Bánh Xèo – Savory Vietnamese Crêpes

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.

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:

 

I’ve heard many folks refer to bánh xèo as “that Viet egg thing” 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!

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

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. You can substitute green leaf lettuce for the mustard greens in a pinch, and mint is the only must-have herb here with cilantro and Vietnamese perilla being the other commonly used ones. However you can really throw in whatever you like.

Eat your veggies and herbs!

Early versions of bánh xèo were probably made with rice flour without the use of wheat flour. It can work for you too, but using wheat flour helps these fellas develop that nice browning color as it crisps up in the pan.

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.

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

Bánh Xèo

4.89 from 9 votes
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Author: Hungry Huy
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 12 crêpes

Ingredients

Batter

  • 9 ounces rice flour
  • 3 ounces all-purpose wheat flour
  • 2-3 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3.5 cups water
  • 1 can coconut cream (14 oz / 400 ml) if unavailable, use coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 sprig green onion ~6-7 leaves, chopped about 1-2 cm long

Filling

  • 1 pound shrimp without heads sized 45/50 or 60/70
  • 1.5 pounds pork belly
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 1-1.5 pounds bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup dry mung beans optional

Vegetables

  • mustard greens caỉ xanh
  • mint
  • cilantro optional
  • Vietnamese perilla tía tô, optional

Dipping sauce

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 Banh Xeo - 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.
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25 thoughts on “Bánh Xèo – Savory Vietnamese Crêpes

    1. 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!

  1. 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. 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!


  2. 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.


  3. 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!

  4. 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!


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

  6. 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. 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!


  7. 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 🙂


  8. 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.

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


  10. 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 🙂


  11. 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!


  12. 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!

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