Bánh xèo – the unique pancake of Vietnamese cuisine

“Banh xeo” or Vietnamese rice pancake is one of the most famous street food of savory cake in Vietnam. The word “xèo” depicts the sizzling sound when pouring the rice batter into the hot skillet.

In the southern region Bánh xèo are larger and made with more veggies and mung beans. While in the central regions they tend to be made smaller and without mung beans.

Vietnamese rice pancake

Vietnamese rice pancake

At first glance, you might think that these are omelettes.

But, there’s actually no egg in the batter for these pancakes. Rather, it’s turmeric that gives the batter its characteristic yellow hue.

The key to these Vietnamese happy pancakes is that the thin rice batter is poured into a piping hot skillet, similar to the way you make a French crepe. Then you end up with a crepe-like pancake with a crispy side that is filled with tasty ingredients like shrimp, pork, and bean sprouts.

Banh xeo

Banh xeo


When serving Vietnamese happy pancakes it is essential to have a dipping sauce. The sauce is a perfect blend of spices (including fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, garlic and chilli), while the herbs help eliminate the greasy taste.

This “Vietnamese pancake” has a yellow outer layer and is filled with boiled pork strips, shrimp, bean sprouts and spring onion. Though some people might prefer to use chopsticks to directly eat bánh xèo, the best way to enjoy it is eating with your hands. First, take a piece of bánh xèo and put it on the rice paper. Add fresh vegetables that are always served with the dish (there’re a lot of vegetables to choose, but lettuce, Vietnamese perilla, basil and bean sprouts are the most common) and roll them tightly. With each bite, don’t forget to dip the roll into the sauce.

Nuoc cham

Nuoc cham

I am sure that right after the first bite, the impressive taste of crunchy crust, savoury fillings, sweet and sour dipping sauce will definitely make you fall in love with this delicacy.

Vietnamese pancake

Vietnamese pancake

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