Author Notes: Banh Xeo means "sizzling crepe". Crispy and fresh with a golden yellow hue from turmeric. It's my favorite fresh Vietnamese dish because you eat it, wrap-style, with lettuce, mustard greens, cucumbers, and fresh herbs. Dip into a little nuoc cham and it's just fantastic. The nuoc cham is my mother's recipe and do try to use the coconut soda. I know it sounds weird, but it really works and Mom's nuoc cham is legendary. I would double the nuoc cham recipe to just in case. - HalfPint
- 2 cups rice flour
- 1 cup water, and more if needed
- 3/4 cups coconut milk, canned is fine
- 1/4 cup mild beer
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 3 tablespoons sliced green onions
- 4 ounces pork, thinly sliced about 1" pieces, a meatier pork belly is best.
- 20-25 small shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 6-8 ounces bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup split mung beans, cooked until soft but not mushy. Optional
- Salad plate: whole lettuce leaves, whole mustard leaves, sliced cucumbers, mint, cilantro, perilla
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce, any brand except the one from the Phillippines
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
- 1-2 teaspoon chili garlic paste/sauce (sambal oelek)
- 1/4 cup coconut soda (Coco Rico) or coconut water
- 1-2 garlic cloves, mashed or minced
- For the crepe batter: Mix together the first 7 ingredients. Add it a little more water if the batter is too thick. You will want a thin batter that's got the consistency of cream. Let the batter rest for about 30 minutes before cooking. The batter settles a bit while resting, just stir it again before cooking.
- For the nuoc cham: Mix together in a jar. Stir to dissolve sugar. Taste and add more chili or lemon juice if needed. The old school way is use a mortar and pestle: mash the garlic with the sugar, then add the liquid ingredients. Taste and adjust the flavor as needed. Set aside.
- Heat a non-stick, 10" frying pan over medium high heat. Add 1-2 TB neutral cooking oil. Don't skimp on the oil, it makes the edges of the crepe wonderfully crispy. Cook 3-4 pieces of pork and ~ 1 TB sliced onions. Cook until pork is no longer pink and add 3-4 shrimp. Cook until the shrimp just turns pink. Try to distribute the ingredients evenly across the pan. Add 1/2 cup of the batter to this mixture, swirling the pan to distribute that batter evenly. If using, scatter a 1Tb of the cooked mung beans. Add a handful of bean sprouts to one side of the crepe. Cover and cook 1 minute to wilt/soften the sprouts. Uncover and cook until the edges get brown and crispy. Take a spatula and gently loosen the crepe. Then fold the crepe over to encase the sprouts. Slide onto a large dinner plate. Serve immediately with the nuoc cham and "salad plate". 1 crepe per person.
- To eat: take a lettuce leaf or mustard leaf. Place in the middle of the leaf (in any order you like), a few herb leaves, a couple of slices of cucumber, and a small portion of the crepe. Roll up and dip into the nuoc cham.
- Leftover batter can be refrigerated for about 3-5 days. Just stir up the batter when you decide to make more. Nuoc cham can be stored in a tightly closed jar in the fridge, indefinitely. Substitutions: thinly sliced chicken for the pork. Or leave out the pork and/or shrimp. Do add more cooked mung beans, ~2-3 TB, to round out the crepe.