Banh Xeo Chay Recipe
Papa, Maman and I went to China Town in the 13th arrondissement of Paris and bought a lot of Asian ingredients. When we got home, I whipped up Vietnamese crêpes called bánh xèo. I made them "chay" ("vegetarian" in Vietnamese), so my husband Lulu and all of us could share the same meal. The filling consisted of carrots, beans, tofu and fried jicama.
Bánh xèo, served hot, are absolutely delicious. They're crispy on the outside and filled with lots of flavorful goodness.
Yields: 6 servings1 (14-ounce) package bánh xèo mix
1 to 1-½ cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup water (see tips)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar (optional)
2 green onions, thinly sliced into rings
1-½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground
½ cup canola oil (or any neutral oil)
½ jicama, peeled
1 (14-ounce) can baby corn, thickly sliced lengthwise
1 (12-ounce) piece firm tofu
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 small carrot, peeled and shredded
1½ cups nuoc cham
3 cups cilantro, Vietnamese mint, shredded cucumber and lettuce, for garnish
4 cups fresh bean sprouts, for garnish
Sriracha sauce, for garnish (optional)
For the tofu: Drain any liquid from the tofu. Pat dry with a paper towel. Slice the tofu into ½"-thick slices. In a large pan, heat about 2 tablespoons of oil; pan-fry the tofu slices on both sides until golden and puffy. The tofu should have a nice fried outer crust and still be moist inside. Transfer the tofu onto paper towels. Once the tofu pieces are cool enough to handle, cut the pieces into very thin strips.
For the jicama: Peel and slice horizontally into ½"-thick pieces. In the same large pan, add about 1 tablespoon oil and fry the jicama slices until golden brown. Once they’re cool enough to handle, cut the pieces into very thin strips.
Making Vietnamese crêpe batter: In a bowl, whisk the dry powder with coconut milk and 1 cup cold water. Add sugar (if used) and green onions. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well; make sure there are no lump. Add 2 tablespoons of oil. Let the batter stand for at least 1 hour in a cool place.
Assembly time: In a non-stick pan or a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat. Add the onions corn, carrots, jicama and shiitake mushrooms. Stir fry for about 2 minutes. Add half the amount of tofu and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a plate. Set aside.
Make sure the pan in hot. Grease it with about 1 teaspoon of oil using a silicone brush. Add a bit of tofu and stir fry for about 1 minutes. Stir the crêpe batter and ladle ⅓ cup of it into the pan. Lift the pan and then tilt and rotate it until the batter is evenly spread and forms a nice disk. Keep the heat high. Cover when the edges start to dry a little, reduce the heat and cook until the sides of the bánh xèo turn deep brown and curl up, about 3-4 minutes. Place a little bit of the jicama, corn, carrots, mushroom and onion filling, fold the bánh xèo in half using a wide spatula and cover for an additional 1-2 minutes. The filling shouldn't be exposed as more vegetables and bean sprouts will burst from the bánh xèo later. Slide it onto a warm plate. Drizzle with Sriracha sauce (if used) as garnish.
Wipe the pan clean with a paper towl and repeat the same procedure until all the ingredients are used. Pour a little more oil into the pan before beginning the next bánh xèo. Stir the bánh xèo batter as you go for uniform consistency.
When ready to serve, fill the bánh xèo with lettuce, bean sprouts and Vietnamese herbs (served on the side) and drizzle with nước chấm sauce.
I used a bánh xèo mix, which is a blend of rice flour, wheat flour, curry powder and turmeric powder. You can find ready-made powder in any Asian market.
The longer you let the batter rest the better. It will still be good after 2 days in the refrigerator.Published By: on October 19, 2012.