Banh Xeo are Vietnamese Crispy Pancakes but, unlike the usual pancakes, the vegetables and meat are cooked in the pan before pouring over the batter so that they end up cooked in the pancake, rather than put inside as filling. This was my second attempt and they came out much better than the first, partly because I added turmeric to give them their authentic deep yellow colour, and secondly, because I made the batter runnier.
Traditionally, they have pork, shrimp and beansprouts added to them but, as I was using up what was in the fridge, I made do with some leftover roast chicken and carrots from Sunday lunch, and added onions, red pepper and mushrooms. I also had half a bag of Banh Xeo pancake mix (made with rice flour) to use up.
Banh Xeo, Vietnamese Crispy Pancakes
coconut oil or vegetable oil
2/3 cup rice flour pancake mix
1 cup water or coconut water (+ extra as needed)
1tsp Thai seven spice (Chilli, Cumin, Oregano, Ginger, Coriander, Cinnamon, Star Anise)
meat/veg of your choice - I used finely sliced leftover cooked chicken, carrots, red pepper, onion, mushrooms)
Put the flour in a bowl and mix in the turmeric.
Add the water or coconut water and whisk until there are no lumps left. Add more water/coconut water until you have a fairly thin, runny batter.
Heat a little coconut oil or vegetable oil in a small pan - I dripped a teaspoon of batter on the oil to see if it was hot enough and it instantly sizzled and produced a crispy mini pancake - perfect !
After tasting the tester pancake and finding it quite bland, I added a spoonful of Thai 7 Spice to the batter.
Add a small quantity of each of the meat/veg/prawn ingredients to the frying pan and stir fry for 2 minutes.
Add an extra spoonful of oil and, when it is hot enough, pour in enough batter to cover the base of the pan and all the ingredients.
Once the underside is totally cooked and it can be moved around in the pan, fold in half with a fish slice. Cook for 30 seconds on each side to allow the inside to cook through.
Transfer to a plate with salad and a dipping sauce (I used sweet chilli which worked perfectly).
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Fancy trying some more Vietnames cuisne? How about some of these ? :
This used up half a bag of crispy pancake flour, some odds and ends from the fridge, some of a jar of Thai 7 Spice and a bottle of sweet chilli dipping sauce, so I'm adding it to this month's #KitchenClearout linky.