We’re Cooking: Banh Xeo (Sizzling Vietnamese Pancakes)

 

We are cooking with a lot of shrimp lately (hence the last few recipes posted) I tried my hand at making Vietnamese sizzling pancake/crepes with jumbo shrimp and mushrooms, paired with a sweet and spicy sauce, my version of Banh Xeo. I do not dare claim to be an expert in Asian food preparation, but Gary said it was his favorite pandemic meal…I think that is a good thing. Pair with a crisp, lively Rose, we chose one from Provence.

Recipe:

Banh Xeo
Ingredients:
saffron, grapeseed, or other light oil
1 cup rice flour (the key to these cakes is using rice flour; we actually used brown rice flour, adding a touch more earthiness to the pancakes. Either will work perfectly.)
1/2 cup water
1 cup of coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon Gahram Masala
1 two-inch piece fresh peeled and grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced and divided
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper, divided
1 scallion, chopped

1/2 pound shrimp, chopped into bite-size pieces
1/2 lime, juice and zest
4 white mushrooms, sliced very thin
Mung bean sprouts
Splash soy sauce
1 small head leaf lettuce
cilantro, parsley, mint, Thai basil, or other green herbs
1 carrot, peeled into strips
1 small cucumber, sliced very thin
4 radishes, sliced very thin

Noch Cham sauce
Ingredients:
Juice of 2 limes
2-3 tablespoons fish sauce (to your taste)
1/4 cup sugar (more if you like it sweeter)
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup water (if you use hot water it will help the sugar dissolve faster)
1/2 teaspoon Sambol or other chile sauce or 1 Thai chile, sliced very thin
1 garlic clove, ground into a paste
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, ground to a paste (not traditional, but I love ginger)
splash soy sauce

Preparation:
Whisk together the spices, ginger, 1/2 of the garlic salt and pepper and flour. Whisk in the coconut milk. Wisk in the water. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to make the crepes. Whisk together all of the ingredients for the Noch Cham sauce. Set aside.

Add the zest and lime juice along with the rest of the salt and pepper to the shrimp and stir to combine. Set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium low heat. Add the shrimp, remaining garlic, and mushrooms, stir to combine and let cook for 2 minutes. Add the bean sprouts and a splash of soy sauce. Cook another minute. Spoon the filling into a small bowl and set aside.

When ready to make the pancakes stir in scallions into the batter and set aside. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a large, flat skillet to medium, so the oil is hot but not smoking and carefully spoon 1 full ladle of batter to the skillet. Rotate and tilt the pan to move the batter around the skillet to cover the entire bottom.

Cook for about 3-4 minutes until the pancake is lightly browned on the bottom (check by carefully lifting one edge of the crepe as to not break it, but check to see how fast they will cook.) Add 1/3 of the shrimp filling to the-4- crepe. Carefully fold the other half on top of the shrimp and slide from the pan.  Repeat twice, the recipe will make 3 pancakes  Serve with the sauce, veggie, herbs, and greens on the side.