Recipe: Bánh Xèo (Savoury Vietnamese Crêpes)

When my husband told me that he was going to bring me to this popular stall which sell Bánh Xèo, I was kind of apprehensive.  What kind of food was this? Never heard of before!!  Interestingly, this stall was tucked down a tight alley on the edge off Dinh Cong Trang in District 1, Vietnam. The place was so basic and kitchen without walls but there was already a big lunch crowd when we arrived. My conclusion was, this crepe was so so good!! 🙂

Bánh xèo literally means “sizzling cake”; you will hear the sizzling sound when the batter hits the hot pan. As we were in Ho Chi Minh City, it is natural that we have only tasted the Southern-style bánh xèo which contains coconut milk. I understand that certain central regions of Vietnam skip the coconut milk and sometimes the turmeric powder altogether. Most of the time, you will get prawns with their shells in bánh xèo but since I am making my own, I prefer to remove the prawn shells first.

Don’t try to eat bánh xèo with a fork and spoon, it doesn’t work very well. Hahaha. This crepe is meant to be eaten with your hands, so make sure you have clean hands!! You need to have a big plate of greens (lettuce or mustard greens) topped with herbs (mint, cilantro and other commonly used ones) and wrap your bánh xèo. Then dip in a fish sauce dipping. Mmmm….. It is so good!!!

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Makes 2 to 3 crepes


For the batter:

100g rice flour

½ tsp turmeric powder

125ml water

65ml coconut milk/beer

1 stalk spring onion (chopped)

Pinch of salt

For the fillings:

4 to 5 prawns per crepe (your preference)

200g pork belly (thinly sliced)


250g of beansprouts

50g of mung beans

Fresh vegetable platter:

Lettuce/mustard leaves

Mint, cilantro and any other herbs of your liking

Oil for frying

Dipping sauce:

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons fish sauce

10 Tablespoons water

1 tablespoon garlic

1 tablespoon chili

1 tablespoon lime juice


Preparation for the sauce:

  1. In a bowl, combine the sugar, water and fish sauce together and stir it well till sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add lime juice.
  3. Lastly add garlic and chilli.
  4. Stir well and set aside.

Preparation for the batter:


  1. In a bowl, dissolve the rice flour, turmeric powder and salt in water.
  2. Add coconut milk/beer and chopped spring onions.
  3. Stir well and let the batter rest for 30 minutes.

Preparation for the fillings:

  1. Remove the shells from the prawns and devein.
  2. Rinse and drain, then set aside.
  3. Slice the pork belly thinly or you may buy the ready sliced pork belly.
  4. Rinse and drain, then set aside.
  5. Remove the tail from the beansprouts.
  6. Rinse and drain, then set aside.
  7. Rinse the mung beans till water is clear.
  8. Put into a bowl and fill it with some water to cover the mung beans.
  9. Then steam over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the beans have reached your desired level of tenderness.
  10. Remove and set aside.

Making the Bánh Xèo:

  1. Heat a heavy-bottom or a non-stick pan over medium low heat.
  2. Drizzle 1 teaspoon cooking oil into the pan.
  3. Add 4 to 5 prawns and a few pork slices and fry until they change colour on both sides.
  4. Spread the filling evenly on the pan.
  5. Stir batter well before you ladle about ¼ cup of the batter.
  6. Quickly tilt to evenly coat the surface. The thinner the layer the better. If the crepe turns out too thick reduce the amount of batter in your second crepe.
  7. Top the batter with bean sprouts and mung beans.
  8. Place a lid over for about a minute.
  9. Remove the lid.
  10. When crepe begins to curl up on the edges and turns golden brown and crispy, fold the crepe in half.
  11. Gently remove the crepe to a serving plate.
  12. Repeat with remaining batter and ingredients.

Serving the Bánh Xèo:

  1. To serve, divide the crispy Bánh Xèo into 4 pieces.
  2. Take a large piece of lettuce or mustard leaf and place some herbs and a piece of the cut crepe on top.
  3. Roll it up.
  4. Dip in the dipping fish sauce and serve.


  1. The quantity for the fillings can be adjusted accordingly to your own liking.
  2. The number of crepes made will depend on the thickness of your crepes and the size of your pan.

Mummy's Kitchen

Hi! My name is Josephine Go. I blog at in a segment called Mummy’s Kitchen. I love to use fresh and natural ingredients in my cooking to promote healthy eating. Some of my recipes may not be in line with the traditional methods of cooking to the extent that some of the ingredients are different, but hopefully new recipes are being created in my style. I certainly hope that what I do will help guide kitchen first-timers on how to cook their first meal as well as further equip kitchen veterans with new recipes. My loving husband and two wonderful children are my best guinea pigs and critics. They have enjoyed (or endured) the food that has been served to them for all these years. Mind you, I did not know how to cook or ever knew that I could cook till I got married. So there is hope for everyone. If I can cook, you can cook. You will not know how good or talented you are until you put your hand in the plough.

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