Origin - Vietnam
Bánh xèo is literally named after the loud sizzling sound it makes as it is cooked on a hot skillet, is a savory Vietnamese crepe made from rice flour and coconut milk colored with turmeric and packed with mung bean paste, shrimp, bean sprouts, and slices of boiled pork. To create the crispy textured crepe, the batter is evenly spread across a piping hot skillet with ample amounts of oil until fully cooked to crunchy perfection. The result is a thin and savory pancake.
[ History ]
Bánh xèo is believed to have been a creation of the central Vietnamese people during the Tay Son era. It is said that the locals really loved crepe that they would opt for bánh xèo, twice a month, instead of rice. The inspiration of the dish is largely attributed to the French which some speculate that is a direct descendant of a crispy pancake in Hue called banh khoai, which is similar to bánh xèo but smaller in size, stuffed with fennel, sour star fruit, green banana, and thick soy sauce. Others believe that the dish evolved from the South Indian dish known as masala dosa.
Whatever story behind these crepes, one thing is for certain; the recipe for this dish has been modified all across Vietnam, each region with their own unique taste. In central Vietnam, the crepes are smaller and white, with no turmeric in the batter and is commonly served with “tuong” sauce, which is a salty soybean paste. In provinces closer to the coastline, locals stuff their bánh xèo with seafood instead of pork.
[ How to Eat ]
Cut a slice of bánh xèo, wrap in lettuce and fresh herbs, dip it in the fish sauce, and enjoy! Wrap and repeat until you wonder why your plate is empty!