Using Herbs and Spices

Vietnamese Recipes & Cuisines (Appetizers)

Saigon Sizzling Crepes Recipe

French in style, but Vietnamese in flavor, these delightfully crispy, tasty crepes, made with coconut milk and filled with shrimps, mushrooms and beansprouts, are out of this world. The crepe-makers from pretty teenage girls to toothless old women - are like mythical sirens of the street. From the moment the batter hits the hot pan, the "sizzling song" begins as they swirl and flip in such hypnotic motion you are magnetically drawn in. These crepes (banh xeo) are Saigon in the mouthful, and it comes as no surprise to learn they are considered to be powerful aphrodisiacs. Along the same lines, but smaller and less spicy, are the banh khoai (happy crepes) of north and central Vietnam.

Ingredients : Makes 4 large or 8 small

115 g

15 ml

2 cloves

175 g

60 ml

1

1-2

115 g

225 g

1 small bunch

1/2 teaspoon

1/2 teaspoon

 

For batter :

115 g

10 ml

10 ml

5 ml

2.5 ml

300 ml

4

Minced (ground) pork

Nuoc mam

Garlic, crushed

Button (white) mushrooms, finely sliced

Vegetable oil

Onion, finely sliced

Green or red Thai chilies

Shrimps, shelled and deveined

Bean sprouts

Fresh coriander (cilantro), stalks removed, leaves roughly chopped

Salt

Ground black pepper

 

 

Rice flour

Ground turmeric

Curry powder

Sugar

Salt

Canned coconut milk

Spring onions (scallions), trimmed and finely sliced

Method :
  • To make the batter, beat the rice flour, spices, sugar and salt with the coconut milk and 300 ml water, until smooth and creamy. Stir in the spring onions and then leave to stand for 30 minutes.

  • In a bowl, mix the pork with the nuoc mam, garlic and seasoning and knead well.

  • Lightly saute the sliced mushrooms in 15 ml of the oil and set aside.

  • Heat 10 ml of the oil in a wide, heavy, non-stick pan. Stir in a quarter of the onion and chili, then add a quarter each of the pork mixture and the shrimps. Pour in 150 ml of the batter, swirling the pan so that it spreads over the pork and shrimps right to the edges.

  • Pile a quarter of the bean sprouts and mushrooms on one side of the crepe, just in from the middle. Reduce the heat and cover the pan for 2-3 minutes, or until the edges pull away from the sides. Remove the lid and cook the crepe for another 2 minutes, gently lift up an edge of the crepe with a spatula to see if it's brown underneath.

  • Once, it is nicely browned, scatter some coriander over the empty side of the crepe and fold it over the bean sprouts and mushrooms. Slide the crepe on to a plate and keep warm while you make the remaining crepes in the same way.

  • Serve with nuoc cham for dipping.

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