Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Recipe: Satiating the Bahn Xeo Craving

The other day I had the craziest craving for bahn xeo. I’ve had it at a few places in San Diego before and none have lived up to my standards. I grew up on Viet food and bahn xeo is one of my favorites so my mom makes sure to make it at least once whenever I visit home. Anyways, I got the crazy idea to make it on my own. I’ve watched my mom make it so many times and it never seemed difficult. Was I wrong….Viet food like most other Asian cuisines is time intensive on the prep time. So there was a lot of peeling, chopping and such before I could actually get to the point of cooking and filling the crepe. So he essential thing for the dish is of course the crepe flour mix which will look like this:

The top yellow orange mixture, the turmeric seasoning is responsible for giving the crepe its distinctive yellow color and taste.
So I vaguely remember my mom’s recipe and I read the back of the package. In the end I mixed the 2 and added some of my own touches.

Crepe batter

  • 1 package of flour mix
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • handful of chopped scallions


  • 1 tbs garlic
  • 1 chopped brown onion
  • fish sauce
  • salt
  • pepper
  • scallion
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground meat
  • 1 lb peeled deveined shrimp
  • 1 package of peeled mung beans
  • bean sprouts

Dipping sauce

  • fish sauce
  • chopped garlic
  • sugar
  • lemon juice
  • water
  • sirchar sauce

Dipping sauce:
Mix any amount of fish sauce, chopped garlic, sugar, lemon juice, water and sirchar sauce according to your taste.

The beans are the toughest part of this recipe. Soak for a couple of hours or else you’ll be stuck wondering why its taking so long to cook. At first I put the beans in a steamer but got impatient with them since I was so hungry so I put them in a rice cooker and filled it the level of the beans with water. This seemed to work just as well since the bean came out soft to taste but wasn’t a pasty mess which was what I’d feared.
For the meat, you start off by sauteing some garlic then throw in a whole chopped up brown onion to sweat. Next the ground meat( my mom uses ground pork but I decided to uses beef this time to see how it’d turn out), break it up into chunks and brown it. When the meat gets close to being all browned, throw in the shrimp. Squirt in to some fish sauce and a dash or pepper and salt. When the mix is cooked you can taste it and add some more fish sauce, salt and pepper to taste if the flavor is too light for your tastes. Lastly, toss in some chopped scallions.

Crepe batter:
Mix the turmeric seasoning with flour mix together. Then pour in 2 cups of cold water, a cup of coconut milk and a handful of chopped scallions. Mix the mixture thoroughly until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.

Assembling the actual crepe:
Pour a small amount of batter on the pan, enough to evenly coat but not too much or it will be difficult to fold later. Cook the crepe until it can easily slide around on the pan, cook some more if you would like it crunchier. Spoon on some beans, meat mixture and some clean bean sprouts on half the crepe. Fold the crepe and you are done. Enjoy by cutting off a piece and wrapping it in a piece of butter lettuce along with some mint and cucumber and dipping it in the sauce.

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