Vietnamese Pancakes with Vegetables, Herbs and a Fragrant Dipping Sauce (Bánh Xèo)

Certainly a treasure for serious cooks, and novices too, Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi is a must have for vegetarians. Inspiration in abundance, and the photos will have you wanting food right away. I can't recommend this book highly enough. If you are looking for nourishing dishes with a flare, this is surely a valuable resource to consult.

Vietnamese Pancakes with Vegetables, Herbs and a Fragrant Dipping Sauce (Banh Xeo)

The addition of mung bean sprouts made in your own kitchen really fills out this meal. I did a bit of research, and I found this post rather helpful. My method was to rinse and soak the mung beans overnight. Then I transfered the beans to a stainer, covered with plastic wrap, placed over a bowl, and put them in a cool place on my cupboard. I washed the with cold water every 8 to 12 hours, being careful not to shake up the beans, and replaced the plastic wrap. I repeated this for 4 days and ended up with tender, plump and delicious home-sprouted mung beans ready to eat.

mung bean sprouts

Raw vegetables and herbs are such a treat and pair so well with these fried pancakes. The sauce is simply divine. And yes, mushrooms too. I shared with friends but I was tempted to be greedy and eat these all myself.

I am sharing this with Jac's Bookmarked Recipes, an event started by Ruth's Kitchen Experiments. I am also submitting this to May's My Legume Love Affair, a truly popular event started by lovely Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook and hosted this month by Priya of Mharo Rajasthan's Recipes. We can never have enough delicious recipes including a healthy dose of legumes.

Vietnamese Pancakes with Vegetables, Herbs and a Fragrant Dipping Sauce (Bánh Xèo)Vietnamese Pancakes with Vegetables, Herbs and a Fragrant Dipping Sauce (Bánh Xèo)
Recipe by
Adapted from Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes From London's Ottolenghi
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Published on May 2, 2012

An astonishingly delicious light savory Vietnamese pancake stuffed with raw vegetables, herbs and mushrooms, and served drizzled with a fragrant spicy light sauce — Bánh Xèo (literally "sizzling cake") is an extraordinary dinner to serve special guests

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  • 1 1/3 cups brown rice flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1 fresh green chili, seeded and minced
  • 1 3/4 cups of coconut milk + water if needed
  • sesame oil for frying
  • juice from 2 limes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tamari sauce
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 fresh red chilies, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 large carrot, scrubbed and grated
  • 1 medium daikon radish, scrubbed and grated
  • 4 green onions, washed and cut on an angle
  • 2 fresh green chilies, seeded and sliced into small strips
  • 1 1/2 cups snow peas, sliced into small strips
  • 1 cup fresh parsley or cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2/3 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts (see note below)
  • 1 cup enoki mushrooms, trimmed
  • Begin by preparing the pancake batter. Whisk together the rice flour, egg, sea salt, turmeric, cayenne and green chili. Gradually whisk in the coconut milk. The mixture should be a smooth, semi-thick batter that is of pouring consistency. Add a little water if necessary. Cover and set aside while you prepare the rest of the food.

  • Now prepare the sauce. Whisk together all of the ingredients and set aside.

  • For the filling, combine the carrot, radish, green onions, green chilies and snow peas. Put the herbs in another bowl and have your sprouts ready along with the mushrooms.

  • Heat a teaspoon of oil over medium heat in a non-stick skillet. When hot, ladle 1/2 cup of batter into the pan and spread with the bottom of the ladle until you have a roughly 6 to 8 inch pancake. Fry for 6 to 8 minutes or until you have small holes forming and the bottom is crispy brown, then flip and fry for another few minutes on the other side. Transfer to a plate and keep warm in a 150° oven while you finish the rest of the pancakes — you should finish with 4 to 6 pancakes.

  • To serve, scatter a portion of the vegetables, herbs and mushrooms over one half of the pancake. Sprinkle some sauce over top and fold the pancake. Drizzle with more sauce and there you go.

Makes 6 servings

Note on making mung bean sprouts at home: Rinse mung beans and soak overnight in water. Drain and transfer to a strainer, cover with plastic wrap, and place over a bowl. Store in a cool place and rinse every 8 to 12 hours with cold water for 4 days, replacing the plastic wrap after every rinse. Rise gently without shaking the beans. You may also want to line the strainer with cheese cloth.
Vietnamese Pancakes with Vegetables, Herbs and a Fragrant Dipping Sauce (Banh Xeo)

More Asian recipes you are sure to enjoy from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Massaman Curry with Paneer Cheese
Vegetarian Miso Soup
Quinoa and White Bean Salad with Wasabi and Roasted Asparagus

On the top of the reading stack: cookbooks

Audio Accompaniment: Harold Budd and Brian Eno - Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirrors


Unknown said...

Lisa, this looks superb. thanks for sending it to my event. But, could you please send me an email for me to include it in the round-up. It will be easy for me to track it. Thanks.

Yogi Kitchen said...

I was just looking at this recipe in his book the other day and wanting to try it, now seeing your pics it looks even better and I will have to give it a go. Thanks Lisa, an inspiration as ever.

Sharyn Dimmick said...

This looks beautiful -- and tasty.

basil said...

These are amazing! Thanks for sharing.

Sara said...

I have (and love) this cookbook but haven't tried this recipe yet (there's too much good stuff)--I jsut blogged on the cabbage-parm rind soup. Thanks for highlighting it!

Carole said...

Great that you linked in, thanks.

Nupur said...

Lovely Pancakes, Lisa !!

they say, if you sleep hungry, you dream of pancakes :D