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
water, and more if needed
coconut milk, canned is fine
sliced green onions
pork, thinly sliced about 1" pieces, a meatier pork belly is best.
small shrimp, shelled and deveined
small onion, thinly sliced
bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
split mung beans, cooked until soft but not mushy. Optional
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.
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.