Bánh Xèo – Crispy & Savory Vietnamese Crêpes

It’s got that irresistible crispy, yet delicate, golden brown crust. And the inside of the bánh xèo is filled with delicious flavors: pork and shrimp, and sprinklings of mung bean, onions and bean sprouts.

This crowd pleaser is a hot-off-the-pan, hands-on food meant to be wrapped in veggies and dipped in a flavorful sauce. Vietnamese bánh xèo is great for family style dinners and you can prep the batter a night ahead of time. Lets get to sizzling!

How to make bánh xèo, step by step | HungryHuy.com

Bánh xèo seems to be designed to be eaten as a family. The batter, filling ingredients, and veggies aren’t complicated to prepare, but they don’t make sense to be bought or made to be eaten by yourself.

You don’t just buy 1/4 pound of pork, 8 shrimps, or buy 1/4 head of lettuce. You kind of have to bump the volume to make each step worth the prep and to me, meals that are shared are a lot more fun anyway.

These crêpes take a little bit of prep time and organization, then you can just keep knocking these guys out faster than people can eat them.

What does bánh xèo mean?

Close-up of crisped banh xeo in a pan | HungryHuy.com

I always found the name of bánh xèo interesting because the “xèo” refers to the sizzling sound it makes when you cook the batter. Its name loosely means “sizzling cake.” The sound is much more obvious when the batter hits a hot pan, but here’s some footage of one hissing from the heat (turn the sound up!):

I’ve heard many folks refer to bánh xèo as that “Vietnamese egg dish” and it always took me a while to figure out what they were talking about, until they mention the filling has pork, shrimp, mung bean, bean sprouts and some green onion.

These crêpes are yellow and kinda look like omelettes–but! There are actually no eggs in here. It’s just turmeric powder that colors em yellow!

Using wheat and rice flour

A single serving of banh xeo with a side of fish sauce | HungryHuy.com

It’s been brought to my attention that saying “wheat flour” causes much confusion on my pandan waffle recipe, so lets clarify it for this recipe too! Wheat flour is what you’ve been buying all your life to bake cookies and bread, and it’s what grocery stores simply label as “all purpose flour.” We call it wheat fluor here to differentiate from the rice flour.

Traditional bánh xèo was probably made with only rice flour and no wheat flour. If you want to go full on traditional, you can replace all of the wheat flour in the recipe with rice flour only and it will work. BUT…

Here’s why you want to use wheat flour:

  • It makes the bánh xèo crispy in a different and better way in my opinion.
  • It helps develop that nice browning color as it crisps up in the pan.
  • And if you’re making the batter ahead of time and reheating it, the results turn out better if there’s wheat flour in it.

How to eat bánh xèo

Eat your veggies and herbs!

Bánh xèo is food meant to be eaten with your hands. You’ll always find a big plate of greens with a mix of herbs to go with it.

  1. Cut or break off a small 2-bite size piece of bánh xèo. Single bite size is too small and time-consuming.
  2. Wrap it in a similarly sized piece of lettuce. You can substitute green leaf lettuce for the mustard greens in a pinch since it tastes good too.
  3. Add a little bit of each of the herbs. Mint is the only must-have herb in this dish with cilantro and Vietnamese perilla being the other commonly used ones, which you should really try to source if you can! Adding too much can overpower each bite, but you must choose your own path.
  4. Sauce it up! Make some incredibly flavorful nước chấm or Vietnamese dipping sauce for the final flavoring and seasoning touches. I like spooning this on for maximum control and less chance of me dropping ingredients into the sauce.

Batter storage and freshness

If you take care of it, this batter will stay fresh for about 4 to 6 days after you make it, so you can enjoy bánh xèo all week long if you’d like!

If you simply just want to make it ahead of time and just chill in the batter for a few days that’s completely fine, must make sure it’s in an air tight container.

However, if you plan to cook some one day, and save the rest for another day keep your original container and batch of batter clean. This means, don’t put any used ladles, spoons, forks, or anything else into the batter. It will be easier if you just pour out the batter you want to use into a separate container so the original one remains untouched. Just make sure you mix the batter up a bit before dividing it so all the ingredients are incorporated first.

For the freshest bánh xèo, you gotta cook these to order! They taste waay better this way. But of course this is not always possible. If you don’t have much batter or ingredients left that would be worth storing uncooked, you can cook the crepes, fridge it and bake them to eat on another day. Just know the results won’t be as good as hot off the pan.

