Banh khoai translates as "happy pancake". Luke Nguyen cooks this beautiful Vietnamese rice flour crepe, which is crispy, moist and full of flavour. It is served with a hoisin dipping sauce, which was a secret recipe until now!
- vegetable oil, for stir-frying
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 200 g (7 oz) school prawns, legs and heads trimmed
- 200 g (7 oz) boneless pork belly, fat trimmed, thinly sliced
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ½ cup spring onions, sliced
- 500 g bean sprouts
- 100 g rice flour
- 25 g plain (all-purpose) flour
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 150 ml (3½ fl oz) coconut cream
- 150 ml soda water
- lettuce leaves
- 1 bunch perilla leaves
- 1 bunch mint leaves
- 1 bunch Vietnamese mint leaves
- 1 bunch Vietnamese fish mint
- 1 star fruit, sliced
Hue hoisin dipping sauce
- 100 g pork liver (see Note)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp finely diced garlic
- 1 tbsp finely diced red shallots
- 50 g pork mince
- ½ cup hoisin sauce (salty variety)
- 2 tbsp sugar
- ½ tbsp shrimp paste, mixed with 2 tbsp water
- ½ cup pork stock
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp glutinous rice flour, diluted with water
- 3 tbsp crushed roasted peanuts
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
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: 10 minutes
For the dipping sauce, place the liver on a chopping board. With a heavy knife in each hand, chop the liver in a fast motion, mincing it finely.
Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Saute the garlic and shallots, then add the liver and pork mince and cook for 4 minutes. Add the hoisin sauce, sugar, shrimp paste, pork stock and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil, then add peanut butter and rice flour mixture and stir until the sauce thickens. Add the peanuts and sesame seeds, then remove from the heat and set aside.
Place a frying pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon minced garlic and the prawns, and stir-fry for 3 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove the prawns and set aside. Wipe the pan clean, then repeat with the pork belly. Set aside.
To make the batter, place all the ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Wash the lettuce leaves and herbs and arrange them on a large platter.
Place a small, heavy-based non-stick frying pan (about 20 cm) over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. Once the oil is hot, add a thin layer of batter to the pan, swirling to coat the base of the pan. Add 1 tablespoon beaten egg, then add some prawns, pork, spring onions and bean sprouts.
Fry for 2 minutes or until the base is crisp and browned. Repeat this process with the remaining batter and filling ingredients.
Fold the pancake in half to make it "smile", and eat with lettuce, perilla, mint leaves and star fruit.
Dip into Hue hoisin dipping sauce.
• Pork liver should be bright coloured, moist and not slimy. Try to avoid using frozen liver.