The first time I had these beauties was on a trip to a Vietnamese friend’s parent’s house while at university. Six starving students tumbled out of a car to greet a very happy mum that had made a massive spread of traditional Vietnamese food to welcome her daughter home. Fast forward a few years and I came across the dish again in San Fransisco at a Vietnamese restaurant on Lombard St while living in Northern California. I then promptly forgot about them for about a decade, now I make sure I teach them regularly to spread the joy. They go down a treat in class as everyone loves them and they are naturally gluten free and deliciously vegan!
These pancakes are a delicious way to eat a healthy serving of fresh vegetables. Carrot ribbons and red pepper as fillings and cooked shiitake mushrooms are lovely added to the pancake with the bean sprouts. The name literally translates to sizzling pancake due to the sound the batter makes when it hits the hot pan. If the batter isn’t sizzling when you pour it in the pan then the pan isn’t hot enough.
I love the contrast of the crisp lettuce and savoury pancake wrapped around loads of fresh herbs. Make sure everyone has their own dip pot for the sauce as this recipe is made to be eaten with your hands and doubling dipping is encouraged!
If you enjoy this recipe, you may also like to try:
Bánh xèo – Vietnamese sizzling pancakes
serves 4-6, batter keeps well for 4 days in fridge
For the pancakes and filling
50g mung beans, soaked overnight *see note for quicker method
150g rice flour
3/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
125ml coconut milk
2 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced both white green parts
Neutral oil for cooking: sunflower, rapeseed or vegetable
300g bean sprouts
large lettuce leaves
For the dipping sauce
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp shoyu, soy sauce or 1 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp sugar or palm sugar
4 tbsp water
1 clove garlic, finely grated or made into a paste
1 tbsp grated ginger and squeeze for juice only
1-2 Thai red chillies, finely chopped, seeds optional
- In a small bowl, soak the dried mung beans in water overnight. Drain the beans and transfer them to a blender. Add the water, rice flour, cornflour, turmeric and salt, and puree until very smooth. Transfer the mung bean puree to a large bowl and whisk in the coconut milk and spring onions. Do not add the coconut milk to the blender as sometimes it will curdle. Let the batter rest for at least 1 hour or refrigerate overnight.
- For the sauce, mix together the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a 25cm/10-inch nonstick frying pan to a high heat. Stir the batter well and pour a large ladle full of it into the pan; tilt and swirl the pan to coat the bottom with a very thin layer of batter, letting it come up the side of the pan. Add a bit more batter if if does not reach the sides, but do not make the pancake too thick. Scatter handful of the bean sprouts over the pancake and drizzle oil around the edges.
- Cover the frying pan and cook over moderately high heat until the bottom of the pancake is golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Fold pancake in half and slide the pancake onto a plate and serve with lettuce leaves, herbs and the dipping sauce. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, serving the pancake as soon as they are cooked. They are best eaten right away, but can be kept warm in a low temperature oven.
*To skip soaking the mung beans overnight, simply place in a suacepan, cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and then let soak for 1 hour. Drain and proceed with the rest of the recipe.
Have you made this dish? I love seeing my delicious recipes come to life, so share a picture with me on Instagram by tagging @naturalcookeryschool and I’ll re-share your post!