Asian Recipes/ Dinner/ Recipes/ Vietnamese

Easy Banh Xeo – Crispy Vietnamese Crepes

10/03/2022 (Last Updated: 18/09/2020)

Meet Banh Xeo, crispy Vietnamese crepes like an omelette and pancake rolled into one. Named for the sizzling sound they make when cooking in a hot pan, these savoury bites are the perfect filler for rice paper rolls.

Crispy Vietnamese crepes laid out on banana leaves.

Why We Love This

A great dish for gatherings or to make with the whole family. People can eat them separately with a simple nuoc cham dipping sauce (a fish sauce based sweet and sour sauce with a hint of chilli) or team them up with other Vietnamese dishes like fried spring rolls or Vietnamese pizza if you have leftover rice paper.

With the variety of ways you can eat bánh xèo, they’re so versatile. Make it a snack, or turn it into an sure meal!

A banh xeo being cooked on a very hot pan.

What are Crispy Vietnamese Crepes? 

Bánh Xèo are Vietnamese sizzling crepes made with rice flour and topped with tasty morsels of meat and a sprinkling of bean sprouts and / or mung beans.

These delicacies are usually bought as a street food snack OR cooked at home with family and friends. Depending on the region of Vietnam, there are many variations on this wonderful dish. From the size, to the ingredients and even the way the crepes are eaten.

Today’s version is how we learnt it – central Vietnam style from Hoi An. These are smaller in size, usually cooked on a small cast iron frying pan (some varieties in Saigon are cooked on big woks!) and served up with fresh herbs all rolled together into rice paper rolls and dipped into nuoc mam.

Ngon qua! (Delicious!)

Where We Learned This

We first came across Banh Xeo in Hoi An sitting on those little red and blue plastic stools and stuffing them into rice paper rolls for lunch on the side of the road. We then learnt to cook them with the lovely ladies at Tra Que Water Wheel.

What You’ll Need

  • Meat – Traditionally, this is often served with thin slices of pork belly / shoulder / butt and shrimp / prawns. However, different areas may also use thinly sliced chicken (like we have today), or minced / ground chicken or pork, squid etc. Feel free to switch up the protein to suit whatever you have in the fridge – even tofu!
  • Bean Sprouts and Mung Beans – Bean sprouts are the perfect filling for some extra nutrition! We love sprouting them ourselves for an extra bite of flavour. You can also use yellow split mung beans by soaking them over night, then steaming or simmering them on the stove until soft. Sprinkle over a handful of both if you like!
  • Herbs and Greens – Today we’ve served ours with mint and coriander / cilantro, but you can also add in Thai basil, Vietnamese mint, lettuce, mustard leaves, spinach, silverbeet etc.
  • Garlic, Shallots and Spring Onion – We love giving our meat a little extra flavour, so we do a quick marinade in garlic, shallots and tumeric. We also pop in chopped spring onion for the batter which works great with the crepe and meat flavours.
  • Tumeric – This is THE non-negotiable for the recipe. It gives you that iconic yellow colour and subtle earthy flavours we know and love from tumeric. Powder works best, not fresh tumeric necessary.
  • Rice Flour – Okay, this is the other non-negotiable. As we mentioned previously, rice flour is essential for that nice crispy texture. Just don’t buy the glutinous version!
  • Rice Paper– We love making our banh xeo into rice paper rolls. You can skip this and just wrap them in lettuce, spinach or mustard leaves if you prefer. Or don’t wrap them at all – just dip!
Ingredients laid out to make banh xeo.

