Vietnamese Pancakes (Banh xeo, Bánh xèo in Vietnamese) is a traditional cake which crust made from rice flour, turmeric powder, the filling is made from meat/pork/seafood, bean sprouts, mung bean in Vietnam. There are many versions of this cake around the country. In the coastal Phan Thiet city, they have created a delicious Banh xeo recipe which has typical taste and smell which reflect characteristics of the province.
While Banh xeo in South Vietnam is big and fried in big pan, Vietnamese pancake in Phan Thiet is fried in a small terracotta pan with a terracotta lid. The yellow and crispy crust is made from rice flour, chopped green onion, coconut milk (optional) and turmeric powder. Vietnamese pancake in Phan Thiet is filled with pork, shrimp, squid, chopped green onion, bean sprouts. The ingredients for the filling should be stir-fried before frying the cake. The lid is covered until the cake makes a “sizz” sound which let the cook know that the cake is ready. The cook uses a solid turner to wrap the cake in half and get it out of the pan. The cook should be skillful, patient and experienced enough to sit near the oven and pour the mixture of rice flour into the pan, add the filling, cover the lid, wait for the “sizz” sound, open the lid, get the cake out of the pan, fry another cake on the same pan continuously. A cook can make many Vietnamese pancakes at the same time.
The soul of Vietnamese pancake in Phan Thiet is the viscous dipping sauce made from crushed peanuts, sugar, wheat flour, tomato, chili pepper. Not similar to Banh xeo in Mekong Delta which is wrapped in salad, brown mustard, Banh xeo in other provinces in Central Vietnam is wrapped in rice paper, Banh xeo in Phan Thiet is not wrapped in anything but simply eaten with the dip, vegetables and herbs. The crispy crepe, the tasty filling, fresh vegetables and flavorful dip mix so well that they can satisfy the most difficult dinner.
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