Banh Xeo/Banh Cheo Puff

Banh Xeo Puff
Banh Xeo Puff

My garden is filled with fresh herbs this time of year so I have been planning dishes around them. Google around and came across great food photos of Banh Xeo (Banh Cheo) which is a Cambodian adaptation of the Vietnamese pancake/crepe with fillings and eaten with assorted fresh herbs, wrapped in lettuce and dipped into fish sauce. B-I-N-G-O! I haven’t made Banh Xeo in a long time, I believe since last summer, so now is a perfect time. However, I recently got my new Pancake Puff Pan (at Walgreens for $19.99) for something I want to try and make in the future so why not put the pan to the test today and make it a Banh Xeo Puff ​​បាញ់ឆែវក្នុងអំបែង?

It turns out that we love Banh Xeo made this way. Why? Because it’s very easy to make and eat. As you can see from the picture, each Banh Xeo puff is just the perfect bite size for the lettuce and herb wrap. Not messy at all. However, due to it’s size I wasn’t able to add fresh bean sprout like I would if I were to make it the traditional way which is on a flat pan fold in half like a crescent. I took a little shortcut by purchasing the already prepared Banh Xeo flour which has rice flour, turmeric powder and salt. You just have to add water, coconut milk and chopped green onions. Simple huh? :) This is just another fun way to enjoy Banh Xeo. My recipe and steps here is pretty much similar to the traditional way of making Banh Xeo for those who would like to try it out.

Ingredients

Batter

6 oz prepared banh xeo flour
1 small can 5.6 fl oz coconut milk
3 stalk green onion (scallion), green portion only
1 3/4 cup water
oil for coating

Filling/Topping
½ lb ground pork or chicken
¼ onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
20-25 shrimp, peeled and devein

Dip with fish sauce (see recipe)

Wrap with fresh lettuce, slice cucumber, fresh herbs such as spearmint, Asian mint, cilantro, basil, or fishwort.

Method:
Combine all ingredients in the batter and mix well. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Make the filling. In a hot pan cook the ground pork until brown. Add chopped onion along with sugar and fish sauce. Combine and allow liquid to evaporate. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

To make Banh Xeo, heat your puff/pan and coat with oil. Tip: Use a brush or a paper towel wrapped around a chop stick. Test with a drop of batter. If it sizzle then it’s ready. Add a small amount of batter in puff/pan. You might want to lower the heat so it doesn’t burn as the batter cooks pretty fast. If using a pan, you want to tilt it around so they spread evenly and thinly. If using a puff pan, fill about 3/4 of the way. Top the batter with the filling and add shrimp (put the filling on just one side if using a regular pan) . Use a lid and cover the puff/pan. Wait about 2-3 minutes depending on how thin/thick your batter is. For the puff, use a skewer to remove it, but for the pan just fold the other half creating a crescent shape. Transfer to a serving plate.

Serve with fresh herbs and vegetables like cucumbers with fish sauce for dipping on the side.

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