Before I even got to Vietnam I was super excited about trying bánh xèo…a sizzling savory fried pancake filled with pork, shrimp, herbs, mung beans and sometimes other fun twists depending on the region. You know that sounds right up SavoryGirl’s alley! Not only did I eat a lot of great bánh xèo while traveling through Vietnam but I was lucky enough to actually learn how to make it during my cooking class in Hội An…so lucky for you I’m sharing the recipe here. This recipe serves 4-8 as an appetizer and for some of the harder to find ingredients I would try your local Asian market…none of the ingredients are too rare. Enjoy…sizzle, sizzle!
¼ cup long grain rice
½ cup mung beans
5½ cups water
¼ tsp ground turmeric
1 TBS scallions, green part only, sliced thinly
¼ cup coconut cream
16 tsp vegetable oil
16 slices of pork shoulder, thinly sliced
16 baby shrimp (traditionally with shell on, but you can peel if you prefer)
1 cup of bean sprouts
8 sheets of rice paper
8 shiso leaves (also called Perilla leaves)
2 cups mixed herbs, I like basil and cilantro for this dish
8 slices of green banana, sliced lengthwise
8 slices mango
Sweet and sour sauce for serving
Soak rice in 2 cups of water overnight. Also soak mung beans in 2 cups of water over night.
Rinse rice well and drain. Add 1 cup of water to rice and blend until a smooth liquid forms. Rinse mung beans well and drain. Add ½ cup water to mung beans and blend until a smooth liquid forms. Mix the 2 liquids together and add turmeric, scallions and coconut cream. Mix well to combine.
In the smallest frying pan you have, heat 2 tsp oil on medium-high heat. Put 2 slices of pork in the hot pan and cook 10 seconds on each side. Place 2 shrimp in the pan next to the pork. Add one ladle of batter and tip the pan to distribute evenly…you want enough batter to just barely cover the pork and shrimp.
Fry for 3-4 minutes until lightly colored and crispy on the bottom (it’s ok, take a peek!)
Place a handful of bean sprouts on the sizzling pancake. Then using chopsticks (or a spatula) to hod the pancaked in the pan, gently tip the pan over a bowl to drain any excess oil.
Slide the crispy pancake out of the pan onto a plate and keep warm while you make the remaining 7.
When ready to eat, soften rice paper by quickly dipping each sheet in warm water and laying each sheet on a plate. Then put one crispy pancake on top of each piece of rice paper, top withs 1 shisho leaf, green banana, mango and herbs.
Roll your now complete bánh xèo up, dip in sweet and sour sauce and enjoy!
This is the last post in the amazingly fun and tantalizing Vietnam series…click here to check out the other 5 posts in this series.