Discovering Banh Xeo: A Delicious and Savory Pancake from Vietnam

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Have you ever heard of Banh Xeo? If not, you’re in for a treat! Banh Xeo is a Vietnamese dish that has been around for centuries and is enjoyed by people all over the world. This crispy, savory pancake is filled with a variety of delicious ingredients, making it a popular choice for anyone looking for a quick and tasty meal. 

In this blog post, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of Banh Xeo, exploring: What is Banh Xeo? History, ingredients, and preparation. So, whether you’re a foodie looking to expand your culinary horizons or just curious about this mouthwatering dish, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Banh Xeo!

Define: What is Banh Xeo?

Define What is Banh Xeo
Define What is Banh Xeo

Banh xeo is a popular Vietnamese dish that translates to “sizzling pancake” in English. It is a savory, crispy crepe made from rice flour and turmeric powder, which is used to give it its signature golden yellow color. The batter is then mixed with coconut milk, creating a slightly sweet yet nutty taste.


The exact origin of Banh Xeo is unclear, but it is believed to have originated in Central Vietnam during the reign of the Nguyen Dynasty in the 18th century. It was initially served as a street food snack and was later popularized in restaurants throughout Vietnam.

This dish has been around for hundreds of years and is enjoyed throughout Vietnam as a popular street food. The origin of banh xeo is not entirely clear, but it is believed to have originated in central Vietnam before spreading to other regions. It is a dish that is often shared among family and friends, making it a communal and social meal.


The traditional ingredients for Banh Xeo include rice flour, water, turmeric powder, coconut milk, bean sprouts, shrimp, pork belly or sliced pork, and mung beans. Other common fillings include beef, squid, mushrooms, and onions. The pancakes are usually served with lettuce or mustard greens and fresh herbs such as cilantro, mint, and basil.

The filling of banh xeo can vary depending on the region in Vietnam or personal preference but typically consists of shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, and green onions. Sometimes, other ingredients such as mushrooms, mung beans, and sliced pork belly may also be added. The filling is cooked together with the batter on a hot griddle until crispy and golden brown.

Banh xeo is often served with a variety of herbs and vegetables, including lettuce, mint, and coriander. Diners are encouraged to wrap a piece of the crispy crepe along with some herbs and vegetables in a piece of rice paper before dipping it into a sweet and sour fish sauce-based dipping sauce.


To prepare Banh Xeo, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup of rice flour
  • ½ cup of cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 can of coconut milk (13.5oz)
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 pound of pork belly or chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 pound of bean sprouts
  • 1 bunch of scallions, chopped
  • 1 bunch of fresh herbs (such as cilantro, mint, basil), chopped
  • Dipping Sauce: 1/4 cup of fish sauce, 2 tablespoons of sugar, juice from 1 lime, 1 finely chopped chili

Steps to make Banh Xeo:

  1. Mix rice flour, turmeric powder, and coconut milk to create a batter.
  2. Heat up a skillet or crepe pan until hot.
  3. Pour batter into the skillet and spread it out thinly.
  4. Add fillings such as shrimp, pork belly or sliced pork, bean sprouts, and mung beans onto one side of the pancake.
  5. Fold the other side of the pancake over the filling.
  6. Serve hot with lettuce or mustard greens and fresh herbs.

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Regional Variations

Regional Variations
Regional Variations

Banh Xeo is a popular dish throughout Vietnam, but there are regional variations that differ in their ingredients and preparation methods.

Central Vietnam

In central Vietnam, Banh Xeo is typically served with a filling of shrimp, pork, onions, and beansprouts, and is accompanied by a sweet and spicy dipping sauce made from fish sauce, sugar, garlic, chili, and lime juice.

Southern Vietnam

In southern Vietnam, Banh Xeo is often made with coconut milk, which gives it a sweeter flavor than its central counterpart. The filling usually consists of shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, and green onions, and is served with a peanut-based dipping sauce.

Cambodia and Laos

In Cambodia and Laos, Banh Xeo is known as “Khao Ji” and is made with a thicker batter that contains more rice flour and less water. The filling often includes chicken, beef, or tofu, and is served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce.

Serving Suggestions

Serving Suggestions
Serving Suggestions

Banh Xeo is usually served as a main course or as an appetizer. Here are some common accompaniments and drinks to pair with this tasty dish.


Banh Xeo is typically served with fresh herbs and lettuce or mustard greens, which help to balance out the richness of the pancake. It can also be served with a variety of dipping sauces such as nuoc cham, hoisin sauce, or soy sauce.


Banh Xeo pairs well with a variety of drinks, including Vietnamese coffee, beer, and iced tea. The strong and sweet flavors of Vietnamese coffee complement the savory and crunchy texture of Banh Xeo, while beer provides a refreshing contrast to the richness of the dish. Iced tea, on the other hand, helps to cleanse the palate and refresh your taste buds between bites.


Banh Xeo is a delicious and versatile Vietnamese dish that has become increasingly popular worldwide. Its crispy texture, rich filling, and flavorful accompaniment make it a favorite among food lovers everywhere. Whether you prefer it with shrimp and pork or chicken and tofu, Banh Xeo is sure to satisfy your cravings for a delicious and satisfying meal. Hope the above article has helped you to know what is Banh Xeo and enjoy them.

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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