How to make Banh Xeo at home:

  1. Place the chickenpork or seafood into a bowl with the shallotsgarlic and turmeric powder. Mix well to combine. Allow to marinate for 5 mins.
  2. Add the rice flour, turmeric powder, salt and pepper, egg and water to a bowl and mix to form a batter. Sprinkle in the spring onion and give it another quick mix.
  3. Use an oil brush to coat the vegetable oil in a small frying pan over high heat. Pour in your marinated meat and cook for a minute or two on each side until par-cooked. Remove from the pan.
  1. Re-oil the pan with your oil brush, place a small amount of the par-cooked meat evenly across the pan, then pour over one ladle of to fill the pan. Swirl the batter around to fill any holes and neaten the edges.
  2. Add a handful of bean sprouts / mung beans to one half of your crepe. Then use your oil brush again to coat more vegetable oil around the outside edges of the crepe for the ultimate crispiness!
  3. Next, cover with a lid for 1 min to steam the bean sprouts and cook the meat through.
  1. Remove the lid and allow to cook for another minute or two until the base starts to brown. Next, using a spatula, fold the banh xeo in half and serve!
  2. Repeat by brushing the oil onto the pan again and cooking the remaining banh xeo.
  3. Optional: Make into a rice paper roll. Dip your rice paper into a bowl of lukewarm water, then place on a large plate. Layer with herbs such as mint and cilantro / coriander, then place a piece or your whole banh xeo on top. Fold over the bottom, then edges and roll up tightly to the top.
  4. Serve with your favourite dipping sauces such as nuoc mam cham, peanut hoisin or even Thai nam jim jaew.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Prep First – If you’re eating them with rice paper rolls, prep all the other ingredients first, so the pancakes are still nice and warm.
  • Stir Before You Pour – Always give your batter a stir before pouring as the rice flour tends to settle on the bottom.
  • Using shrimp or prawns? No need to pre-cook them as they’ll only need a few minutes in the pan to be cooked through.
  • Hot Pan – Make sure the pan is super hot to get that ultra crispy texture on your banh xeo. The rice flour is also what helps to give you those crispy edges. If it starts to burn too quick, just lower the temperature to a medium-high and cook it for longer.
Flipping banh xeo pancakes into the air.

FAQs

How do I stop my banh xeo from sticking to the pan?

This is one of our most asked questions. Check these tips for the perfect crepes every time, and no mess!
Check you’re using regular rice flour. Glutinous rice flour or other flours will not give you the same result.
Is your pan non-stick? Whether you’re using a wok, frying pan or skillet – it needs to be non-stick. Heavy or cast iron pans work really well!
Use enough oil. Sometimes running your oil brush around the edges again is enough to get the pancake unstuck and ready to fold.

Where is banh xeo from?

Our version today is from Hoi An, Vietnam. There are so many banh xeo variations though – you might as well try them all through your travels or cooking in the kitchen.

Can I make the batter in advance?

Yes! The batter can absolutely be made in advance, just make sure it’s room temperature before cooking. So if it’s been in the fridge, just leave it out for around 30 minutes on the counter. You can store the batter in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Just remember to give it a good stir before cooking as the rice flour will have settles on the bottom!

Variations

  • Replace The Water – for a slightly different taste and version of this popular pancake, swap the water for coconut milk or coconut water.
  • Pre-mix Banh Xeo Flour – You can buy pre-mixed banh xeo flour which includes some all purpose flour (wheat based flour), but we think it’s easiest just to use regular rice flour.
Two Vietnamese pancakes on banana leaves.

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

Plate of crispy Vietnamese pancakes and fresh herbs.

Easy Banh Xeo – Crispy Vietnamese Crepes

Meet Banh Xeo, crispy Vietnamese crepes like an omelette and pancake rolled into one. Named for the sizzling sound they make when cooking in a hot pan, these savoury bites are the perfect filler for rice paper rolls.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Servings: 6 banh xeo
Calories: 211kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $10

Equipment

Ingredients

For the Marinade

  • 200 g pork or chicken or shrimp / prawns sliced thin, or use ground / minced meat
  • 2 shallots finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder

For the Batter

To Garnish and Serve

  • 6 Rice paper sheets
  • 100 g fresh cilantro / coriander fresh
  • 100 g mint fresh
  • 100 g bean sprouts and / or steamed mung beans
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil and oil brush