Plated and ready to eat banh xeo! | HungryHuy.com

This dish is always a treat to me since I rarely get to eat it. It’s also an awesome choice to cook for a group because it’s affordable. You can spend $20 for enough crepes to satisfy 4-5 bellies!

"Xeo Away With Me" cartoon | HungryHuy.com

How do you pronounce bánh xèo?

Bánh xèo is pronounced as “ban say-oh.” Phonetic spelling will only get you close, but need to hear it spoken to get the intonation spot on.

How do you make bánh xèo from scratch?

Bánh Xèo is basically a crepe made from a basic blend of rice flour, turmeric, and coconut cream, along with other ingredients. The filling includes shrimp, pork belly, and bean sprouts. You can learn the best technique to make these Vietnamese crepes using my recipe above.

Where can I buy rice flour?

I usually get rice flour pre-made in bags at Asian grocery stores. If that’s not an option for you, health food stores like Whole Foods carries it. As a last resort, you can make it yourself if you have a nice blender, but we’ll save that for another post.

What is bánh xèo in English?

Xèo is onomatopoeia for the sizzle sound when the batter hits the hot pan, so bánh xèo loosely translates to “sizzling cake.”

Where did bánh xèo originate?

There are two types of bánh xèo. The central Vietnam style is smaller, broken into pieces, and wrapped in a rice paper. This larger style of bánh xèo originated from southern Vietnam and can be wrapped with leafy lettuce.

banh xeo Pinterest image

plate of banh xeo with veggies and dipping sauce

Bánh Xèo (Vietnamese Sizzling Crepes)

Here's a time tested recipe from Mom herself! Nothing like the satisfying crunch of these sizzling crepes, wrapped in veggies and dipped in perfectly balanced fish sauce.
4.91 from 32 votes
Print Pin
By: Hungry Huy
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Resting: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 50 mins
Servings: 12 crêpes

Ingredients

Batter

  • 255 g rice flour
  • 85 g all-purpose wheat flour
  • 2-3 tsp turmeric
  • 3.5 c water
  • 14 oz (396.9 ml) coconut cream if unavailable, use coconut milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 sprig green onion chopped about 1/2" long

Filling

  • 1 lb shrimp, headless size 45/50 or 60/70
  • 1.5 lb (680.39 g) pork belly
  • 1 medium yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 1.5 lb (680.39 g) bean sprouts
  • 1/2 c dry mung beans optional

Vegetables

  • 1 head mustard greens caỉ xanh
  • 1 bunch mint
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 bunch Vietnamese perilla (tía tô) optional

Instructions 

Prepare Batter

  • Combine all batter ingredients except scallions in a large bowl for at least 3 hours, or overnight. Add scallions only right before making the crêpes.

Prepare Fillings

  • Steam or soak mung beans in water until soft
  • Boil pork until cooked through. Slice thinly.
  • Wash bean sprouts and veggies

Making Bánh Xèo - Each crêpe takes about 5-7 minutes

  • On medium-high heat add 1-2 teaspoons of oil and some onions
  • Immediately add a few pieces of pork and shrimp. Sauté, lightly mixing until very lightly browned.
  • Pour in some batter and quickly tilt & rotate the pan so the batter is evenly spread. Add more batter if it wasn't enough to cover the pan.
  • Add some mung beans, bean sprouts, and cover with a lid for 2-3 minutes, or until bean sprouts are slightly cooked. The batter should also be slightly cooked and transparent around the edges.
  • Remove the lid, lower heat to medium and wait for the crêpe to become crisp. Fold in half, transfer to a plate and serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Serving: 0g | Calories: 588kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 136mg | Sodium: 580mg | Potassium: 452mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 93IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: banh xeo, pork, shrimp, Vietnamese crepes
Did you cook this recipe?Tag @HungryHuy or #hungryhuy--I'd love to see it!

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39 thoughts on “Bánh Xèo – Crispy & Savory Vietnamese Crêpes

  1. Kathleen | HapaNom says:

    5 stars
    Oh my…. this looks amazing! I love the bold flavor combinations you’ve got going on here! I wish I had a big plate of this right now! 🙂

    1. Huy says:

      Pork and shrimp work well together and you see it in a lot of Vietnamese cuisine–I could use a few of these crepes myself right now :). Thanks a lot Kathleen!

