Calories in Banh Xeo: How to Enjoy this Vietnamese Dish Without Breaking the Calorie Bank

Banh xeo is a Vietnamese savory crepe made from rice flour, coconut milk, and turmeric powder. It is typically filled with bean sprouts, pork, or shrimp, and served with lettuce and herbs to wrap the banh xeo in. It is a popular street food in Vietnam and has gained popularity in other parts of the world as well. With its delicious filling and crispy texture, many people wonder about the nutritional value of this dish and how many calories in banh xeo.

Exploring the Delicious World of Vietnamese Pancakes

Exploring the Delicious World of Vietnamese Pancakes
Exploring the Delicious World of Vietnamese Pancakes

Banh xeo is a traditional Vietnamese dish that originated in the central region of Vietnam. The name “banh xeo” translates to “sizzling cake” because of the sound it makes when cooked on a hot griddle. The crepe batter is made by mixing rice flour, water, and coconut milk together, which gives it a creamy texture and a slightly sweet flavor. 

Turmeric powder is added for color and flavor, and the batter is cooked until it becomes crispy. The filling typically includes bean sprouts, pork or shrimp, onions, and sometimes mushrooms. The banh xeo is then folded in half and served with lettuce leaves, herbs, and dipping sauce.

Nutritional Information

Nutritional Information
Nutritional Information

Banh xeo is a delicious and satisfying dish, but it is also important to consider its nutritional value. A serving size of banh xeo is typically one crepe, which weighs around 100 grams. Here is a breakdown of the nutritional information for a serving size of banh xeo:

How Many Calories in Banh Xeo?

When it comes to the calorie content of Banh Xeo, it can vary depending on the recipe and the ingredients used. However, on average, a serving size of one Banh Xeo pancake (approximately 120g) contains approximately 250-300 calories.

The calorie content of Banh Xeo can increase if additional ingredients are added, such as meat or seafood, which will add more protein and fat to the dish. Conversely, if you’re looking to reduce the calorie content of Banh Xeo, you could opt for a vegetarian version that doesn’t contain any meat or seafood.

It’s important to note that Banh Xeo is typically served with a dipping sauce, which can also contribute to the overall calorie content of the dish. The most common dipping sauce for Banh Xeo is a mixture of fish sauce, chili, lime juice, and sugar, which can add an additional 50-100 calories per serving.

Macronutrient Breakdown of Banh Xeo

To understand the macronutrient breakdown of Banh Xeo, we need to analyze the nutritional values of its individual components. The crepe itself is primarily composed of carbohydrates, with a small amount of protein and fat. A typical Banh Xeo crepe made from rice flour and turmeric contains approximately:

  • Carbohydrates: 30-35g
  • Protein: 2-3g
  • Fat: 1-2g

Vitamins and Minerals

Banh xeo also contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as:

  • Vitamin C from herbs and vegetables
  • Iron from the meat or shrimp
  • Calcium from the crepe batter and herbs
  • Potassium from the bean sprouts

Factors that Affect Calorie Count

Factors that Affect Calorie Count
Factors that Affect Calorie Count

Several factors can affect the calorie count of banh xeo. Here are some of the main factors to consider:

Ingredients Used

One factor that affects the calorie count of Banh Xeo is the type of oil used for frying the crepe. Traditional Banh Xeo recipes call for the use of coconut oil, which has a high saturated fat content. Saturated fats are known to increase the risk of heart disease and obesity when consumed in excess. Using a healthier alternative such as olive oil or avocado oil can reduce the calorie count of Banh Xeo while still providing the desired crispiness.

Another factor that affects the calorie count of Banh Xeo is the filling ingredients used. Common fillings like pork belly, shrimp, and bean sprouts are relatively low in calories compared to other meats and vegetables.

However, using excessive amounts of these ingredients can cause the calorie count to rise significantly. To reduce the calorie count, it is recommended to use leaner cuts of meat and limit the amount of filling used.

Cooking Method 

The cooking method used for Banh Xeo can also affect its calorie count. Deep-frying Banh Xeo in oil results in a higher calorie count compared to pan-frying or baking. Pan-frying the crepes in a non-stick pan with minimal oil is a healthier option that can help reduce the calorie count without sacrificing flavor and texture.

Serving Size

Finally, serving size plays a crucial role in determining the calorie count of Banh Xeo. The typical Banh Xeo size is around 10 inches in diameter, which can result in a high-calorie meal if consumed in its entirety. Reducing the size of the crepe or sharing it with others can help control the calorie count and prevent overeating.

How to Reduce Calorie Count in Banh Xeo

How to Reduce Calorie Count in Banh Xeo
How to Reduce Calorie Count in Banh Xeo

If you are looking to enjoy banh xeo while keeping your calorie intake in check, there are several strategies you can use. Here are some tips for reducing the calorie count of banh xeo:

Substitutions for High-Calorie Ingredients

  • Use a non-stick pan: Instead of deep-frying the crepes, try using a non-stick pan to cook them. This will reduce the amount of oil needed, resulting in fewer calories.
  • Use lean protein: Instead of using fatty meats like pork belly or bacon, try using leaner proteins like chicken or tofu. You could also opt for seafood like shrimp or squid.
  • Increase the vegetable content: Adding more vegetables to your Banh Xeo will not only increase the nutritional value but will also help to lower the overall calorie count. Try adding more bean sprouts, mushrooms, carrots, and onions to your filling.
  • Portion control: Eating less of anything will always result in fewer calories consumed. Consider serving smaller portions of Banh Xeo or sharing a plate with someone else.

Alternative Cooking Methods

Another strategy is to use alternative cooking methods. Instead of frying banh xeo in oil, try grilling or baking it. This will help keep the calorie count down while still providing a delicious and crispy texture.

Alternatively, do the following:

  • Choose healthier cooking oils: If you do decide to deep-fry the crepes, choose a healthier oil like avocado or coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. These oils contain healthier fats that can be beneficial for your health.
  • Avoid added sugars: Some Banh Xeo recipes call for sugar in the batter or filling. Try skipping the sugar altogether or reducing the amount called for in the recipe.
  • Serve with a side salad: Pairing your Banh Xeo with a side salad can help to fill you up while also providing additional nutrients. Try a simple salad of mixed greens, cucumber, and tomato with a light vinaigrette dressing.


Banh xeo is a delicious Vietnamese dish that can be enjoyed as part of a healthy and balanced diet. So, how many calories in banh xeo? While it does contain calories, there are strategies you can use to keep the calorie count in check. By choosing leaner meats, using alternative cooking methods, and watching your serving size, you can enjoy banh xeo while staying within your calorie goals.

About Yen Le

Welcome to Bunker Vietnamese, a website dedicated to exploring the diverse world of Vietnamese cuisine. As a proud Vietnamese-American, my passion for cooking and sharing my cultural heritage has led me to create this platform. Join me on this culinary journey and discover the vibrant flavors and textures that make Vietnamese food so unique and delicious.

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