese crepe, also known as Bánh Xèo?
We’ve traveled throughout Vietnam and love to recreate our favourite dishes at home. Popular Vietnamese street foods like Bánh Xèo are a quick and affordable dinner idea. It’s a great dish to serve to kids as Vietnamese crepe are fun to eat with your hands.
Our Vietnamese crepe recipe is meant to be served sizzling right out of the pan when it’s crunchy and crispy. It’s the perfect family feast for those craving an easy and authentic Vietnamese seafood and pork dinner.
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Travel to Vietnam by Cooking Bánh Xèo at Home
I spent over a month traveling by bus through Vietnam. I started in the south, spending a few days in Saigon before exploring the floating markets in the nearby Mekong Delta. I then took a series of night buses north making stops in Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue, Halong Bay and Hanoi.
What I found most fascinating is Vietnam’s distinct regional food cultures. Much like the regional cuisines found in France, Germany, Italy or Spain, each town in Vietnam had its own local speciality.
Where To Eat A Vietnamese Crepe
Haven’t traveled to Vietnam before? It may be helpful to first sample Bánh Xèo at a local Vietnamese restaurant to better understand how the dish is served. You can also assess the thickness of the Vietnamese crepe and sample the correct texture before trying to make them at home from scratch.
What Are Vietnamese Crepe Bánh Xèo?
Bánh Xèo are traditional Vietnamese crepes made of rice flour batter that is poured into a hot skillet. Traditional Vietnamese savoury fried pancake is made of a mixture of rice flour, water and turmeric.
Many visiting foreigners see Vietnamese Crepe being prepared on the street and assume they are French egg omelettes. The assumption is incorrect as the dish is actually egg-free. The confusion stems from the fact that the turmeric in the Bánh Xèo crepe batter turns the pancakes dark yellow. The Vietnamese crepe are also served in a half-moon shape, similar to that of an omelette.
Common stuffings include pork belly, shrimp, green onion, mung bean and crunchy bean sprouts. Bánh xèo are traditionally served alongside fresh lettuce, mint, mustard greens and Vietnamese perilla.
Early versions of bánh xèo were likely prepared with rice flour without the use of wheat flour. We like to use a Vietnamese crepe recipe that incorporates wheat flour as it helps the pancakes develop a nicely browned colour as they crisp up in the hot pan. We also add fresh coconut cream to give the crepe an unforgettably rich flavour.
If you are looking to make a gluten free Vietnamese crepe simply omit the all purpose flour and just use rice flour.
How do you pronounce Bánh Xèo?
Bánh xèo is pronounced as “ban say-oh.” Xèo is onomatopoeia for the sizzle sound in the pan, so Vietnamese bánh xèo loosely translates in English to “sizzling cake.” Make sure your pan is hot enough on the stove as the sizzling sound ensure you are cooking Bánh Xèo at the correct temperature. If the heat on your stove is too low, the pancakes will not crisp up and brown properly. Be sure to always attend the stove so the heat is not too hot and burns your crepes.
Where Do Bánh Xèo Come From?
There are two types of Vietnamese crepe. The central Vietnam style is smaller, broken into pieces, and wrapped in a rice paper. This larger style of bánh xèo comes from southern Vietnam and is often wrapped with leafy lettuce and herbs like cilantro and mint.
How Do You Eat Traditional Vietnamese Crepe?
Bánh xèo is a Vietnamese dish meant to be eaten with your hands and is served at the table with a plate of fresh greens and herbs. You can break the crepe into smaller pieces and wrap it in the fresh greens or dip in nuoc cham or sweet chili sauce. Remember Bánh Xèo is a Vietnamese street food that is meant to be eaten with your hands so roll up your sleeves and have fun!
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Bánh Xèo Tips
Ready to cook our homemade Vietnamese Crepe recipe? We suggest reading the recipe directions in detail to ensure you understand the step by step process. Once you heat up the pan you have to move quickly as each step only takes a few moments.
