Discover the Irresistible Vietnamese Crepe: A Culinary Adventure!

Let’s dive into the wonderful world of Vietnamese cuisine and explore the delicious Banh Xeo, often lovingly called the Vietnamese crepe. This article sheds light on the appeal of Vietnamese cuisine among travelers and the cultural richness of Banh Xeo in Vietnam’s culinary landscape.

Exploring Vietnamese Crepe

Vietnamese cuisine is a world of its own, and one of its most beloved dishes is Banh Xeo, commonly referred to as the Vietnamese crepe. 

What is a Vietnamese Crepe (Banh Xeo)?

Banh Xeo, quite literally the “sizzling cake,” is a savory pancake that’s as intriguing as it is delectable. The base of Banh Xeo consists of a batter made from rice flour, water, and a touch of turmeric, giving it that distinct, inviting golden hue. This batter is poured into a hot pan and filled with a delightful mixture of ingredients, such as shrimp, pork, mung beans, and bean sprouts.

Vietnamese Crepe (Bánh Xèo)
Vietnamese Crepe (Bánh Xèo) – Source: Internet

Why Banh Xeo Matters Culturally: Banh Xeo is not just a dish; it’s a part of Vietnamese culture. It often takes center stage during family gatherings and celebrations, embodying the spirit of togetherness and tradition. Learning to make Banh Xeo is a cherished family tradition passed down through the generations, reinforcing bonds within families and communities.

Variations and Regional Delights

Vietnam’s culinary landscape is diverse, and that’s clearly evident when it comes to Banh Xeo. Different regions have added their own unique twists to this classic dish. Here’s a look at some regional variations:

Central Region

In central Vietnam, Banh Xeo is prepared in smaller sizes using cast-iron pans with molds of 10 to 15 cm. The process starts with a generous amount of oil in the pan, ensuring even cooking. This results in a slightly thicker pancake with a crispy crust, making it heartier. The filling typically features fresh shrimp and squid, stir-fried until firm, and then the batter is added along with bean sprouts and chives. The outcome is a compact yet satisfying Banh Xeo.

Bánh Xèo in Central Region
Bánh Xèo in Central Region – Source: Internet

Western Region

Heading westward, you’ll find larger pans used to cook Banh Xeo, with no specific size limit. Banana leaves are often used to coat the pan with a thin layer of oil. The Western version offers a more diverse range of ingredients, including pork, duck meat, river shrimp, and mushrooms. The Siamese duck meat pancake stands out, where duck meat is minced, seasoned, and stir-fried to create a unique and delightful flavor profile.

Vietnamese Crepe in Western
Vietnamese Crepe in Western – Source: Internet

Regional Delicacy: Bánh Khọt

In addition to Banh Xeo, the culinary journey in Vietnam introduces us to Bánh Khọt, a close relative of Banh Xeo primarily found in the southern regions of the country. Bánh Khọt is small, bite-sized, and cooked in specialized molds, yielding mini pancakes with a crispy exterior and a soft, flavorful interior. They are often served with fresh herbs and a side of sweet and tangy dipping sauce, making them a popular street food.

Vietnamese Mini Crepe
Vietnamese Mini Crepe – Source: Internet

Elevate your dishes with Vietnamese chili salt, ‘muối ớt,’ for a burst of versatile flavor.

Satisfy Your Taste Buds: Where to Find Banh Xeo in Vietnam

Vietnam is a treasure trove of culinary delights, and when it comes to Banh Xeo, there’s no shortage of options, from charming street vendors to cozy restaurants. In this article, we’ll explore what makes enjoying Banh Xeo as a street food experience in Vietnam so alluring, and we’ll share some friendly tips on how to navigate local markets to find the best Banh Xeo.

The Allure of Savoring Banh Xeo as Street Food in Vietnam

Let’s start with what makes relishing Banh Xeo as street food in Vietnam such an irresistible experience:

  • Authenticity: When you go for street food, you’re often getting a taste of authentic, time-tested recipes that have been handed down through generations. It’s a chance to savor the real flavors of Vietnam.
    Authentic Vietnamese Crepe Making
    Authentic Vietnamese Crepe Making – Source: VNExpress
  • Local Vibes: Dining at a street food stall immerses you in the local culture. You get to dine alongside the locals, witnessing their daily lives and routines. It’s a wonderful way to connect with the heart and soul of the country.
  • Budget-Friendly: Street food is not only delicious but also easy on the wallet. You can enjoy mouthwatering Banh Xeo without overspending. It’s a win-win for your taste buds and your budget.

