Bánh xèo is a Saigon-style party pancake. Filled with many different fillings, you break off a piece of the pancake and wrap it in lettuce or some fragrant herbs and dip it in nuoc cham. Food Safari Water
- 1 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil
- ¼ onion, finely sliced
- 400 g cooked pork belly (see note)
- 50 g bean sprouts
- 3 spring onions, green part finely sliced
- 4 cooked prawns, peeled, cleaned and sliced in half
- To serve: lettuce leave, mint leaves, perilla leaves, Thai basil, betel leaves, Vietnamese mint
- 65 g rice flour
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 tsp chicken stock powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 65 ml coconut cream
- 130 ml cold water
- 55 g (¼ cup) sugar
- 30 ml white vinegar
- 110 ml hot water
- 50 ml fish sauce
- finely chopped garlic or chilli, optional
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time: 30 min or overnight if time permits
For the batter, combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Pour in the coconut cream and cold water and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, for the nuoc cham, place all ingredients in a small bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar. Set aside.
Heat a large non-stick wok or frying pan over high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat. Place the onion and pork slices evenly over the base of the wok. Pour in the batter, swirling to coat the evenly – you want a thin coating so the banh xeo becomes crisp. Add the bean sprouts, spring onions and prawns. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the wok or pan and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until the edges are crispy. Fold the banh xeo in half to cover the filling and remove from the pan.
Serve with lettuce, herbs and nuoc cham for dipping.
• To cook the pork, Carol poaches it in water for 30 minutes or until tender. Once cooled, it is then thinly sliced against the grain.
Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Rachel Lane. Creative concept by Belinda So.