Banh xeo are giant savory pancakes that literally translate to sizzling cake because of the noise they make when they are being cooked.
A thin layer of batter is fried in a lot of oil, then combined with your choice of ingredients, often including slices of pork belly, shrimp, and onions, then folded over with a handful of lightly cooked bean sprouts in the middle.
Banh xeo is prepared differently throughout the country. Tourists traveling about in Vietnam are sure to encounter a different recipe, and sometimes even a different name, for “banh xeo” depending on which region and province they are visiting.
In the Southern region, the banh xeo is the size of a large dish and yellow in color due to the employment of turmeric powder. The Southern people always add coconut milk to the rice flour to make the crepe extra delicious. The crepe is stuffed with bean sprouts, mung beans, shrimp and pork. A sweet and sour fish sauce and fresh vegetables are used as accompaniments.
In the Central region, “banh xeo” cooks make a smaller crepe that is white in color. In Hue, the crepes are called “banh khoai”, which is similar to “banh xeo”, but smaller in size and stuffed with fennel, sour star fruit, green banana and a thick soy sauce.
Banh xeo – The Vietnamese pancakes are served with platters of leaves, which are used as wrappers. To eat, tear off a chunk of the crispy pancake and place it in the centre of a mustard or a lettuce leaf, add a selection of basil, balm and perilla leaves and roll up into a giant green cigar. Dip the end in the nuoc mam dipping sauce and enjoy!
You can see “Top 15 Must Eat Dishes in Saigon – Ho Chi Minh City” here