The Secret to Perfect Banh Xeo Batter: Unraveling the Ingredients

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Banh Xeo, a Vietnamese dish that translates to “sizzling cake,” is a traditional street food made of rice flour batter and various fillings. The dish is easy to make and perfect for a quick meal or a party snack. However, the key to making delicious Banh Xeo lies in the batter. In this article, we will delve into the details of what Banh Xeo batter is and what is Banh Xeo batter made of.

What is Banh Xeo Batter?

What is Banh Xeo Batter
What is Banh Xeo Batter

Banh Xeo batter is a Vietnamese batter used to make Banh Xeo, which is a crispy and savory Vietnamese pancake. The batter is made from a combination of rice flour, coconut milk, turmeric powder, and water. The result is a thin, slightly yellow-colored batter that has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor.

The main ingredient in Banh Xeo batter is rice flour, which is a gluten-free flour made from ground rice. Rice flour gives the batter its light and crispy texture. Coconut milk is added to the batter to give it a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. Coconut milk also adds richness to the batter, making the pancakes more flavorful. Turmeric powder is used to give the batter its distinctive yellow color. Turmeric is a spice that is commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine and has a slightly bitter taste.

Ingredients: What is Banh Xeo Batter Made Of?

Ingredients What is Banh Xeo Batter Made Of
Ingredients What is Banh Xeo Batter Made Of

To make Banh Xeo batter, you will need the following ingredients:

Rice flour

Rice flour is the main ingredient in Banh Xeo batter. It gives the crepe its texture and holds it together. Rice flour is readily available in Asian grocery stores or can be made at home by grinding soaked rice.

Coconut milk

Coconut milk adds creaminess and flavor to the batter. It also helps to bind the ingredients together. Make sure to use full-fat coconut milk for the best results.

Turmeric powder

Turmeric powder gives the batter its characteristic yellow color. It also has a mild earthy flavor that complements the other ingredients.


Water is added to thin out the batter. The amount of water needed may vary depending on the brand of rice flour used.


Salt enhances the flavors of the dish and balances the sweetness of the coconut milk.

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Instructions for Mixing Flour to Make Banh Xeo

Instructions for Mixing Flour to Make Banh Xeo
Instructions for Mixing Flour to Make Banh Xeo

Mixing the Banh Xeo batter

To start, you will need to gather all the necessary ingredients and equipment. This includes a mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons, a whisk or fork, and a non-stick pan. It’s important to use the correct measurements and ratios for the ingredients to ensure that the batter is not too thick or thin and has the right balance of flavors.

Begin by measuring out one cup of rice flour and adding it to the mixing bowl. Rice flour is the primary ingredient in Banh Xeo batter and gives it the desired crispiness and texture. Next, add half a teaspoon of turmeric powder to the mixing bowl. Turmeric powder adds a vibrant yellow color to the batter and also adds a subtle earthy flavor.

After adding the rice flour and turmeric powder, it’s time to add the wet ingredients. Start by adding one cup of coconut milk to the mixing bowl. Coconut milk provides richness and creaminess to the batter and enhances its overall flavor. Then, add one and a half cups of water to the mixing bowl. Water helps to thin out the batter and create a smooth consistency.

Once all the ingredients are in the mixing bowl, it’s time to combine them together. Use a whisk or fork to mix the ingredients thoroughly until there are no lumps or clumps in the batter. It’s essential to mix the batter well to ensure an even distribution of the ingredients and to prevent any lumps or inconsistencies in the final product.

Resting the batter

After mixing the batter, let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour before using it. Allowing the batter to rest allows the rice flour to absorb the liquid ingredients fully and helps to achieve a smoother consistency. It also allows the flavors to meld together, creating a more flavorful crepe.

Preparing the  Banh Xeo filling

Meat and Seafood First, you will need to prepare your meat and seafood. Pork is a traditional filling for Banh Xeo, but you can also use chicken or beef if you prefer. Cut the meat into small pieces and season it with salt, pepper, and minced garlic. For the seafood, use fresh shrimp that has been deveined and shelled. Toss the shrimp with salt, pepper, and a bit of lime juice.

Vegetables Next, you will need to prepare your vegetables. The most common vegetable used in Banh Xeo fillings is bean sprouts. You will also need to chop up some green onions, cilantro, and lettuce. If you like, you can also add sliced mushrooms, carrots, or peppers.

Seasoning To give the filling a bit more flavor, you can add some seasoning. Fish sauce, soy sauce, and oyster sauce are all commonly used in Banh Xeo fillings. You can also add a bit of sugar and lime juice for a sweet and sour flavor.

Cooking the Banh Xeo

Cooking To cook the filling, heat up a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add a bit of oil and then toss in the meat or seafood. Cook for a few minutes until browned and then remove from the pan. Next, add in the vegetables and stir-fry for a few minutes until they are tender. Finally, add back in the meat or seafood and season with fish sauce, soy sauce, and other seasonings.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Pour a ladleful of batter onto the skillet and swirl it around to cover the surface evenly. Add the fillings on one half of the crepe. Fold the other half of the crepe over the fillings and let it cook for a few more minutes until the crepe turns golden brown and crispy. Fold the crepe in half and serve hot.

Serving Suggestions Banh Xeo

Serving Suggestions Banh Xeo
Serving Suggestions Banh Xeo

When it comes to serving suggestions for Banh Xeo, there are several options depending on your taste preferences and creativity. Here are a few ideas:

  • Classic Style: The traditional way of serving Banh Xeo is to cut it into small pieces and then wrap them in lettuce leaves along with herbs. Dipping these packages into nuoc cham (a dipping sauce made with fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, garlic, and chili peppers) will give you the perfect balance of crunchy, savory, and refreshing flavors.
  • Customize Your Filling: While pork belly and shrimp are common fillings in Banh Xeo, you can also get creative and add other ingredients like sliced mushrooms, tofu, or even cheese. You can also vary the proportions of the filling ingredients based on your preferences.
  • Add Sauce Variations: In addition to nuoc cham, you can experiment with different dipping sauces to complement the flavors of Banh Xeo. For example, you can try a peanut sauce made with peanut butter, hoisin sauce, and coconut milk, or a sweet and sour sauce made with tamarind paste, sugar, and fish sauce.
  • Make it a Meal: Banh Xeo can be served as an appetizer or a main course depending on how much you eat. To make it a full meal, consider serving it with sides like rice or vermicelli noodles, pickled vegetables, or fried eggs.
  • Play with Presentation: Finally, you can have fun with the presentation of Banh Xeo by putting a modern twist on the classic dish. 


What is Banh Xeo batter made of? Banh Xeo batter is made of rice flour, coconut milk, turmeric powder, water, and salt. Mixing the batter requires whisking the ingredients together and letting the batter rest for at least 30 minutes. Banh Xeo can be filled with various meats, seafood, vegetables, and herbs. It is traditionally served with lettuce, herbs, and a dipping sauce made of fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, garlic, and chili peppers. Now that you know the secrets to make delicious Banh Xeo, try it out for yourself and impress your friends and family with this flavorful Vietnamese dish!

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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