Crispy, Crunchy, and Delicious: How to Achieve Perfect Banh Xeo Every Time

Have you ever made banh xeo, the crispy Vietnamese pancake, only to find that it turned mushy and soggy instead of crispy? If so, don’t worry – you’re not alone. There are a number of reasons why pancakes aren’t as crispy as you’d like them to be, from using the wrong pan to stacking too many pans. In this article, we’ll find out why is my banh xeo not crispy dive into the different factors that can affect a pancake’s crispiness and give you tips to make sure your pancakes are always perfect.

Understanding Banh Xeo

Understanding Banh Xeo
Understanding Banh Xeo

Before we dive into the specific factors that can cause banh xeo to be less crispy than desired, let’s first take a closer look at what banh xeo is and what its key ingredients and cooking techniques are.


Banh xeo is typically made with rice flour, water, and turmeric powder, which gives the pancake its distinctive yellow color. The batter is then filled with a mixture of protein (such as shrimp, pork, or tofu), bean sprouts, and scallions, before being fried until crispy.

Cooking Techniques

The key to achieving a crispy banh xeo lies in the cooking technique. Traditionally, banh xeo is cooked in a hot skillet or wok with oil until it is golden brown and crispy on both sides. The pancake should be thin and light, with a delicate crunch on the outside and a soft, chewy texture on the inside.

Common Mistakes

Common Mistakes
Common Mistakes

Now that we have a basic understanding of what banh xeo is and how it is typically prepared, let’s take a closer look at some of the common mistakes that can lead to a less-than-crispy pancake.

Overcrowding the Pan

One of the most common mistakes people make when cooking banh xeo is overcrowding the pan. If you add too much batter or too many ingredients to the pan at once, the pancake will not cook evenly and may be less crispy as a result. To avoid this, make sure you only add enough batter to form a thin, even layer in the bottom of the pan, and leave plenty of room around the edges for the pancake to cook.

Using the Wrong Pan

Another factor that can affect the crispiness of your banh xeo is the type of pan you use. Ideally, you want to use a non-stick skillet or wok that is large enough to accommodate the pancake without overcrowding. A cast iron skillet or stainless steel pan may work, but you’ll need to make sure it is well-seasoned or oiled to prevent sticking.

Not Letting the Batter Rest

Another mistake people often make when making banh xeo is not letting the batter rest before cooking. Allowing the batter to rest for at least 30 minutes (or up to 2 hours) gives the rice flour time to fully hydrate and develop its characteristic texture. If you skip this step, your pancake may be less crispy and more dense.

Why Is My Banh Xeo Not Crispy?

If you’ve avoided the common mistakes listed above and your banh xeo still isn’t coming out as crispy as you’d like, there could be a few other factors at play. Here are some possible reasons why your pancake may not be crispy:

  • The temperature of the pan is too low: Make sure your skillet or wok is hot enough before adding the batter. If the pan is too cool, the batter will absorb more oil and may be less crispy.
  • The batter is too thick: If your batter is too thick, your pancake may be more dense and less crispy. Try adding a bit more water to the batter to thin it out.
  • The oil is not hot enough: In addition to making sure your pan is hot, you also want to make sure the oil is hot enough before adding the batter. If the oil is too cool, the pancake will absorb more oil and may be less crispy.

Tips for Crispy Banh Xeo

Tips for Crispy Banh Xeo
Tips for Crispy Banh Xeo

Now that we’ve covered some of the common mistakes and possible reasons why your banh xeo may not be turning out as crispy as you’d like, let’s take a look at some tips for achieving that perfect crunch.

Using the Right Temperature

As mentioned earlier, one of the most important factors in achieving a crispy banh xeo is using the right temperature. Make sure your skillet or wok is hot enough (but not too hot) before adding the batter. You can test the temperature by sprinkling a few drops of water onto the surface – if they sizzle and evaporate immediately, the pan is ready.

Adding Cornstarch to the Batter

Another trick for achieving a crispy banh xeo is to add a bitof cornstarch to the batter. Cornstarch helps to create a crispy crust on the pancake by absorbing excess moisture and preventing it from becoming too dense. Simply mix in a tablespoon or two of cornstarch to the batter before cooking for an extra-crispy texture.

Using a Non-Stick Pan

Using a non-stick pan can also help to ensure that your banh xeo comes out crispy and doesn’t stick to the pan. When using a non-stick pan, you’ll need less oil, which can result in a lighter, crispier pancake. Just make sure to use a heat-resistant spatula that won’t scratch the surface of the pan.


Banh xeo is a delicious and versatile dish that can be enjoyed any time of day, but achieve the perfect level of crispiness can be a challenge. By avoiding common mistakes like overcrowding the pan and using the wrong type of pan, and following tips like using the right temperature and adding cornstarch to the batter, you can ensure that your banh xeo comes out perfectly crispy every time. So next time you’re whipping up a batch of these tasty pancakes, remember these tips and enjoy the perfect balance of crispy and chewy textures. And here are the reasons why is my banh xeo not crispy that everyone should know. 

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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