Instructions

  • Place the chickenpork or shrimp / prawns into a bowl with the shallotsgarlic and turmeric powder. Mix well to combine. Allow to marinate for 5 mins.
    200 g pork or chicken or shrimp / prawns, 2 shallots, 1 clove garlic, 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Add the rice flour, turmeric powder, salt and pepper, egg and water to a bowl and mix to form a batter. Sprinkle in the spring onion and give it another quick mix.
    1 cup rice flour, 1 ½ cups water, 1 egg, 1 spring onion / green onion, 2 tsp tumeric powder, Salt and pepper
  • Use an oil brush to coat the vegetable oil in a small frying pan over high heat. Pour in your marinated meat and cook for a minute or two on each side until par-cooked. Remove from the pan.
  • Re-oil the pan with your oil brush, place a small amount of the par-cooked meat evenly across the pan, then pour over one ladle of to fill the pan. Swirl the batter around to fill any holes and neaten the edges.
    2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Add a handful of bean sprouts / mung beans to one half of your crepe. Then use your oil brush again to coat more vegetable oil around the outside edges of the crepe for the ultimate crispiness!
    100 g bean sprouts
  • Next, cover with a lid for 1 min to steam the bean sprouts and cook the meat through.
  • Remove the lid and allow to cook for another minute or two until the base starts to brown. Next, using a spatula, fold the banh xeo in half and serve!
  • Repeat by brushing the oil onto the pan again and cooking the remaining banh xeo.
  • Optional: Make into a rice paper roll. Dip your rice paper into a bowl of lukewarm water, then place on a large plate. Layer with herbs such as mint and cilantro / coriander, then place a piece or your whole banh xeo on top. Fold over the bottom, then edges and roll up tightly to the top.
    6 Rice paper sheets, 100 g fresh cilantro / coriander, 100 g mint
  • Serve with your favourite dipping sauces such as nuoc mam cham, peanut hoisin or even Thai nam jim jaew.

Video

Recipe Notes

  • Prep First – If you’re eating them with rice paper rolls, prep all the other ingredients first, so the pancakes are still nice and warm.
  • Stir Before You Pour – Always give your batter a stir before pouring as the rice flour tends to settle on the bottom.
  • Using shrimp or prawns? No need to pre-cook them as they’ll only need a few minutes in the pan to be cooked through.
  • Hot Pan – Make sure the pan is super hot to get that ultra crispy texture on your banh xeo. The rice flour is also what helps to give you those crispy edges. If it starts to burn too quick, just lower the temperature to a medium-high and cook it for longer.
  • Replace The Water – for a slightly different taste and version of this popular pancake, swap the water for coconut milk or coconut water.
  • Pre-mix Banh Xeo Flour – You can buy pre-mixed banh xeo flour which includes some all purpose flour (wheat based flour), but we think it’s easiest just to use regular rice flour.
Adapted from Tra Que Water Wheel

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Easy Banh Xeo – Crispy Vietnamese Crepes
Amount per Serving
Calories
211
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
6
g
9
%
Saturated Fat
 
2
g
13
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Cholesterol
 
52
mg
17
%
Sodium
 
52
mg
2
%
Potassium
 
360
mg
10
%
Carbohydrates
 
28
g
9
%
Fiber
 
3
g
13
%
Sugar
 
2
g
2
%
Protein
 
11
g
22
%
Vitamin A
 
1943
IU
39
%
Vitamin C
 
14
mg
17
%
Calcium
 
73
mg
7
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Easy Banh Xeo - Crispy Vietnamese Crepes

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26 Comments

  • Reply
    Mikayla Anderson
    24/12/2019 at 8:19 pm

    I used rice flour but it didn’t work. What type of rice flour ?!?!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      07/01/2020 at 2:44 pm

      We used regular rice flour, and not sticky rice flour. Not sure what part didn’t work but one trick is to ensure your pan and the oil is super hot when you pop the batter in!

  • Reply
    Patty at Spoonabilities
    05/09/2019 at 1:11 pm

    5 stars
    I am really excited to try your recipe! I LOVE Vietnamese food and these don’t look difficult to make at all!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      06/09/2019 at 11:21 am

      Same, Vietnamese is definitely up there with one of our favourite cuisines. 🙂

  • Reply
    Alexandra @ It's Not Complicated Recipes
    05/09/2019 at 12:46 pm

    5 stars
    Another divine recipe!
    Loving these flavours – and the whole family LOVES this recipe!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      06/09/2019 at 11:21 am

      Thanks Alex! 🙂 That’s so awesome to hear!!

