Vietnamese Crêpes (Bánh Xèo)

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Vietnamese Crêpes (Bánh Xèo)
  1. Make the crêpe batter: Mix rice flour, sugar, salt, and turmeric together in a large bowl. Beat in coconut milk until thick. Slowly beat in water until it reaches the consistency of a thin crêpe batter.

  2. Make the filling: Heat 1 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot and garlic; cook and stir until fragrant but not browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Add shrimp; sauté until cooked through and opaque, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with fish sauce and salt. Transfer filling to a bowl.

  3. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C).

  4. Wipe out the skillet and reheat over medium heat. Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil. Stir crêpe batter and pour 1/2 cup into the hot skillet, swirling to coat the bottom. Lay 3 or 4 cooked shrimp on the bottom half of the crêpe. Top with a small handful of bean sprouts. Cook until batter looks set and edges start to brown, about 1 minute. Fold crêpe over and slide onto an oven-safe plate.

  5. Place crêpe in the preheated oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter, shrimp, and bean sprouts

  6. Serve crêpes with lettuce leaves. Break off pieces of crêpe and roll them up in lettuce to eat.

Tips

You can add 1 to 2 chopped scallions to crêpe batter if desired. Substitute scallions for the shallots in the filling if preferred. You can also add sauteed mushrooms to the filling if you like.

Variations:

Pork bánh xèo: Substitute half of the shrimp with pork loin or pork belly cut in thin strips. Sauté shallots and garlic first, add pork and cook until no longer pink, then add shrimp.
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Vegetarian bánh xèo: Substitute shredded, fried tofu for the shrimp to make a vegetarian version. Add a variety of mushrooms to give it a meaty flavor. Use soy sauce instead of fish sauce.

Bánh xèo with eggs: Beat 4 to 5 eggs and pour a little over each crêpe after you add the batter to the skillet, but before you add the fillings. Cover the pan for about a minute to let the egg set, then continue with the filling ingredients.

Editor’s Note:

The magazine version of this recipe may be slightly different than the online version. Please follow directions carefully for whichever version you are using.

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