My Vietnamese Kitchen by Uyen Luu, photography by Clare Winfield, published by Ryland Peters & Small
Sizzling crêpes with pork and prawns
bánh xèo thịt heo tôm
Bánh xèo is a street-food favourite of many Vietnamese when the sun sets – it is a light savoury crêpe made with rice flour and coconut milk, to be eaten as it’s being cooked. It is served with an abundance of salad leaves and herbs. A slice of crêpe is placed on a lettuce leaf in the palm of your hand, then rolled up with lots of herbs and dipped into a fish sauce-based dipping sauce. Never before have I enjoyed a salad so immensely. Everything should be prepped in advance so the crêpes can be eaten as soon as they are done.
Makes about 12
Mix together the garlic, chillies and vinegar in a bowl. Set aside for 2 minutes. This “cooks” the garlic. Now add the fish sauce, sugar and 400 ml water.
Mix together the flour, turmeric, coconut milk, 400 ml water, spring onions, salt and sugar in a bowl, making sure it is smooth and free of lumps.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in the frying pan over medium heat and fry 1 teaspoon of the chopped shallots until browned. Season the pork belly and prawns with salt and pepper and add a few pieces to the pan until cooked through. Using a shallow ladle, pour in a thin layer of the crêpe batter, add a handful of beansprouts and cover the pan with the lid. Allow to cook for 2 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for a further minute, making sure the crêpe is crispy and brown. Fold the crêpe in half and set aside. Repeat this whole process with the remaining shallots, batter and other ingredients to make several more crêpes.
To eat, break a piece of crêpe onto a lettuce leaf, add the onions and herbs, roll it all up and dip it in the dipping sauce.