Banh Xeo

So I don’t know about you, but after all the overindulging I did over Easter I need something as far away from chocolatey, creamy, richness as I can manage! I don’t want to think about anything sweet for a very long time, I am not sure I could even handle seeing brightly coloured foil wrapping at this point. Now while I know that I will most likely be ready to return to the dark side and polish off the last of the Easter chocolate as early as tonight, for now at least, all I can think of is something light, fresh, zingy and SAVOURY and nothing ticks all those boxes like Vietnamese. Banh Xeo, a coconut milk crepe filled with onion, pork, prawns and bean sprouts, rolled in a lettuce leaf with some fresh mint and then dipped in a sweet and sour fish sauce. Umm. Yum. Do it to yourself immediately.

Recipe: Banh Xeo

Summary: Coconut milk crepe filled with onion, pork, prawns and bean sprouts, rolled in a lettuce leaf with fresh mint and dipped in a sweet and sour fish sauce


  • 1 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 cup iced water
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup finely sliced shallots
  • Pork belly, try and get a good meaty piece
  • 24 raw prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 2 heads of baby cos lettuce, woody ends cut off and separated into individual leaves
  • 1 cup fresh picked mint leaves
  • Oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tbs warm water
  • 1 tbs caster sugar
  • 1 hot chilli, finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove finely sliced


  1. First thing you will need to do is get your pork on, place in a baking tray, skin side up, rub with a little oil, salt and pepper. Wrap the whole tray in a couple of layers of foil. Bake at 150°C for 1 hour. Once cooked and tender, remove from tray and cool. Slice into 4cm long strips and then into 0.5cm rectangles.
  2. Combine all pancake ingredients in a bowl and whisk well to combine. Cover and refrigerate for an hour to rest.
  3. For the sauce, combine all ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Make sure you taste once the sugar has dissolved, and adjust the sweet, salty, tart flavours.
  4. Next saute your onions in a little oil until golden and caramelised. Set aside. Add the slices of pork belly and brown on either side until golden and crisp. Set aside. Add prawns and brown on either side until they are just about cooked, you don’t want them completely cooked as they will warm through and continue to cook later in the pancake. Set aside.
  5. Heat a lightly oiled fry pan over a medium/high heat until just smoking. Add about 1/4 a cup of pancake mixture and tilt pan, swirling the batter to cover the base and go slightly up the sides of the pan. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the bottom is golden and crispy. Add a few slices of pork, 3 prawns, a handful of bean sprouts. Cook for a further minute, fold over to enclose. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  6. Serve with lettuce, mint and dipping sauce. I like to get a lettuce leaf, add a bit of pancake, a couple of sprigs of mint, roll up, dip in sauce.

Quick notes

Serves 4 as a main with two pancakes each, or 8 as an entree

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: Vietnamese

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

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