Bánh Xèo (Vietnamese Crispy Crêpes)

This recipe comes to us from Ha Nguyen and Ryan Tran, a mother-son duo featured in our Let Good Things Rise series. The savory rice flour crêpes (or pancakes) are stuffed with mung beans, shrimp, pork, and bean sprouts and pan fried until crispy. To serve, they’re wrapped in fresh lettuce and herbs then dipped in a sweet fish sauce. What results is a dish you can share as a party snack or at a casual dinner among friends.

Prep
1 hr
Bake
5 mins
Total
1 hr 20 mins
Yield
about 10 to 12 bánh xèo (depending on thickness of crêpes and pan size)
Bánh Xèo - select to zoom
Bánh Xèo - select to zoom
Bánh Xèo - select to zoom
Bánh Xèo - select to zoom

Instructions

  1. To cook the mung beans: Add the mung beans to a small saucepan with about 2 cups of water and set the pan over medium-high heat. Cover the pan, bring the water to a boil, and cook the beans until they're soft enough to crush between two fingers, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

  2. To prepare the crêpe batter: Combine the flours, turmeric, water, coconut milk, and green onions, whisking until smooth. Set aside.

  3. To prepare the sauce: Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.

  4. To prepare the filling: Combine the shrimp, pork, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of oil in a large bowl.

  5. To cook the crêpes: Pour about a tablespoon of oil into a nonstick pan, place the pan over high heat, and wait until the oil is smoking hot. Add a few slices of onions, 2 to 4 shrimp halves, and 2 to 3 slices of pork (you’re aiming to repeat this about 9 to 11 more times), and sauté until the shrimp and pork are fully cooked through.

  6. Once the protein is fully cooked, add about 1/2 to 3/4 cup batter (depending on the size of your pan) and immediately start to swirl the pan to spread the batter evenly across the bottom; the goal here is to get the thinnest and crispiest crêpe without tearing.

  7. Top half of the crêpe with a handful of bean sprouts and a tablespoon or two of the cooked mung beans.

  8. Drizzle a little oil all around the edge of the pan and allow the crêpe to cook until it’s nice and crispy on the bottom, about 2 to 3 minutes longer.

  9. Fold the half of the crêpe with no fillings over the half of the crêpe with fillings — similar to an omelet — and remove the crêpe from the heat.

  10. Transfer the crêpe to a cutting board (or keep it warm in a 250°F oven while you cook the remaining crêpes) and cut or tear it into 1” strips.

  11. To serve the crêpes: Wrap the fresh greens around the strips of crêpe like a lettuce wrap, then dip into the sauce and enjoy! 

  12. Wrap and refrigerate any leftover crêpes. Reheat in an oiled pan to crisp crêpes up before serving.