Tips for Finding the Best Banh Xeo in Local Markets

Now, let’s dive into some helpful tips to make your quest for the best Banh Xeo in local markets a breeze:

  1. Ask the Locals: The folks who know best are the locals themselves. Don’t hesitate to ask them for recommendations. They’ll gladly point you to hidden gems that might not be on the tourist map.
  2. Follow the Crowds: A great indicator of a fantastic Banh Xeo spot is a bustling crowd of locals. If you see a vendor with a line of eager customers, it’s usually a promising sign that you’ve stumbled upon something special.
  3. Check for Cleanliness: Keeping an eye on the cleanliness of the vendor’s setup and utensils is essential. Hygiene is a top priority, so choose vendors who maintain a clean cooking environment.
  4. Night Market Exploration: Many Vietnamese cities host lively night markets where street food vendors come together to showcase their culinary skills. These markets are a treasure trove of street foods, including Banh Xeo.
  5. Embrace Variety: Don’t be afraid to try Banh Xeo from various vendors. Each may offer its unique twist on this classic dish, allowing you to savor different flavors and preparations.

Discover the versatility of Vietnamese Margarine, a key ingredient in traditional dishes like Bò né and seafood delights, enhancing your culinary journey in Vietnam.

Mastering the Art of Banh Xeo: Recipes and Cooking Tips

Banh Xeo Recipe

Experience the Delight of Homemade Banh Xeo

Banh Xeo is a culinary treasure you can create right in your own kitchen. Here’s a step-by-step recipe that caters to both novice and experienced cooks:


  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound (about 225g) pork belly, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound (about 225g) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • Cooking oil


For the Batter:

  1. In a bowl, combine rice flour, coconut milk, water, turmeric powder, and salt. Stir until you have a smooth batter. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes.

For the Filling: 2. In a hot pan, add a bit of oil and cook the pork slices until they turn crispy. Remove them from the pan.

Mastering Bánh Xèo With Joy Journeys
Mastering Bánh Xèo With Joy Journeys
  1. In the same pan, cook the shrimp until they turn pink. Remove them from the pan as well.
  2. In the same pan, add more oil, then sauté the green onions briefly.

Putting It All Together: 5. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add a touch of oil, ensuring the pan is well coated.

  1. Pour a ladle of the batter into the pan and swirl it around to create a thin, even layer. Cook for a few minutes until the edges crisp up.
  2. Add a few cooked shrimp and pork slices to one half of the pancake.
  3. Sprinkle bean sprouts on top.
  4. Fold the pancake in half to cover the filling. Cook for a few more minutes until it’s golden and crispy.

Vietnam’s snack culture is a delightful journey through a variety of tantalizing treats.

How to Eat Banh Xeo?

The Proper Way to Savor Banh Xeo:

Eating Banh Xeo is a delightful experience, and knowing how to do it right adds to the pleasure. Here’s how to enjoy it properly:

  1. Dipping Sauces and Condiments: Banh Xeo is often accompanied by a plate of fresh herbs, lettuce leaves, and a dipping sauce. Take a lettuce leaf, add some fresh herbs, and place a piece of Banh Xeo on top. Roll it up and dip it in the sauce for a burst of flavors.
    How to Savor Bánh Xèo
    How to Savor Bánh Xèo – Source: Internet
  2. Cultural Etiquette: In Vietnam, sharing food is a communal experience. It’s common to have one large Banh Xeo placed in the center of the table, and diners take portions to create their individual rolls. Sharing is encouraged, so don’t be shy about passing the plate to your fellow diners.
  3. Go Hands-On: Eating Banh Xeo is a hands-on experience. Embrace the tactile pleasure of rolling your Banh Xeo with fresh herbs and condiments. It’s all about engaging your senses.


In a nutshell, this article has unfolded the delightful world of Vietnamese crepe, Banh Xeo. From the essence of this crispy delicacy to where and how to enjoy it, we’ve covered it all. Now, it’s your turn to embark on a culinary journey in Vietnam. Dive into the rich and diverse tapestry of Vietnamese cuisine, with Banh Xeo as a must-try dish. The flavors, culture, and stories behind each bite await your discovery. Happy exploring!