Savory Pancakes Part II: Bánh Xèo (Vietnamese Savory Pancakes)

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Oct 2, 2021 at 10:30am

banh xeo

Savory pancakes > sweet pancakes in my world.

Then again, savory anything > sweet anything in my world, so whatever I say here is colored by that obvious bias. I’m pretty sure the ratio of savory to sweet foods on this blog is 80/20 at best.

What can I say?

The last meal I would choose to cross my lips is french fries, oysters, and champagne. Or braised beef or slow-roasted pork belly. Or foie gras or crispy duck confit.

Or since it would be my least meal, all of the above! Preferably while IN France. OMG yes. I mean, oui.

OK back to savory pancakes, which could also be included in the meal. There is something so marvelously satisfying about piling in a variety of textures – certainly crispness – and temperatures too. I’m all about the contrast of hot-from-the-pan pancakes loaded with cool, crisp vegetables and fresh herbs. This is why I adore fish tacos with crispy cabbage slaw IN the tacos.

With a killer condiment of course.

I’m wandering again. Back to pancakes, these lovelies in particular. They’re a bit fragile, so I like to make them on the small side so that I can pick up them up to eat (inhale). It takes a minute to julienne veggies, but it’s worth it for the flavor-explosion it provides in each bite. A mandoline can make fast work of it.

Please enjoy!

xoxo Stephanie

Originally posted June 14, 2011

Naturally gluten-free, bánh xèo are simple, savory crepes made from rice flour and coconut milk. Served warm and filled with cool, crisp vegetables, herbs, and drizzled with a spicy-salty sauce, they will blow your mind with flavor and texture achieved with very little effort.

banh xeo

Bánh Xèo (Vietnamese Savory Pancakes)
Adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi
Serves 4

Note: The recipe is meatless, and is absolutely delicious just that way, although feel free to add shrimp and/or pork if you like. Traditional bánh xèo are filled with both. I will be making the sauce all summer long to use as a salad dressing—it’s fantastic. I sliced the vegetables on a mandoline, then cut into julienne—fast chopping!

For the pancakes:
1 cup rice flour
1 large organic egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 can coconut milk
water as needed
avocado oil

For the sauce:
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon tamari
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger root
1 fresh red chile, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed

For the filling:
1 large carrot, peeled, shredded or sliced thin
1 daikon radish, peeled, shredded or sliced thin (I substituted local radishes)
4 spring onions, sliced thin on the diagonal
1 fresh green chili, shredded or sliced thin
1 c. sugar snap peas, sliced thin on the diagonal (I substituted local pea shoots)
handful of fresh cilantro, torn
handful of fresh basil, torn
handful of fresh mint, torn
1/2 cup mung bean sprouts (I substituted local asparagus)
1/2 cup enoki mushrooms

In a large bowl, whisk together the rice flour, egg, salt, and turmeric. Whisk in the coconut milk. Add a little bit of water if needed to achieve a thin pancake batter consistency. Set aside to rest.

To make the sauce, whisk together all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Adjust the chili to taste.

For the filling, toss the vegetables together in a large bowl.

Heat a nonstick saute pan over medium high heat. Add a small drizzle of oil and when it’s hot, swirl about 1/3 c. of batter into the pan. Cook until set and lightly browned, about 3 minutes, flip and cook for 1 minute, then turn out of the pan onto a baking sheet. Continue the same process to cook all of the pancakes.

To serve, place warm pancakes on a plate. Top with a handful of vegetables, drizzle with sauce, roll up and eat with additional sauce.

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Older Comments

  1. By FreshTartSteph on July 10, 2012 at 10:05AM

    Will do, thank you for checking in!

  2. By FooDWooW on July 9, 2012 at 12:00PM

    This is my hometown cake. And how could I forget it ^_^? And it's also one of Vietnamese dishes that inspire me to create a website to "Connect Vietnamese Food Adorers". Hope to see you at my website. Thanks.

  3. By Anonymous on February 11, 2012 at 1:01AM

    thanks everyone for love Vietnamese foods :). There are 54 ethnics in Vietnam so there are a lot of special foods in different places. If you travel to my country and want eat more foods, study how to cook it, I will show because my favourite is cooking. (Ym: oreka_timraroi).
    Wellcome to Vietnam.

  4. By nikks on July 10, 2011 at 5:16AM

    i love banh xeo! if you guys are ever in san jose, you guys should check out grand century food court ( basically a bunch of vietnamese restaurants. one sells really good banh xeo and the one right next to it has banh khot which is kinda simliar. theres even a place where all they sell is fresh sugar cane juice!

    reminder though... CASH ONLY.

  5. By FreshTartSteph on July 9, 2011 at 4:56AM

    Denise - You are so kind, love to read this note! I miss chatting with you too, would love to catch up soon and ditto/hear about all the fun you & Lenny are up to!

    Andrew - Traditionally bahn xeo is served with pretty fatty pork, I think you could give it a whirl. Or chicken - really, anything delicious, mmm, they're so good :)

  6. By Andrew1989 on July 7, 2011 at 9:55PM

    man Ban Xeo is so good. I've always wanted to experiment with something other than shrimp though. my girlfriend is allegic to shellfish and i hate just veggies... you think chicken or maybe prok would go nicely on that, it seems it might be way too heavy though. =/

  7. By Chez Us on July 7, 2011 at 9:20PM

    I LOVE these photos - fantastic job!!! As well I LOVE this dish, but have never made, and cannot find one that I really enjoy here in the city. You make it sound so easy. I am definitely going to give this a whirl!

    Side note - miss chatting with you. Loved to chat you and hear about all the wonderful things you are up too!!

  8. By ~Nym on June 27, 2011 at 4:50PM

    Hi this looks great and all, but it there a way where this recipe could be adapted to be without seafood?
    Thanks :)

  9. By Tabloid on June 19, 2011 at 5:38PM

    Vietnamese food are the best! This is one of my favorite vietnamese dishes.

  10. By FreshTartSteph on June 19, 2011 at 11:26AM

    Zoe - Such a good point. So satisfying to eat without feeling weighed down, I agree completely. I suspect you'll love these pancakes... :)

  11. By GummiBears on June 19, 2011 at 11:23AM

    Wow this looks delicious! Gotta make this in the future.

  12. By Zoe – Runny Yolks are Better on June 19, 2011 at 9:00AM

    I love Vietnamese food because it's not too heavy and has so many different flavours and textures. I've never come across savory pancakes but your version looks absolutely delicious :)

  13. By FreshTartSteph on June 18, 2011 at 2:44PM

    Thank you Xiaolu and Lauren! And Sabera - I can imagine the dish lending itself nicely to Indian-izing, yum. For sure a new summer favorite!

  14. By Sabera on June 17, 2011 at 10:09PM

    I love Banh Xeo! I first learned about these when me and my friends had a Coconut themed Iron chef type cooking competition. I couldn't resist myself from Indian-izing the dish a little ;) Lovely dish and great flavors.

  15. By lauren on June 14, 2011 at 4:54PM

    Perfect summer dish! YUMMY!

  16. By Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets on June 14, 2011 at 2:13PM

    Mmm this looks so good! Love the shots -- very simple but impactful.