How to make the perfect extra crispy banh xeo? This awesome Vietnamese street comfort food, banh xeo (Vietnamese crepe), is pretty easy to make. The batter is just a bit tricky at times. But no worries, in this recipe, I will show you the tips and tricks in making the perfect banh xeo batter.
3 Tips For Crispy Banh Xeo Batter
This batter will give you a light crispy banh xeo, but also have that gluttonous chewy inside.
Tip #1: Adding a bit of cornstarch to the rice flour gives it an extra crisp. The technique in cooking it is important, but you can improve when you start making lots of banh xeo.
Tips #2: One thing I stress most for this to be a good banh xeo, is to leave the batter in the fridge overnight! Let the flour rise and become sticky and chewy. Cold batter works very well in creating that crispy bottom and chewy top.
Tips #3: I recommend replacing the clear water on top of the batter (after fridge over night) with the beer or sparkling water. Some people use beer for crispy batter. The crispiness and fluffiness comes from the co2 thats from the beer, not necessary the ingredients in the beer. You can taste the hops from the beer and sometimes sourness if used the batter right away. But if you use beer to mix the batter and then put in fridge overnight, the co2 becomes stale, hence the batter won’t be fluffy nor crispy.
Banh Xeo Batter from Scratch
There are plenty of premix banh xeo batter at your local vietnamese/chinese supermarket. But in most cases, you are not close to an Asian supermarket or none of the pre mix brand gives you that crispy banh xeo that you want, here is the portion which you will need to make your own Banh Xeo flour from scratch.
2 parts rice flour
1 part wheat flour
1 part cornstarch
Banh Xeo Batter Ingredients:
2 pkg pre mixed banh xeo flour (use mixture on top if you don’t have pre mix)
2-4 tblsp cornstarch (for crispiness)
2 tspn turmeric powder
1 tblsp Salt
2 bunch of thinly sliced green onions (or chives)
2 cans coconut milk
4-5 cups of water (add water base on batter consistency) can fluctuate depending on how thick your coconut milk is.
Mix all ingredients well, cover and let rest in fridge overnight. Ready to use next day. Mix batter up again the next day, the batter should be a bit sticky now.
Nước Mắm For Banh Xeo
The dipping sauce, nước mắm, is as important as the banh xeo itself. There are different methods of making this dipping sauce depending on the regions of Vietnam you are in. It can be adjusted to your taste.
The nuoc mam dipping sauce for banh xeo should be a bit sweeter with the well balance saltiness from your fish sauce. The lime gives it a fresh taste while the vinegar helps to mellow out the acidity of the lime. Plenty of garlic and add chili for your spice level. I use coconut juice instead of water to dilute out the saltiness of the fish sauce and help to balance the sweetness. It should be dilute out with coconut juice enough to where you can actually sip on the sauce without it being too salty.
I did not make the video for the dipping sauce in this video clip, but you can follow my other recipe where I made the same nuoc mam dipping sauce here @ 10:00.
Condiments To Eat With Banh Xeo
Originally banh xeo toppings are just, pork belly, shrimps, sprouts, onions, & some parts in Vietnam, mung beans. I add an egg in mine’s for extra protein 🙂
However in mid parts of Vietnam, where seafood is abundant, they even add in squid. Though squid tends to wet your batter because of the juice that comes out. I believe the precook the squid first if using regular wok or pan. But when I was small, they used the small clay pot to make banh xeo with the raw squid. It turned out perfectly. I think the clay pot reduce moisture so the banh xep turns out extra crispy and golden!
Banh Xeo is meant to be eaten with mustard greens. We use the large leaf to wrap the banh xeo, mints, and pickled daikon and carrots. Some even use rice paper and lettuce to wrap it for the dipping sauce as well.
And if you are lazy like me, I just put it all in a large bowl and mix it all up and chow down!
Best Crispy Bánh Xèo
- Pan with lid cover
- 2 pkg pre mixed banh xeo batter should already come with pkg of turmeric powder
- 2 tbsp salt
- 2 cans coconut milk
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tspn turmeric powder if package doesn't come with it
- 8 each green onions sliced thin
- 4 cups water can sub for beer or sparkling water
Nước Mắm Dipping Sauce
- 1 clove garlic peeled & chopped
- 1-2 each thai chili chopped
- 1 each lime
- 10 tbsp sugar adjust to your taste after
- 10 tbsp fish sauce adjust to your taste after
- 4 tbsp distilled vinegar
- 2 cups coconut juice can use water if no coconut juice
Toppings & Condiments
- 2 each large white onions sliced thin
- 1 lb bean sprouts
- 2 lb shrimps peeled & devine
- 2 lb pork belly blanched with salt, ginger, and garlic. sliced thin to bite size pieces
- 2 cups canola/vegetable oil
- 3 bunch mustard greens can use lettuce greens
- 3 bunch mix mints
- 1 dzn eggs optional
- Mix together all ingredients for the batter mix. Make sure there's no clumps.
- Cover and put in fridge for 24 hrs.uncover and mix up the batter again the next day.
Nước Mắm Dipping Sauce
- in a mortar, smash into a paste: garlic, thai chili, & sugar.Put out to bowl.
- add in the lime juice, fish Sauce, vinegar, coconut juice/water & mix well.
- taste and adjust to your liking. It should be a bit salty, sweet, spicy, and garlicky.add fish sauce for more salty, add lime for more citrusy, and sugar for more sweet. Add more water or coconut juice to dilute out with too salty or sour.
- marinade the shrimps with: 1/2 tspn salt, 2 tspn sugar, 1 tspn granulated chicken seasoning, 1/2 tspn garlic powder, 1/2 tspn black peppers
- On medium – high heat: Add a bit of oil to the pan and coat it well. add in the sliced pork belly & shrimps. Make sure both sides turns a bit golden.
- Add in your batter. It should make a good sizzling sound. if not, it means your pan is not hot enough. Spread the batter out thinly by rotating your pan in circular motion.
- add some sprouts and white onions. crack an egg in if you want. cover lid for 1-2 min. adjust your fire level to medium heat.
- open lid and using a spatula, try to release the bottom of the banh xeo so it can slide easily in the pan. let fry for another min to crisp up the bottom.usually the 1st and 2nd banh xeo will be a bit burnt because the pan is not heated up properly yet. It takes some time to get use to the cooking routine as well.
- fold banh xeo in half in the pan and serve right away!
- use mustard greens or lettuce as a wrapper and add mints and banh xeo.dip in nuoc mam and enjoy!