Cut the Crepe!: Banh Xeo, or Vietnamese Crepes

Viva la France!

Wrong country. Sorta.

Remember the French influence I was telling you about?  Today’s dish is a perfect example of that.

Bánh Xèo is a Vietnamese-style crepe. However, unlike the ones that I made way back when I was cooking France, these are made of rice flour rather than all-purpose, and filled with vegetables rather than Nutella. The flour thing is okay, but I was sad to give up the Nutella.  Who wouldn’t be?

Anyway, while I tend to prefer my crepes on the sweet side, I have also had some pretty tasty savory ones, my favorite being outside the Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris, stuffed with cheese, mushrooms, chicken, broccoli and tomatoes. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.  These weren’t too shabby either, though the mung bean filling would be thought to be less traditional to the Western masses.

crepe 3

I will admit that my crepe making skills were a little rusty, and while it looked a bit wonky, the finished product came out delicious. So thought I. So thought Donut.  Like everything else it would seem in this area, the crepes were topped off by- you guessed it- herbs and a sauce for drizzling.  Admittedly I didn’t miss the Nutella, but I did miss the cheese to stick it all together. Cheddar, however, would not fit this flavor profile.

Recipe adapted from The Kitchn

Makes 2

Ingredients

For the filling:

¼ cup split yellow peas

½ inch piece of ginger

2 scallions, chopped

Cilantro, chopped

1 cup bean sprouts

For the crepes

¾ cup rice flour

¼ tsp salt

1/8 tsp turmeric

2/3 cup coconut milk

¼ cup water

1 tsp vegetable or coconut oil

For the sauce

2 TB lime juice

2 TB soy sauce

2 TB sugar

4 TB water

1 clove garlic, crushed

Greens for serving

Basil, mint and cilantro to garnish

Directions

1.   Make the filling:  Cover the split peas with water and soak overnight or at least 4 hours. Drain. Steam in a basket over simmering water until tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove the ginger.

2.  Make the crepes:  Whisk together all the crepe ingredients, less the oil, to make a smooth batter.

3.  Heat half of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Pour half of the oil in a skillet (or like I had, a flat griddle).  Pour half of the batter in the pan and swirl to distribute evenly.

crepe

4.  Sprinkle half of the mung beans and scallions over the batter.  Arrange the bean sprouts and cilantro over half of the crepe.

filled crepe

5.  When cooked through and the edges are browned, fold the crepe over and slide onto a plate.  Repeat for a second crepe.

6.  Make the sauce:  Mix all the ingredients together.  That’s easy.

6.  Serve with the greens and sauce. Enjoy!

filled crepe 2

This is ugly. But oh-so-tasty.


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