Vietnamese pancake (Banh xeo) is a famous Vietnamese traditional food which is popular in Southern Vietnam and Central Vietnam. Each region has its own recipe for Banh xeo. Vietnamese pancake in Cao Lanh – the capital city of Dong Thap is famous for the big round thin rice flour crust which is fried in a big aluminum pan over charcoal.
To make Banh xeo crust, choose high-quality rice which has just harvested and smells great. The rice is soaked in water, ground until smooth, mixed with coconut milk, salt, chopped green onion, turmeric powder. The filling is made from jicama, bean sprouts, duck (or lean pork and shrimp). There are two types of Vietnamese pancakes in Cao Lanh: Vietnamese pancake with duck and Vietnamese pancake with pork and shrimp. Both are delicious and worth trying. To make the filling for the first type, they ground duck meat and small duck bones into a mixture. To make the filling for the second type of Banh xeo, slice lean pork and remove heads of shrimp.
The cook must be very skillful to make the crust as thin as a paper and extremely crispy. When the pan is hot, pour the mixture onto the pan, add the filling and cover the lid. Wait until there is a sound “sizz”, open the lid, fold the cake in half and get the cake out of the pan and put it on banana leaves. The cake has a semicircle shape.
Vietnamese pancake in Cao Lanh is served with sweet-sour dipping fish sauce with pickled carrot and daikon, various vegetables and herbs. The fish sauce dip is the soul of this dish. Besides flavorful fish sauce dip, Banh Xeo in Cao Lanh is famous for special vegetables such as Costus speciosus leaf, wild betel leaf, Premna serratifolia leaf. Diners can get a piece of Banh xeo, dip in the sauce and tuck in. Or they can wrap Banh xeo, veggies, herbs in brown mustard or salad leaves, then dip in the sauce and tuck in. It has been said that eating Banh xeo with hands is better.
A mixture of rice flour, water, turmeric water, chopped green onion.
A cook can make many Vietnamese pancakes at the same time.
Vietnamese pancake in Cao Lanh is famous for very thin crust.
The filling is made from shrimp and pork.
To eat Banh xeo, wrap the crust and filling in vegetables, then dip in sweet-sour fish sauce dip.