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Vietnamese Sizzling Crepes-Banh Xeo

I’ll admit that I learnt about Vietnamese Sizzling Crepe or Banh Xeo from chef Anthony Bourdain of No Reservation programme. On one of his trips over to Vietnam, I recalled he had this crepe for breakfast. Anyway, I had tried many recipes from various sources for this crepe, but, the end result was less than satisfying. Until recently, when I tried the recipe from Mai Pham’s Vietnamese cookbook. Using this recipe, I just simply substituted the meat with prawns for the filling. The outcome was great, light and crispy crepe with delicious moist and juicy prawn filling. Yummy!

Recipe adapted from Pleasures Of The Vietnamese Table by Mai Pham

Vietnamese Sizzling Crepes-Banh Xeo


2 Cups Rice Flour
½ Cup Coconut Milk
2 1/3 Cups Water
1 ½ tsp Ground Turmeric
1 tsp Sugar
½ tsp Sea Salt
½ tsp Curry Powder, preferably Vietnamese Golden Bells Brand
3 Scallions cut into thin rings

36 Medium Prawns, peeled
½ Large Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
4 Cups Bean Sprouts
2 Tbsp vegetable Oil plus extra oil for the crepe
A pinch of Sea Salt

1 Cup Vietnamese Dipping Sauce
Green Leaf Lettuce
Dipping Sauce


Combine the batter ingredients in a bowl and stir until well blended. Set aside.

Heat 2 Tbsp of the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Toss in the prawns and onions. Give it a quick stir and add in a pinch of sea salt. Sauté until the prawns turn pink and fragrant. Set aside.

Whisk the batter well and heat a non-stick or crepe pan (8 inches in diameter) over moderate heat. Add 1 Tbsp of the oil and ladle about ½ cup of the batter and tilt to evenly coat the surface.

When the crepe begins to feel firm, gently pried and lift up one side and add in another ½ Tbsp of oil onto the pan. Gently tilt the pan to distribute the oil evenly. Then top one side of the crepe with some prawn mixture and bean sprouts. Fold the crepe in half and reduce the heat to low. Continue to cook the crepe for another 2 minutes.

Gently remove the crepe to a serving plate. Repeat with remaining batter and ingredients to make about 7 to 8 crepes.

Serve the crepes with lettuce and dipping sauce.

Vietnamese Dipping Sauce Recipe
Mix 6 chopped Thai bird-eye chilies, garlic, 6 Tbsp sugar, 1 cup warm water, 3 Tbsp lime juice, and 8 Tbsp Fish Sauce


  1. Funny, one of our friends saw that episode and begged us to make this recently! Very well done!! The adding of the oil and tilting of the pan is really key to get it nice and crispy, we think.

  2. I'll admit, I've never actually heard of these....
    The crepe looks so crispy, I thought it was fried! It looks so good- I think I'd like this a lot =]

  3. This is my reply to your twitter. I'm getting hungry so fast now. Winter makes me want to eat more and more :)

    The more I see these pictures the more hungry I am :(

  4. that's it? that easy? I can't believe it!
    I will have to make it now that I know how fast and unfussy is to do it (bcs I love viet crepes!)

  5. I traveled to Vietnam this year for three weeks, and one of the places I went was a very remote fishing village in the South part of the country. My friend is from the village and we stayed for a few days with her extended family. They told us one day that they were preparing a "feast" for us, and it turned out to be a feast of Banh Xeo.

    And it was unbelievably delicious.

  6. Hi,
    Your Bahn Xeo looks delicious. -Tien

  7. I've never tried to make these, but we ate them from street vendors all over south Vietnam when we traveled there many years ago. Your beautiful photos bring me right back to that taste.

  8. I tried this and they did not, unfortunately, turn out very well. Perhaps this is partially due to the inability to get the right brand of curry powder, or the fact that the official crepe cooker of the house was going at it with the technique of very good french crepe maker, but we could not get these crepes to stay together, no matter how thick, thin, or how much/little oil we used. it was a wee bit frustrating, I confess. Your photos look gorgeous, though!

  9. Hello, I often look in tv Antony Bourdain, adore its way to eat in road. Me piace a lot these leaks knows to me that I try it after the christmas festivities!
    Your blog is fantastic, adds it between my preferred ones hoping makes likes.
    (I hope that my English is understood, use the translator)

  10. @Shelle: Well, that's not good. I don't think the brand of curry powder make any different. It might be the coconut milk but I can't confirm. Perhaps, use less water and make sure you stir the batter well before cooking the crepe. (stir after making each crepe.) I do hope you will give it another try.

  11. Hmmm . . . It seems to me that eggs are missing from the ingredient list and that they would be necessary to hold the batter together. Eggs were definitely in the Vietnamese crepes I've had at restaurants. It's one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes, so thanks for the recipe . . . I'm going to try adding eggs!

  12. @sandboa: Thanks for the comment. Banh Xeo batter is thin and light and seems like it's made from eggs, but never is. The yellow color comes from ground turmeric.


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