The Vietnamese version of an open-faced omelet or crêpe, this specialty of many streetside restaurants is also called the "Happy Pancake." The Vietnamese name, khoai, comes from the type of pan it is cooked in. Banh xeo is the large southern version.
1 cup rice flour
1-1/2 cups water
2 eggs, beaten
Small pinch of salt
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
1/4 cup mung beans (optional), soaked
overnight, and steamed for 15 minutes
1/2 cup finely sliced straw mushrooms
3-1/2 ounces of small shrimp, boiled and peeled
3 strips of thinly sliced cooked lean pork
or 3 rashers of bacon, cooked
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/4 cup spring onions, chopped sprigs
of fragrant herbs (basil, mint, perilla
and wild betel leaves)
1/2 cup iceberg lettuce leaves
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 cup Soy Sauce Dip
Blend rice flour with water, eggs, salt and sugar, leave to rest for 10 minutes, then strain.
Add one tablespoon of oil to the flying pan, and swirl it around. Turn heat on high. Ladle the rice flour mix into the hot pan, swirl it around quickly, then add the mung beans and mushrooms. Cook covered for 1 minute. Remove the lid. Add the shrimp, pork, bean sprouts and spring onions. Cook uncovered until the pancake is golden brown and crispy.
Serve with fragrant herbs, lettuce and Soy Sauce Dip.
Helpful hints: Timing is very important in cooking this dish. It should be prepared over a very high heat (to crisp the pancake). An 8-10 inch non-stick pan is ideal. The pancake should be wafer thin.
The Food of Vietnam
Authentic Recipes from the Heart of Indochina
By Trieu Thi Choi and Marcell Isaak
Recipe Reprinted by permission.
This page created September 1999
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