RECIPE: Sizzling Vietnamese crêpes with prawns by Uyen Luu.

“Bánh xèo is a light savoury crêpe, eaten with an abundance of salad leaves and herbs. There’s a knack to eating these: gather a palmful of leaves and herbs into your hand, break off some crêpe onto the leaves, then roll it up and dip it into the sauce. You can vary the filling,” says food writer Uyen Luu.

“You’ll need a 20cm non-stick frying pan with a lid for this recipe.”

Sizzling Vietnamese crêpes with prawns form Vietnamese by Uyen Luu.


(Makes about 6)

For the crêpe batter:

100g rice flour (Asian Rose Brand, or any non-glutinous)

1tsp heaped ground turmeric

200ml coconut milk

200ml water

1 spring onion, thinly sliced

½tsp sea salt

A pinch of caster (superfine) sugar

Vegetable or coconut oil, for frying

For the filling:

2 round shallots, thinly sliced

200g shelled, de-veined and halved king prawns

100g beansprouts

50g garlic chives or coriander (optional)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the garnish:

Lettuce leaves

Spring onions, cut into short lengths

A variety of Asian herbs, such as coriander, Thai sweet basil, garden mint, perilla (shiso), cockscomb

For the fish sauce (serves 4): mix together well

2 bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

3tbsp caster (superfine) sugar

3tbsp white wine vinegar

4tbsp fish sauce

80ml (5tbsp) hot water


1. Wash and dry the salad leaves and set them aside.

2. Next, make the crêpe batter. Mix together the flour, turmeric, coconut milk, water, spring onion, salt and sugar in a bowl, making sure it is smooth and free of lumps. It should resemble the consistency of single cream.

2. To make the filling, heat one teaspoon of oil in a frying pan over a medium–high heat and fry a few slices of shallot until golden. Season the prawns with salt and pepper and add a couple of pieces to the pan for a minute.

3. Using a shallow ladle, pour in a thin layer of the crêpe batter, swivelling the pan to get it covered all around the edges.

Add a handful of beansprouts and chives/coriander (if using) and cover the pan with the lid. Keep the steam in and allow to cook for two minutes with the lid on.

4. Remove the lid ansd cook for a further minute, making sure the crêpe is crisp and golden. Fold the crêpe in half, serve or set aside.

Repeat this process with the remaining shallots, batter and other ingredients to make the rest of the crêpes. Serve with your leaves and dipping sauce on the side.

Vietnamese: Simple Vietnamese Food To Cook At Home by Uyen Luu is published by Hardie Grant on May 27, priced £22.

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