• Crisp Vietnamese coconut pancakes with prawns (Banh khot) (Asia Unplated with Diana Chan)

Crisp little bowls are made with a turmeric-laced pancake batter and filled with fresh, lively flavours of Vietnam. They're a popular street snack in Southern regions.

Serves
4-6

Preparation

40min

Cooking

40min

Skill level

Mid
By
Average: 2.7 (15 votes)
Yum

Ingredients

  • 425 g (2½ cups) rice flour
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 250 ml (1 cup) coconut cream
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing and frying
  • 25-30 small green prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 100 g dried shrimp, soaked in cold water overnight
  • thinly sliced bird's eye chilli and torn mint leaves, to serve

Pickled carrot and daikon

  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) white vinegar
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 500 g carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 150 g daikon, cut into matchsticks

Nuoc mam dipping sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 bird's eye chillies, finely chopped
  • 150 ml fish sauce
  • 100 ml white vinegar
  • 140 g caster sugar

Cook's notes

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.

Instructions

For this recipe you’ll need a banh khot pan. If you can’t find one at your local Asian grocer, then a takoyaki or aebleskiver pan will do just fine.

You will need to begin this recipe 2 days ahead of serving.

Resting time: 3 hours
Soaking time: overnight
Marinating time: 2 days for the pickles

1. For the pickled carrot and daikon, place the vinegar, sugar and 50 ml water in a bowl and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Rinse the carrot and daikon under warm running water for 5 minutes, then drain thoroughly and pat dry with paper towel. Transfer to a large plastic container or non-reactive bowl. Pour the pickling liquid over the vegetables, cover and refrigerate for 2 days, after which time the pickles will be ready to use. The pickles will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

2. For the nuoc mam dipping sauce, place all the ingredients and 200 ml warm water in a bowl and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Nuoc mam can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

3. Combine the rice flour, turmeric, coconut cream, salt and 600 ml water in a bowl. Add the oil and mix well, making sure there are no lumps in the batter. The consistency should be like a crepe batter. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

4. For the prawn floss, drain the soaked dried shrimp and pat dry with paper towel. Put the shrimp in a food processor and blitz to a fine floss. Heat a large frying pan over low heat, add the shrimp and cook, stirring continuously, for 10 minutes or until dry but not coloured. Remove from the heat, stand until cool, then store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

5. Give the rested batter a good stir to get it ready to use. Place a 12-hole banh khot pan over medium heat and drizzle in enough oil to generously grease the holes. When the oil is hot, working quickly, spoon the batter into the holes until filled to the top. Top each of the banh khot with a prawn, then cover and cook for 1 minute.

6. Remove the lid and drizzle a little oil down the side of each banh khot to help them crisp up and come away easily from the pan. The more oil you use, the crispier they will be. Continue to cook the banh khot for 7-10 minutes or until the batter has turned a wonderful yellow colour. Using a small spoon, carefully remove the pancakes from the pan and transfer to a large serving plate.

7. Top each banh khot with ½ teaspoon prawn floss, a few drained pickles and sliced chillies. Serve immediately with the nuoc mam for drizzling over and dipping (these are best eaten straight away), then continue to make batches of the banh khot with the remaining ingredients until you've used everything up.

 

Diana Chan is exploring the many dishes of Asia within Australia in the brand-new series, Asia Unplated with Diana Chan.