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Vietnamese Crepes - Banh Xeo

Banh Xeo one of my favorite dishes. The aromas from the cooking alone can entice anyone within walking distance. You can tailor it according to everyone's taste and make as many combinations of the ingredients as you wish. If your friends like salmon, you can add salmon. During squid fishing season around here, we eat Banh Xeo with squid. If you don't like bean sprouts, add mung bean, or "xu xu" squash, or nothing at all and just keep it simple. Below you will find a basic recipe of how I usually make Banh Xeo, but please, whatever you like.... you should put in there, and if you don't like something, take it out. 
Notes all over: I am more of an eyeball cook, so my measurements might be a little off with this one....but not by much.... It should be fine in the taste department. This recipe is good for around 4-6 people. You shouldn't cook Banh Xeo for more than 4-6  people anyways because it takes a loooooong time to cook all of those crepes up. I usually cook for 4 people or less, more than that and my Mom or my best friend has to help on another stove. Prepping will take a lot of time, cooking itself will not but it's hot hot hot in the kitchen so be prepared. Oh yeah, clean up will be a lot of work, too. :) But it's really really worth it!

Ingredients:

1 bag of Banh Xeo Mix from Asian grocery stores
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt
pinch of black ground pepper
1 can of coconut milk (400ml)
5 cups of water
1 cup of canola oil
1 bunch of green onions (chopped)
1 large onion (sliced thinly)
bean sprouts (washed)
1 lb of lean pork meat (sliced thinly)
1 lb fresh shimp (deveined and halved)
1 bunch of green leaf lettuce (washed and dried)
1 bunch of fresh green mints (washed and dried)
1 bunch of fresh Thai basil (washed and dried)
1 bunch of fresh purple mints or tia to (washed and dried)
1 bunch of fresh cilantro (washed and dried)
Nuoc Mam Cham (see recipe from my previous postings)
A big wok and lid
A big spatula
2 small pots
1 laddle
A few tablespoons

Instructions:

1. Arrange the lettuce and fresh herbs (mints, basil, cilantro) in plates and put on serving table along with the Nuoc Mam Cham.
    The rest of the below ingredients should be put on the countertop in small bowls with close proximity to the stove top :
    Canola oil (with tablespoon in the bowl)
    Thinly sliced onions
    Bean sprouts

2. Use a small pot put on high heat, pour 1 table spoon of canola oil in there. Wait until oil heats up, put in a few strands of the thinly sliced onions. Once onions turn brown, put in thinly sliced pork and halved shimp in with a pinch of salt and pinch of black pepper. Stir gently until cooked (once pork and shimp both turned pink and changed color). Turn off heat, put aside on countertop next to the above ingredients with a tablespoon.

3. Use the other small pot and put in the Banh Xeo mix, egg, 1/8 tsp of salt, and chopped green onions in. Stir until all ingredients are blended well together with no clumps. The mixture would have a consistency that you will see when you pour with the laddle but not too thick. Set aside on the countertop right next to the stovetop.

4. Turn on the stove to high heat, put on wok and pour 1 table spoon of oil using circular motion when you pour. Pick up the wok to turn so that the oil can reach as many spots as possible on the wok. Put in some slivers of onions and a tablespoon of shimp/pork. Stir gently with spatular for a minute. 

5. Pour 1 laddle of Banh Xeo mixture in circular motion into the wok. Turn wok so that the mixture covers as much of the work as possible. Put in a handful of bean sprouts and cover the wok lid. Turn heat down to medium. Wait 2 minutes. 

6. Open wok lid, add a few drops of canola oil to the rim of the wok. Wait another 2-3 minutes or until banh xeo mixture turn crispy and golden brown. Fold the Banh Xeo in half (like you would with crepes or omelets).... Put onto a plate and serve. 

7. Repeat steps 4-6 until you have made all the Banh Xeo you need to serve. (a good ball park is 2 per person)

How to eat Banh Xeo (if you haven't eaten it already, you're definitely missing good stuff!):

Pour some Nuoc Mam Cham into small bowl
Take a lettucce leaf, put in some Banh Xeo, some mints, some basils, some cilantro and wrap into a small roll.
Dip into Nuoc Mam Cham.
Enjoy!


OK, Now I'm hungry!

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