Sizzling Vietnamese Crepes with Prawns

“Banh xeo is a light savoury crepe, eaten with an abundance of salad leaves and herbs. There’s a knack to eating these: gather a palmful of leaves and herbs into your hand, break off some crepe onto the leaves, then roll it up and dip it into the sauce. You can vary the filling,” says food writer Uyen Luu. “You’ll need a 20cm non-stick frying pan with a lid for this recipe.”

Read: Wonton Soup

Makes: 6

Ingredients

For the crepe batter:

  • 100g rice flour (Asian Rose Brand, or any non-glutinous)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 200ml water
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch of caster (superfine) sugar
  • vegetable or coconut oil, for frying

For the filling:

  • 2 round shallots, thinly sliced
  • 200g shelled, deveined and halved king prawns
  • 100g bean sprouts
  • 50g garlic chives or coriander (optional)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Read: Underrated seafood to cook at home

For the garnish:

  • lettuce leaves
  • spring onions, cut into short lengths
  • a variety of Asian herbs, such as coriander, Thai sweet basil, garden mint, perilla (shiso), cockscomb

For the fish sauce (serves 4): mix together well

  • 2 bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 80ml (5 tablespoons) hot water

Method
Wash and dry the salad leaves and set them aside.

Next, make the crepe batter. Mix together the flour, turmeric, coconut milk, water, spring onion, salt and sugar in a bowl, making sure it is smooth and free of lumps. It should resemble the consistency of single cream.

To make the filling, heat one teaspoon of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat and fry a few slices of shallot until golden. Season the prawns with salt and pepper and add a couple of pieces to the pan for one minute.

Using a shallow ladle, pour in a thin layer of the crepe batter, swivelling the pan to get it covered all around the edges. Add a handful of bean sprouts and chives/coriander (if using) and cover the pan with the lid. Keep the steam in and allow to cook for two minutes with the lid on.

Read: Cantonese Garlic King Prawns

Remove the lid and cook for a further minute, making sure the crepe is crisp and golden. Fold the crepe in half, serve or set aside. Repeat this process with the remaining shallots, batter and other ingredients to make the rest of the crepes. Serve with your leaves and dipping sauce on the side.

Vietnamese: Simple Vietnamese Food To Cook At Home by Uyen Luu is published by Hardie Grant, available now.

Do you prefer sweet or savoury crepes? Why not share your favourite crepe filling in the comments section below?

– With PA

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