  2. Hang says:

    Your banh xeo looks awesome, Huy! You achieved the perfect color on it and I bet it’s crispy and delicious! Finally, someone that adds mung beans to their banh xeo. I don’t recall seeing anyone else do this (especially on youtube) so I’m glad to see that my mom wasn’t totally a maverick in her cooking. LOL! I think I did a bit of research on it eons ago and found out that mung beans were added to compensate for lack of meat (not that we lacked meat in our banh xeo since I made them and I’m a big time carnivore!) The one other difference my mom made than others out there is that she used ground pork that is pre-seasoned and pre-cooked. Everyone else uses the sliced pork belly and shrimp. Regardless, it’s good eatin’ (unless you’re the only person slaving over those banh xeo for everyone else…like me!)

    Do you not wrap yours in rice paper when you eat it? I learned that late in life and love it. Banh xeo was always messy eating as it fell apart when I dipped it but once I was shown how to wrap it up in rice paper, eating it became much more pleasurable (also the fact that I wasn’t cooking it helped, I’m sure!).

    Anyway, thanks for such a great recipe!

    1. Huy says:

      Hey Hang, I never questioned the addition of mung beans, but the meat-substitute reasoning makes good sense. It tastes good with both though, haha maybe you’ll cut mom some slack now? 🙂

      I did ponder pre-cooking the meat–it works if you par-cook it since it will still be cooking for a few minutes after with the batter. Ground meat can be good too, but I guess others like to indulge in the fattier pork belly too.

      Interesting tip on the rice paper! I’ve never seen it served that way but yeah, banh xeo can be pretty messy haha. I just use more lettuce to keep it together and spoon the sauce on instead of dipping. As always, thanks for sharing!

  3. Tileb says:

    4 stars
    banh xeo, I have just discovered it recently at a restaurant after having seen it on youtube. Now I am hooked but no mung bean for me please :). thanks for the recipe.

  4. Judy says:

    5 stars
    Hi Huy! Thank you for sharing this amazing dish. I definitely want to try it myself. When you say that the recipe requires all purpose wheat flour, did you mean whole wheat flour or unbleached flour? Thanks!

  5. An Nguyen says:

    My husband and I love to make banh xeo at home and we’ve made it plenty of time me but too bad, we still can’t master it meaning our banh xeo is not crispy at all :(. We’ve tried different recipes in which we usually replaced water with beer to make the batter. Do you have any other tips for me? Does it matter what kind of pan is used? I’ll try your recipe next time to see if the banh xeo would be crisp. Thanks for sharing!

  6. CW says:

    Thank you for the recipe, but how much is a can of coconut cream/milk? There are so many sizes of cans! 🙂

    1. Huy says:

      Wow sorry about that, I’ll update the recipe! It’s for the common 14 oz/400 ml size.

  7. enordrum says:

    Is your “ounce” measurement by weight or volume? Makes a bit of a difference…

    1. Huy says:

      It is by weight!

  8. Kirsty says:

    5 stars
    It’s great to see you add mung beans to the Banh Xeo. I am Europian in origin but grew up in the Vietnamese centre of Sydney, Australia, and have been eating and loving Vietnamese food all my life. I love yellow mung beans in this dish and was shocked to see most recipes online left them out. Thank you for the great recipe!

    1. Huy says:

      Hey Kirsty–yeah I agree ya gotta have some mung beans in this dish. Glad you enjoyed the recipe and thanks for reading!

  9. Katelyn says:

    Hello Huy, have you tried using beer instead of water or half beer and half water? With the batter, does it sit 3 hrs uncovered or covered? Thanks!

    1. Huy says:

      Hey Katelyn! I haven’t tried that yet. It’s pretty crispy as is but if you like a lighter batter it could be worth a shot. I’d cover just so stuff doesn’t fall into it, but it won’t matter too much. Hope that helps!

  10. Yiang says:

    Looks awesome! If I don’t have tumeric what can I substitute that for?

  11. JM says:

    5 stars
    Worked perfectly, thank you! I took liberties and added one egg to the batter when I had enough for 2 more crepes. Worked well to make for a ‘sturdier’ set. Overall a wonderful recipe that I will do over and over – one of those classic ones that get better each time you make it again! Perfect with a nice Bordeaux btw 🙂

  12. Liv says:

    5 stars
    Help. I used a non stick pan but I still had trouble removing crepe without making a bloody mess of it. Taste was delish presentation sucked.

