Sizzling Vietnamese crêpes with prawns
“Bánh xèo is a light savoury crêpe, 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 crêpe 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.”
Sizzling Vietnamese crêpes with prawns form Vietnamese by Uyen Luu
Ingredients:(Makes about 6)
For the crêpe batter:
100g rice flour (Asian Rose Brand, or any non-glutinous)1tsp heaped ground turmeric200ml coconut milk200ml water1 spring onion, thinly sliced½tsp sea saltA pinch of caster (superfine) sugarVegetable or coconut oil, for frying
For the filling:
2 round shallots, thinly sliced200g shelled, de-veined and halved king prawns100g beansprouts50g garlic chives or coriander (optional)Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the garnish:
Lettuce leavesSpring onions, cut into short lengthsA 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 chopped2 garlic cloves, crushed3tbsp caster (superfine) sugar3tbsp white wine vinegar4tbsp fish sauce80ml (5tbsp) hot water
1. Wash and dry the salad leaves and set them aside.
2. Next, make the crêpe 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.
2. To make the filling, heat one teaspoon of oil in a frying pan over a 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 a minute.
3. Using a shallow ladle, pour in a thin layer of the crêpe batter, swivelling the pan to get it covered all around the edges. Add a handful of beansprouts 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.
4. Remove the lid and cook for a further minute, making sure the crêpe is crisp and golden. Fold the crêpe in half, serve or set aside. Repeat this process with the remaining shallots, batter and other ingredients to make the rest of the crêpes. 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 on May 27, priced £22 . Photography by Uyen Luu.