Bánh xèo – crispy Vietnamese pancakes


First published in 2017
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Pancake batter (makes 12 large pancakes)

Dipping sauce


  • 400g of pork belly, sliced
  • 1l chicken stock
  • 400g of king prawns
  • 2 chayote, cut into jullienne
  • 50g of beansprouts
  • 2 carrots, cut into jullienne
  • 1 tsp oil

To serve

Start by making the dipping sauce. Place the lime juice, crushed rock sugar, fish sauce and water in a small saucepan and bring to medium heat to dissolve the sugar. As soon as the sugar has melted, turn off heat and leave on the side to cool down. When completely cooled down, add the garlic and chillies and mix well. Can be stored for up to 5 days in the fridge
To make the pancake batter, combine all the ingredients except the spring onions and whisk to a smooth batter. Add the chopped spring onions and place in the fridge for an hour to chill
On a medium heat, poach the pork belly in chicken stock for 15 minutes. Drain, allow to cool, then slice into little rectangles. Set aside until ready to use
Poach the prawns in the chicken stock for about 3 minutes until just cooked. Cool, then devein, cut in half and set aside until ready to use
Heat the oil in a medium non-stick frying pan over a high heat
Add a few slices of pork belly and some pieces of prawn then pour in a ladle of the pancake batter, angling the pan to let the batter cover the whole pan in a thin layer
Add a small handful of the vegetable fillings then lower the heat and put the lid on for 2 and a half minutes
Remove the lid and maintain the low heat for a further 3 and a half minutes until the pancake has that signature golden yellow colour and starts to crisp up
Fold in half and eat whist still hot (if you're making a few at a time, keep warm under the grill)
The true Vietnamese way of eating the pancakes is wrapped up in lettuce leaves with plenty of fresh herbs and cucumber and dipped in the sweet and sour chilli dipping sauce
First published in 2017
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