This is a Vietnamese version of pancake or crepe. Unlike any Western pancakes or crepes you know, this Vietnamese version of pancakes are not soft in texture. The final pancake is very crispy, in facts, the crispier the better. The pancakes should pan fried over very high heat in order to turn out crispy. They should be wafer thin. Vietnamese name, Khoái, means pleasure. This is the central version of the pancake, the southern version is called Bánh Xèo, sizzling pancake.
Below is a short video of street vendors making Vietnamese pancakes in Vietnam:
Recipe for Hue Shrimp and Bean Sprouts Pancake (Bánh Khoái):
Batter:1 1/4 cups rice flour
1 1/4 cups soda mineral water
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp oil
1 green onion, sliced thin
Filling1/2 cup straw mushrooms, thinly sliced
8 fresh medium shrimps, peeled, deveined and splitted in halves
1/2 lb of pork shoulder, thinly sliced
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/8 tbsp black pepper
2 cups of bean sprouts
2 green onions, sliced
Vegetable Garnish Plate: mix of lettuce leave, and Vietnamese herbs, such as perillas, Asian basil, mints, cucumber slices
Mix the rice water, water, egg, salt, sugar, turmeric in a bowl until a smooth batter is obtained. Make sure there are no lumps in the batter. Add in green onion slices and 1 tbsp of oil. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Mix shrimps, pork shoulder with fish sauce and pepper in a small bow. Set aside.
In a heavy nonstick skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium high heat, turning to grease the side. Add 1/2 cup of batter into the skillet and swirl the pan to form a thin round layer of batter. The batter should sizzle and bubble. Visualize a line down the middle of the pancake and roughly arrange about 2 tbsp of pork and 3 half shrimps on one side of the pancake. Top the fillings with some slices of mushroom and 1/2 cup of bean sprouts, then cover the skillet and pan fry for about 2 minutes to cook the fillings.
Remove the lid and continute to cook for 2-3 minutes to crisp the pancake. The edge will have pulled away from the skillet and be lifting upward. At this point, use a spatula to check underneath. It should be golden brown, crispy and without soft spots. When the pancake is ready, use a spatula to fold it in half and transfer it to the serving plate.
Pan fry all the pan cakes in the same manner.
Serve the pancake hot with vegetable garnish plate and dipping fish sauce or Spicy Hoisin Garlic Sauce. Pancake should be served hot right away from the skillet to remain its crispiness. Pass around 1 or 2 pairs of kitchen scissors for diners to cut their crepes into manageably size pieces. To eat, tear a piece of lettuce, place a piece of pancake on it, and cucumer slices and a few herb leaves and dip it into the sauce.
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