Say it with me…BUN XXXXXEEEEEEOOOOOO! Whenever you eat these delicious savory crepes, you have to remember to say it this way, because it’s way more fun and you get to enjoy the full effect of the onomatopoeia since Banh = Cake & Xeo = Sizzling ==> Banh Xeo = Sizzling Cake!!
These crepes were always a special treat when my mom made them. They took lots of time b/c she would sit at the stove and make one after another as we quickly gobbled them up in a flurry of fresh lettuce & herbs. They are really best this way, consumed as soon as they are cooked so that you get the maximum crunch to your crepe. Thanks, Mom! However, if you are just cooking for yourself, or you are not quite so patient, they really do not take that much time to cook just a few and immediately chow down.
My roomie let me borrow her camera to bring back a lil video action, and was even kind enough to be my camera woman. Check the vid below for some action shots of how to pour & cook these thin, crispy crepes!
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1 tsp tumeric powder
- 1/2 cup light coconut milk
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 3 scallions
- 1/2 lb shrimp
- 1/2 lb bean sprouts
- Green/Red Leaf Lettuce
- 1 cucumber
- Fresh herbs: Basil, mint
- I generally just eyeball this. Make limeade (lime + sugar + water), add fish sauce to taste, add garlic & chili page
- But here is a great step by step: http://vietworldkitchen.typepad.com/blog/2008/11/basic-vietnamese-dipping-sauce-nuoc-cham.html
- Make the batter – mix the rice flour, tumeric, coconut milk, water together in a bowl and stir until all lumps are gone.
- Finely chop up the green part of the scallions and toss into the batter. set aside.
- Take the shrimp and peel, devein, and cut in half lengthwise. I started with “easy peel” shrimp that were already deveined, so that saved a LOT of time!
- Wash the veggies and arrange on a plate for serving. Slice the cucumbers into 2-3 inch rectangular slices. Wash the bean sprouts and put them on a separate plate for cooking.
- Make the dipping sauce. (This can be done ahead of time and stored in your fridge for easy access.)
- Now we are ready to sizzle! Heat a nonstick pan or wok to med-high. Add some olive oil in the pan. When it is just about to smoke, throw in 4-5 shrimp and a handful of bean sprouts (you can certainly be very liberal with your shrimp to crepe ratio!). Cook the shrimp til just turning opaque, tossing with chopsticks to get both sides.
- Stir up the batter, take a ladle-full and pour it in the center of your pan. Quickly lift the pan and rotate it so that the batter distributes into as thin a layer as possible. Cook about 2 min or until the crepe is well solidified and edges are lifting off the pan.
- Take a spatula, tilt the pan a little, and flip one half of the crepe over to form a half moon shape. Press down with the spatula. Let cook another minute or so until the edges are nice and crispy.
- Lift the whole thing out of the pan and onto a plate.
- To eat, take a lettuce leaf in your hand, chop off a bit of the crepe and place it in the middle of the leaf. Add any herbs, veggies you like. Roll the whole thing up as neatly as you can (it’s definitely going to be messy!). Dip it in the dipping sauce and enjoy!
And..another fun lil video. My friend L happened to be hanging out and got some of her first lessons on Vietnamese food: