Crispy bánh xèo

A popular street snack in Vietnam, the name translates as sizzling (Xeo) cake (Bahn). These super thin, delicate, crispy Vietnamese crêpes are a delicious breakfast or brunch alternative and can easily be made gluten free (swap the plain flour for more rice flour). All the prep can be done in advance, simply cook each crêpe to order (very important) and serve.








For the batter

  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup corn flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 850ml water
  • 270ml coconut cream
  • 2 shallots, very thinly sliced


For the pork belly

  • 650g pork belly
  • 20ml soy sauce
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick


For the filling

  • 120ml vegetable oil
  • 500g small green prawns, peeled and deveined
  • Pork belly (see above)
  • 6 cups bean sprouts


For the nuoc cham

This sauce can be adjusted to taste

  • 100g sugar
  • 100ml fish sauce
  • 70ml rice vinegar
  • 70ml fresh lime juice
  • 125ml water
  • 1-2 birdseye chilli, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped


To serve

  • 1 bunch of Vietnamese mint, washed and separated into sprigs
  • 1 bunch of mint, washed and separated into sprigs
  • 1 bunch of coriander, washed and separated into sprigs
  • Sliced chilli
  • Lime wedges


1. To make the batter

Add the flours, turmeric and salt to a large bowl, gradually whisk in the water and then the coconut cream, mixing until you have a smooth batter. Stir through the shallots. Cover and rest for a minimum of 30 mins, refrigerate if resting for longer (up to overnight). The batter will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge.

2. To make the pork belly

This can be done a day ahead. Bring a pot of water to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the pork, soy, star anise and cinnamon. Simmer until the pork is tender, about 45 minutes. Cover and cool completely in the cooking liquid. To prepare for the pancake, remove the skin and slice thinly, then into 1/2cm pieces.

3. To make the nuoc cham

Combine the sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, lime juice and water in a bowl or jar, stir until the sugar has dissolved and add the chilli and garlic. Adjust to taste. Set aside. This can be done a day in advance.

4. To cook the pancakes

Bring the batter to room temperature and test the thickness (the longer it sits the thicker it can get), you want it to approximate the thickness of pouring cream. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a 22cm/24cm non-stick fry pan over medium-high heat. Scatter in a few prawns and some sliced pork. Sauté for a minute or so, until lightly browned.

Stir the batter and pour about 160ml into the pan, swirling to spread the batter thinly and evenly (it will be more transparent around the edges). Scatter over a handful of beansprouts and drizzle the edges with a little extra oil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for a minute, until the beansprouts are lightly cooked. Remove the cover and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook until the bottom and edges of the pancake are golden and crispy, 1-2 minutes. Fold and transfer to a plate, serve immediately with the fresh herbs, chilli, lime and nuoc cham.

As seen in Summer 23/24

BIDFOOD appetiser white
Bidfood Australias appetiser 2023 year in review magazine includes australias best bar and how to handle the press. The magazine frontpage image features a dusted rim cocktail topped with half a green jalapeño on a vivid canary yellow table cloth.