The total time to make each Vietnamese crepe is only 5-7 minutes so you need your mise en place organized in advance. This recipe makes 4 large Bánh Xèo so be sure when you make each crepe that you are rationing the filling so you have enough for each pancake. If you have a smaller non-stick pan you can make 6 Vietnamese Crepe with this recipe.
We suggest separating the ingredients for the filling into separate bowls so you can access them easily. Use a soup spoon ladle to pour the batter into the sizzling pan.
Before you even start cooking the crepes we suggest setting the table with a large plate filled with fresh lettuce and herbs as well as a bottle of sweet chili sauce or nuoc cham.
If you are serving a large group, we suggest heating your oven to 300F and keeping the finished crepes warm until ready to serve.
How To Make Authentic Vietnamese Crepe
- Add chopped scallions to your crepe batter and using a ladle stir to fully incorporate.
- Heat your non-stick pan to a medium-high setting and add a teaspoon of vegetable oil with a small handful of sliced onions. Quickly mix with a spatula to ensure the onion is fully coated in oil and sizzling.
- Add 4 shrimp and a small handful of bacon, sautéing for 1 minute until shrimp turns pink. You do not need to fully cook the bacon and shrimp at this stage as it will continue to cook in the pan with the additional ingredients.
- Add a ladle full of Vietnamese crepe batter and maneuver the handle so the batter reaches all sides of the pan.
- Top Vietnamese crepe with mung beans and bean sprouts then secure a lid and let steam for 3 minutes on medium-low heat. Trapping the steam in the pan fully cooks the shrimp and helps tenderize the mung beans and bean sprouts.
- Remove the lid and allow the Bánh Xèo to cook on medium heat to help the moisture that has collected evaporate. At this stage do not try and remove the crepe from the pan or peak underneath as the pancake will still be moist. In 2-3 minutes the edges of the Vietnamese crepe will darken and become crispy. You can use a plastic flipper or spatula to peak underneath to check the colour. It’s always better to cook the crepe a little longer than you might expect. You want all of the filling ingredients to be dry.
- Once the underside of the crepe is fully cooked and crispy, flip the pancake in half so it is a half moon shape.
- Transfer to a plate and serve immediately with fresh herbs and nuoc cham.
Best Vietnamese Crepe Recipe
Vietnamese Crepe Recipe
- Non-stick pan
- mixing bowl
Vietnamese Crepe Batter
- 4.5 oz rice flour
- 1.5 oz all purpose flour
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 3/4 cup water
- 7 oz coconut cream
- 0.5 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup spring onion chopped
Vietnamese Crepe Filling
- 0.5 lbs shrimp tail removed
- 0.75 lbs thick bacon sliced
- 0.5 medium onion thinly sliced
- 0.5 lb bean sprouts
- 1/4 cup mung beans
- 1 cup mint
- 1 cup cilantro
- 1 bunch Mustard greens, Vietnamese perilla or Romaine lettuce optional
Prepare Vietnamese Crepe Batter
- Combine all batter ingredients except scallions using a whisk in a large bowl. Prepare 3 hours before serving or let rest overnight. Add chopped spring onions just before preparing the crepes.
Prepare Vietnamese Crepe Fillings
- Soak mung beans in warm water until soft.
- Fry sliced bacon until crispy. Discard pork fat.
- Wash bean sprouts, fresh vegetables and herbs.
Cooking Bánh Xèo Vietnamese Crepe
- In a large non-stick pan over medium heat add 1 teaspoon of oil and a few slices of sliced onion.
- Immediately add a few pieces of bacon and shrimp. Sauté, mixing until lightly browned.
- Pour in approximately 1 cup of Vietnamese crepe batter into the non-stick pan. Immediately tilt and rotate the pan so the batter is evenly spread across the bottom of the pan.
- Add a tablespoon of mung beans, hand full of bean sprouts, and cover with a lid for 2-3 minutes. The bean sprouts should be tender and the batter should also be transparent around the edges.
- Remove the lid, lower heat to medium-low heat and wait for the crepe to become crispy. Fold in half, transfer to a plate and serve with fresh herbs, lettuce and nuoc cham.
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