Bánh Xèo (Crispy Vietnamese Crepes)
This month’s Dietitian’s Choice features banh xeo, a Vietnamese dish that translates to “sizzling cake,” which refers to the sizzling sound that it makes when cooked. Many Vietnamese dishes are known for having complementary textures, which are achieved by using a healthy amount of herbs and vegetables like with this dish. Banh xeo can best be described as a savory and flavorful crepe, that is typically served with nuoc mam (fish sauce) and wrapped with fresh herbs and greens for some crunch at every bite.
Traditionally, banh xeo is filled with shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, mung beans, and scallions. However, the protein can easily be swapped for a leaner alternative like shredded chicken or made vegetarian by substituting with extra firm tofu. These small changes are great for health-conscious individuals but won’t compromise on taste!
Prep Time: 2 hrs. | Cook Time: 30 min. | Total Time: 2.5 hrs.
Makes 8 - 10 (using a 10-inch skillet) | Serving Size: 1 crepe
- 1 pound of chicken breast, shredded
- 1 pound medium size shrimp, deveined and peeled
- 1 cups rice flour
- ¾ cup coconut milk
- 1 ½ cup water
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- ¾ tsp ground coriander
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp ground pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tbsp turmeric powder
- 2 scallions, sliced
- 3 cups bean sprouts
- Neutral cooking oil
- Mustard greens
- Lettuce leaves
- Cucumbers, sliced
- Vietnamese perilla
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1/8 lime juice
- ½ cup water
- 1 tbsp garlic, finely minced
- 1-2 red chili pepper, finely minced (optional)
- In a bowl, mix the rice flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, turmeric, coriander, and garlic powder. Pour the liquids into the flour mixture and stir until you get a silky batter. Mix in the sliced scallions, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Heat about 1 to 1 ½ tsp of neutral cooking oil in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add ¼ cup of shrimp and cook for 1 minute on each side. Then add a few slices of onions to the pan and cook for about 1 minute. Add ¼ cup of already cooked shredded chicken and pour ¼ cup of batter into the pan, swirling the batter to make sure it covers the entire surface area of the pan.
- Once the outer edge of the banh xeo is slightly cooked (20-30 seconds), add the bean sprouts to cover only half of the pan. Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook on low heat for about 1 minute to allow the bean sprouts to soften. Remove the lid and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, until the edges are browned. Gently lift the half of the banh xeo without the bean sprouts and fold it over to meet the other half, creating a half circle. Transfer the banh xeo to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter.
- To make the sauce, mix all of the ingredients listed under dipping sauce into a small bowl.
- Serve banh xeo with the dipping sauce and any fresh greens and herbs of your choice.
- Bonus: Banh xeo will lose its crispiness when made in advance. To make it crispy again, broil the crepe on low for a few minutes, making sure to leave the oven door slightly open while broiling.
Nutrition Information (per serving)
Without dipping sauce and herbs/greens
Calories: 229 |Protein: 25 g | Carbohydrate: 17 g | Total Fat: 7 g | Saturated Fat: 4 g | Sodium: 206 mg
Recipe Courtesy Noel Le, RDN - Noel is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who aims to heal and nourish by guiding clients to make healthier diet and lifestyle changes. She enjoys navigating the unique challenges presented by both inpatient and outpatient care and continues to build on her expertise involving adult weight management, metabolic and bariatric surgeries, and prediabetes.