  • Reply
    Kate
    05/09/2019 at 11:24 am

    These look so yummy! I love trying new recipes, can’t wait to try this one!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      06/09/2019 at 11:21 am

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    Sonal
    05/09/2019 at 11:15 am

    5 stars
    This is super amazing….complete gastronomical experience. I have never heard of these but I am glad that I discovered these delicious things here..bookmarking to make.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      06/09/2019 at 11:20 am

      Glad you found something new to try, that’s what we love!

  • Reply
    Colleen
    05/09/2019 at 11:03 am

    5 stars
    Oh my Goodness, I want these! Salivating, and can’t wait to try.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      06/09/2019 at 11:20 am

      Haha, they are pretty tasty! Hope you enjoy. 🙂

  • Reply
    Deb mclean
    09/03/2019 at 9:47 am

    5 stars
    Hi just found your great website ! We have just returned from Hoi an and the pancakes in the rice paper were our favorite. I want to give your recioe a go as we have had a few failures and yours looks great. The problem i have is thst the rice paper they use for these pancakes is different than they use for rice oaoer rolls
    It is more pliable thinner and doesnt need to be soaked on water. Any ideas of where these can be purchased or what they are called. They tend to be a half moon shape not round or square. I live in australia. Thanks for any advice

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      15/03/2019 at 3:59 pm

      Hi Debbie, so nice of you to stop by! Hoi An is such a beautiful place with such delicious food, hope you guys had a wonderful time. For the rice paper – I think it’s called “banh trang phoi suong” we haven’t come across anything quite like it in stores here in Australia, so we tend to just use the regular rice paper sheets when making this at home! If you happen to find some, can you please let us know too? 😀

  • Reply
    Patricia @ Grab a Plate
    17/05/2016 at 11:48 pm

    Wow – this looks absolutely amazing! Love that it’s filled with bits of goodness! Love your photos — my fave = the steam coming off the Banh Xeo and skillet! Yum!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      18/05/2016 at 11:33 am

      Thanks Patricia, that’s definitely one of our favourites too. Just makes us want to reach through the screen and eat it up all over again. 😛

  • Reply
    Molly Kumar
    17/05/2016 at 4:19 am

    5 stars
    I love Vietnamese food and their pancakes are so delicious. Love your recipe and the flip pictures are super cute, at least yours landed on the pan, mine are all over the place 😉

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      18/05/2016 at 11:31 am

      You know I actually looked up videos of how to flip things – eggs, pancakes, omelettes. One day I’ll get there! In the meantime I’m still more than happy to eat the practice versions! Hahah 😛 Good luck with your own flipping adventures Molly!

  • Reply
    Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
    16/05/2016 at 9:03 pm

    I have never heard of these before…but they do sound delicious!! I think I might just have to give them a try.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      18/05/2016 at 11:29 am

      Thanks Gloria, give them a go, we’d love to hear what you think of these Vietnamese flavours. 🙂

  • Reply
    Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry
    16/05/2016 at 7:14 pm

    5 stars
    I remember seriously downing 2 of these for breakfast every single day I was there.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      18/05/2016 at 11:28 am

      Breakfast, lunch and dinner over here! Haha 😛 I still haven’t managed to master the flipping technique so it’s a good thing Sarah’s such a pro 😛

  • Reply
    Martin @ The Why Chef
    12/02/2016 at 2:25 am

    Get in my belly!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      12/02/2016 at 11:41 pm

      Haha woke up to this today, and it cracked us up! So true though 😛

  • Reply
    Stella @ Stellicious Life
    15/01/2016 at 1:12 am

    This looks delicious! (Even if it does sound a bit complicated to achieve 😉 ) Love that second photo, gorgeous!!

    Yum, I could so eat a couple of these!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      16/01/2016 at 2:36 pm

      Haha – it may be tricky to flip but it sure is a lot of fun! Laura went back to using the spatula after that flippin’ fiasco. 😛

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