Bánh Xèo (Vietnamese Crêpe)
These [literally] sizzling Vietnamese crêpes are deceiving due to their turmeric induced color. They are not egg based and technically vegan friendly (if you adjust to your vegan likeness)! This is a dish that I grew up loving to eat, but ordered very rarely and made them never. I experimented with them when I really started to explore Vietnamese cuisine, and have finally adapted it into a recipe I am proud of.
Traditionally they are made with mung beans, but my husband is not a fan of said beans. So I substituted chickpeas, and it worked wonderfully.
This recipe will provide a solid 8 crêpes if each one is 5 fluid ounces of batter each.
- 1/2 cup of chickpeas
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup of water
Put all items into a food processor and blend until smooth.
For the batter:
- 1 cup of rice flour (Three Ladies Brand)
- 1/2 cup of cornstarch
- Chickpeas puree
- 1 green onion, sliced (not pictured)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 2 cups water
Put dry ingredients plus the chickpea puree into a bowl, add coconut milk and water, whisk until there are no longer any clumps. Set aside for 20 minutes at room temperature. Put in sliced green onion right before cooking.
Heat a nonstick pan on high heat, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil, ladle 5 fluid ounces of batter into the pan*, and swirl the batter around the pan until there is an even layer. You'll know when to stop because you will run out of batter to swirl. Keep it on high heat and cook on each side for 3-5 minutes, or until golden and crispy. The thinner the layer, the better, so depending on your pan size, amounts may vary.
*If you are using a protein filling, be sure to cook that ahead of time, and then add to the pan first before pouring the batter over it. Or if you're like me, and like food slightly cooled, I just add it with the fresh vegetables/herbs at the end.
There will be some holes and you can essentially see through it, which is ideal. It takes some time to get the hang of it. I flipped it constantly at first because I feared burning the crêpe. So if that makes you more comfortable, then by all means. Just try to achieve the look pictured below!
The filling is very simple and can basically be anything, but the traditional set up is displayed below.
Pro tip: add cooked and crumbled bacon to the batter.
Boiled shrimp and pork are prepared the same way in the Vietnamese Spring Rolls.
Wrap the filling up inside the crêpe, wrap that up in a piece of lettuce, dip in Fish Sauce Dipping Sauce (or if you are a vegetarian, I recommend using Coconut Amino Acids as a substitute), and enjoy!
Bonus: If you put them on a wire rack (after initially cooking them) in an oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, they turn into a tostada like item. It was a complete accident, but I really enjoyed them that crispy. Especially if you make the crêpe smaller.