  13. Huong Remotigue says:

    In your recipe, you say to pre-cook the pork but not the shrimp. Is that correct? Thank you for sharing your recipe!

    1. Huy says:

      Yup! Shrimp cooks fast so you don’t want to pre-cook them.

  14. Bing says:

    5 stars
    Hi Huy, thank you so much for this recipe….tested one with tapioca starch instead of wheat flour …of course it fell apart. 🙂 Also the pictures are very helpful, can’t wait to test on my family 🙂

  15. My-Hoa says:

    5 stars
    Hi, Huy! I am Vietnamese and appreciate that your recipes are straight-forward and traditional. I made these crepes last weekend and couldn’t get enough – my husband requested them again this weekend. They are so fabulously yummy, we really like the mung bean addition! Thanks so much, keep your recipes coming!

  16. Lance says:

    5 stars
    I’ll be making this again for the fourth time tonight (along with bun thit nuong) following your recipe. I ALMOST have it down to perfection. Thanks for this website!

    1. Huy says:

      That’s so cool to hear Lance, thank you for sharing!

  17. Stephen Ellis says:

    receipies that bring back memories….

  18. Ngoc tran says:

    Thank you Huy !Your recipe ảe so great and helpful !👍👍👍👍❤️❤️❤️❤️

    1. Huy Vu says:

      Thanks Ngoc!

  19. Maggie says:

    can I half this recipe? Or will the batter keep in the fridge for a day or so? I don’t know if we’ll be able to eat 12 crepes

    1. Hungry Huy says:

      Hi Maggie! Yes you can halve the recipe or store the batter for a few days in the fridge. It can last about a week in the fridge without spoiling if all the utensils and containers used to make this are kept clean.

      1. Maggie says:

        Thank you! Kept it in the fridge and going to make some more the next few nights. The first attempt turned out great!

      2. Hungry Huy says:

        Happy to hear it worked out for you! 🙂

  20. Paul says:

    I’ve never used dry mung beans – is there any prep required? I.e. should they be soaked?

    1. Hungry Huy says:

      Yup they need to be soaked, or steamed until soft all the way through.

  21. Helene says:

    Hi Hungry Huy!
    Cool recipe!! It’s looking delicious! My mom (Vietnamese) has quite the same, haha!
    Cheers from Australia
    Helene

  22. Beth says:

    3 stars
    AHHHHHHHH!!! Oh, PLEASE edit the recipe to read next to rice flour & wheat flour – *measured by WEIGHT!!!
    — I had guests last night & made this with 9 oz (just over 1C.) rice flour, and 3oz regular wheat flour (just under 1/3C) —- and had the biggest sog of a kitchen disaster ever — reviewed recipe — had done everything right — and what I had to serve was a great-tasting soggy, soupy mess!! — looked at recipe again today & read the comments, still trying to figure out why the HUGE disaster…. then I see someone ask, “did you measure flours by volume (as I naturally did), or by weight?” — and you replied, “by weight!” I don’t have many kitchen disasters, but this was a doozie…

    1. Hungry Huy says:

      Sorry about that Beth :(!! I just updated the post so it labels the flours by grams so it is clearer.

  23. Truc says:

    Why add wheat flour? Not very authentic at all. I do 100% rice flour and they are crisp and golden.

    1. Hungry Huy says:

      Thanks for the comment Truc. You’re right that 100% rice flour is more authentic so if that’s your goal you can simply replace all the wheat flour in ths recipe with rice flour. We add wheat flour to match the improved taste achieved in restaurants and premade banh xeo mixes. Yes 100% rice is crispy, but the type of crisp and texture is different and slightly harder. If you plan to make this batter ahead of time, reheated batter will have better results with wheat flour too.

  24. Thao says:

    5 stars
    Thank you for the recipe! My Bánh xeo was delicious! Growing up my mom used to make it from a premixed bag sold at the local Vietnamese store, but I like the idea of making my own from scratch. I tweaked it a little by making my own rice flour, extra turmeric (for color) and beer to the batter. Supposedly beer helps make it more crispy. I found the consistency of the batter to be a little thick for my liking so I thinned it out with more water/beer. This could be because I blended my own rice flour. I’ve used this recipe twice now and it’s my go to Bánh xeo recipe. Thanks again!

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