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Vietnamese Banh Xeo Batter – Homemade from Scratch

If you don’t have any premix Vietnamese Banh Xeo kits at home, I’m going to share with you an easy way to create your own Banh Xeo flour mixture right at home.

I shared my recipe for making shortcut Banh Xeo using premixed Vietnamese pancake flour mix, but I also wanted to share with you how to make this batter at home from scratch as well. Often, I find myself craving Banh Xeo, but never have the packaging.

Sometimes, you just don’t want to make an extra trip to the store to get the batter. Too often, I get cravings to make this crispy, sizzling yellow pancake crepes and I always forget to prepare well in advance for these cravings. Here’s the beauty behind that? As long as you stock up on a few essential ingredients that you can use for other recipes, you can be sure to have your own flour kits on hand to make Banh Xeo right from scratch, in the most authentic way possible.

While I won’t talk all about the filling ingredients and vegetables that are inside this delicious dish (covered in the Banh Xeo post), I am going to talk all about how simple it is to make the batter from scratch.

Introduction to Vietnamese Banh Xeo

What is Banh Xeo?

Banh Xeo is a Vietnamese crepe dish that with a delicate, golden brown omlette-like crust that is filled with pork, shrimp, mung beans, onions, shallots, and bean sprouts served with sweet fish chili sauce dipped or drizzled over the top of it.

How do you pronounce Banh Xeo?

To pronounce Banh Xeo in Vietnamese, you just say “Bawn” (rhymes with lawn) and “Sey-oh” (rhymes with “sail” but without the L).

What does Banh Xeo mean?

The word banh xeo literally means “sizzling cake”. Banh Xeo can then be inferred to as Vietnamese sizzling crepe, sizzling cake, and even sizzling pancake.

All About Making Authentic Banh Xeo Batter from Scratch

To Use Wheat Flour vs Pure Rice Flour for Banh Xeo Batter

Wheat flour used in Banh Xeo batter, while not 100% authentic, will allow you to match the consistency and thickness of the pre-made flour kits for Banh Xeo you’ll find at Asian grocers. 

Using pure rice flour without wheat flour is the more authentic route. However, if you like a harder texture that doesn’t break apart, you can use 1 cup of flour with 2/3 cup of wheat flour. This wheat flour is NOT the same as the flour used for baking cakes and cookies. It’s a specific flour found at most Asian grocers.

The recipe I’m going to share with you uses 100% rice flour and not wheat flour as some recipes might call for. 

wheat flour

There are various types of flours that are Asian grocers (rice flour vs glutinous rice flour). While they may all be white powders, they definitely produce a different outcome. 

Rice Flour at Asian Grocery Store for Banh Xeo

Rice flour that you’ll need to get at your local Asian market should look something similar to this packaging. Most brands at Asian grocers are referred by the “logo” and not necessarily the name of the company. This would be called the “Elephant brand for rice flour”.

rice flour versus sweet rice flour

How to Make Simple Vietnamese Banh Xeo Authentic Batter

I’m going to share with you how to make the simple, authentic version of Banh Xeo batter recipe below.

vietnamese banh xeo recipe

Ingredients for Making Authentic Vietnamese Banh Xeo Batter from Scratch

  • 2 cup of rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric
  • 3 1/2 cups of water
  • 14 ounces of coconut milk (or coconut cream)
  • 1 tsp of salt

Directions for Authentic Vietnamese Banh Xeo Batter Preparation

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together.
  2. Use batter as needed for making Banh Xeo with filling ingredients.

How long does Banh Xeo batter mixed with the coconut last?

If kept in a sealed container, Banh Xeo batter can be used up to 5 days after being mixed. 

Alternative Versions (Western)

There are a lot of ways that you can customize Banh Xeo from the authentic versions to make your own. Here are a few variations of Banh Xeo batter that I’ve seen.

  • Using beer instead of water for a lighter and crispier batter.
  • Adding egg into the batter to make a stronger crepe to hold the filling.
  • Using 1 cup of rice flour and 2/3 wheat flour to match the premade Vietnamese Banh Xeo mixes found in Asian Grocers. 
  • Adding MSG for flavoring.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use tapioca starch instead of wheat flour as a substitute?

For Banh Xeo batter, it is not recommended to use tapioca starch as a substitute for wheat flour because the crepe will fall apart and not hold the filling.

What can I use as a substitute for turmeric in Vietnamese Banh Xeo?

A substitute for Vietnamese Banh Xeo in place of turmeric would be saffron. Saffron has similar colors to turmeric with a taste that has a slight subtle difference, but not by much. If you don’t have saffon, a next best substitute could be ginger powder and cumin, but both will have distinct flavor differences, thus limiting the amount that is generally used with turmeric would be recommended.

Summary of Making Banh Xeo Batter from Scratch

As you can see, making Banh Xeo batter from scratch only takes a few simple ingredients. There are a multitude of ways that you can customize Vietnamese Banh Xeo Batter to your preference. What’s even better is that the filling and ingredients can also be customized with your flavor palette.

My kids and grandkids absolutely love eating Banh Xeo batter when I make it from scratch because of how crispy they turn out. Even my son-in-law (who doesn’t necessarily love Vietnamese food) loves this recipe. I honestly think it’s due to the crispiness of the crepe-like outer shell with the ability to personalize it to everyone’s preferences. 

Anytime I announce that I’m making Banh Xeo, my kids and grandkids are running to come over. Now, if you don’t have time to make Banh Xeo from scratch, you can always use the premix batter to save some time. Just remember that the crepe might be a little more thicker due to the usage of wheat flour. 

I hope you love this recipe. Please comment below if you have any questions!

banh xeo recipe - vietnamese pancake crepe

Simple Authentic Vietnamese Banh Xeo Batter from Scratch

Yield: 5
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Learn how to make Banh Xeo batter from scratch with a few simple ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 cup of rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric
  • 3 1/2 cups of water
  • 14 ounces of coconut milk (or coconut cream)
  • 1 tsp of salt

Instructions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together.
  2. Use batter as needed for making Banh Xeo with filling ingredients.

Notes

Banh Xeo Batter when mixed with the liquids can last in an airtight container for up to 5 day when refridgerated.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 393Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 483mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 2gSugar: 0gProtein: 6g

Other Posts You Might Like for Vietnamese Cooking

If you liked this post on how to make authentic Vietnamese Banh Xeo Batter from scratch, check out some of the other posts I’ve done to compare different ingredients and dishes that you might like:

Authentic banh xeo batter scratch Banh xeo Vietnamese batter from scratch How to make banh xeo batter scratch

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