Bánh Xèo served with Nuóc Chấm


Serves 6
7 oz (200 g) Bánh Xèo pancake flour*
1 tsp (5 ml) ground turmeric
1 tsp (5 ml) table salt
1 x 400 ml (14 oz) can coconut milk
1 cup (250 ml) warm water
2 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
8 oz (250 g) pork belly, cut into ½-in (1.25 cm) thick strips
¾ tsp (4 ml) table salt
1 cup (250 ml) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped garlic (optional)
4 tbsp (60 ml) vegetable oil, divided
1½ cups (375 ml) bean sprouts, divided
6 tbsp (90 ml) cooked mung beans, divided (optional)
1 head green leaf or Boston lettuce, whole leaves separated, washed and dried
1 bunch mint, washed and dried
1 bunch cilantro, washed and dried
1 bunch Vietnamese perilla (optional), washed and dried
* Available at Asian grocery stores. If you can’t find it, combine 1/3 cup (75 ml) rice flour, ¼ cup (60 ml) all-purpose flour and 3 tbsp (45 ml) cornstarch. All flours must be spooned to measure; total weight should be 7 oz (200 g).
Nuóc Châ´m, make ahead, recipe follows, to serve
3 tbsp (45 ml) sugar
⅔ cup (150 ml) lukewarm water
¼ cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ cup (60 ml) fish sauce
1 garlic clove, finely chopped (optional)
1 small red Thai chili, thinly sliced


  1. In a large bowl, mix together Bánh Xèo flour, turmeric and salt. Add coconut milk and warm water and whisk until batter is smooth and there are no lumps. Stir in green onion. Cover and let rest for 1 hour, if possible.
  2. Season pork belly with salt. In a large skillet over high heat, fry pork until edges are brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate, reserving skillet with rendered fat for next step. Set aside.
  3. In same skillet, fry prawns in rendered pork fat for about 1 minute per side. Transfer prawns to a separate plate and set aside, again reserving skillet for next step.
  4. In same skillet, fry onions and garlic, if using, over medium-high heat until translucent. Remove from heat and add to cooked pork.
  5. Give batter a quick stir to integrate ingredients. In a 10-in (25 cm) non-stick skillet or crêpe pan, heat 2 tsp (10 ml) oil over medium-high heat. Using a ladle, pour ½ cup (125 ml) batter into hot skillet and carefully but quickly swirl skillet to evenly distribute batter over surface.
  6. Spread 1/6 of pork and onion mixture onto ½ of crêpe. Add 1/6 of prawns over top. Sprinkle over 1 tbsp (15 ml) mung beans, if using, and about ¼ cup (60 ml) bean sprouts over filling. Cover skillet, reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Remove lid, increase heat to medium-high and continue cooking for another 3 to 5 minutes to allow bottom of crêpe to crisp up slightly. Fold crêpe in half over filling and transfer to serving plate. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  7. Serve with whole lettuce leaves, mint, cilantro and perilla, if using, alongside. To eat, tear or cut pieces of crêpe, wrap up with lettuce and herbs and dip in Nuóc Châ´m.
  8. To prepare Nuóc Châ´m, In a small bowl, combine sugar and water and stir until dissolved. Add lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, if using, and chili and stir to combine. Makes 1¼ cups (310 ml)
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