aka Vietnamese Savory Pancakes. The name “bánh xèo” means “sizzle cake” or “sizzling cake” which is a reference to the sound of the pancake batter as it hits the hot pan!
If you’ve never had this style of pancake before, it’s basically an egg-based pancake stuffed with shrimp/fatty pork slices and vegetables. The whole pancake is then wrapped in lettuce leaves and dipped in a spicy and sour sauce. Sounds delicious, right?
(my ingredients: shredded carrots, bean sprouts, green onions, cilantro, straw mushrooms, and shrimp)
The shrimp filling in these pancakes was probably my favorite part: light and refreshing, but definitely satisfying enough for a meal (I had 2 for dinner).
(shrimp filling waiting to be encased in pancake!)
The sauce was really good, too, it kept things nice and tangy. I thought the sauce could actually have been a tad spicier (which is saying a lot since I have a really low tolerance for heat), but overall, it was pretty much perf. Both the pancakes and sauce have fish sauce in them – this was my first time working with fish sauce and I was pleasantly surprised. I watch a lot of cooking shows and whenever cheftestants get fish sauce as a “surprise ingredient” they always freak out, so I was apprehensive when I first got it, but really, it’s just like salty concentrated fish stock, kinda weird on it’s own, but magical when used correctly.
The actual pancake part of the bánh xèo was underwhelming, they’re very plain and basically just have a light eggy flavor – it’s the whole combination that really makes them a winner. And, truth be told, I had some trouble with the pancakes, I don’t know if mine were too thin, but they would cook really fast, dry out, and then rip when I folded them in half. Oh well. They still tasted good. I actually think the stiffness/dryness of the pancakes made them easier to hold, but they would’ve looked nicer if they hadn’t ripped – function over form, I suppose.
(my delicious looking platter).
So, if you’re in the mood for some deliciousness, you need to get on this recipe. ON IT.
4.25 out of 5 stackies: