The Happiest Pancake You’ll Ever Meet!
I probably am a bit of both. I love to watch others create amazing things, sometimes I try them myself but with practice I'm learning to create a healthy mix of appreciating others passions for cooking by supporting their businesses and then finding my own lane when it comes to ingredients, flavors and preferences.
I cannot sing the praises enough of trying out local produce boxes. You'll receive items you wouldn't normally purchase and if you prepare yourself by prepping your pantry and fridge with a few proteins, coconut creams, chicken broth and spices you can create incredible meals you would never have thought of.
The most recent box I received from Pacific Northwest Fresh also featured local Oyster and Lions Mane mushrooms from J&M Gourmet Mushrooms that I'd been trying to figure out what to use them for. Bahn Xeo it is! Incredible, they pull up all the flavor and the texture was like meat. Impressive and I will for sure be ordering more of them!
When I heard the Why Not! My Pho Kitchen was coming to town, I was hoping they might feature Bahn Xeo on the menu but alas, I have yet to find anyone near our area that creates this amazing dish.
I randomly stumbled across the Bahn Xeo Boys on Instagram. They are located in San Francisco, open limited hours and feature their Bahn Xeo Box, a pancake type crepe filled with pork, onion, shrimp and or veggies that is crispy on one side and slightly fluffy on the other. The yellow batter makes you assume it's egg based, but you would be wrong.
It's rice flour and turmeric, a combination that I've never tried but have been dreaming about making/tasting ever since I first saw a video of it being made.
The flavor is incredible, the texture rich and slightly crunchy and the dipping sauce ties it all together. Each flavor compliments each other with a slight crunch that makes it seem like nuts are in the mix, but that's not the case. Have you ever eaten something that makes you say, "wow." I am super impressed with this dish!
When you dip, I dip, we dip!
It's decadent and light at the same time. You're left feeling full but satisfied and you've got to try it.
There are a lot of herbs and veggies but it's important to have all the pieces to this dish before making it, all the flavors together really make it an exceptional dish but I'm pretty sure I am just hitting the tip of the iceberg with different additions to add to it. I even found a few ways to reinvent the left-overs so nothing goes to waste. I'll report back.
This is the BEST home test of a recipe I have EVER experienced. Want to try it?
What you need for Bahn Xeo - recipe by Curious Cuisiniere
- 1 cup Rice Flour (I could only find wheat rice flour but it worked great)
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp of turmeric
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- one scallion thinly sliced
- oil for the pan
Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce
- 6 Tbsp. warm water
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 Tbsp. lime juice
- 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 clove of garlic diced
- 1 red chili (birds eye) I still have yet to find that so I googled and you can use cayenne pepper in a pinch
- 2 cups of mung beans
- 1/2 cup pork or mushrooms
- 1/2 pound small shrimp (I decided to used diced rotisserie chicken)
- 6 scallions sliced
- Lettuce leaves, herbs like mint, cilantro, basil, cucumber (I used an English one)
Make your batter by mixing together the rice flour, water, coconut milk, turmeric, salt and sliced green scallion until smooth. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Get your station set-up. You'll need a pan and your favorite cooking oil. You can put together your plate with your lettuce leaves, herbs, cut your cucumber and make your dipping sauce
Heat up a touch of oil in the pan and cook a handful of mung beans until they have lost some moister and set aside, cook your proteins and mushrooms and set aside.
Turn your pan to medium high heat with some oil and pour half a cup of batter using a spatula into the pan rotating it so it's a thin layer covering as much of the pan as possible, as if you were creating a crepe. You can add a touch more batter to fill in spots but not too much because they aren't supposed to be thick. Add a bit of your proteins and veggies to one side of the pancake then cover and cook for about two to three minutes until the edges are brown then turn the pan back down to medium heat, add a bit of oil around the edges of the pan and cook for another 3-5 minutes uncovered. Flip the empty side of the pancake over and slide onto your plate for eating!
I will be honest my first one seemed to flip the best, the second one was a whole mess and the third looked a bit better so I think you have to make sure the pan stays super hot with a bit more oil. The recipe makes about six of them, not sure if I can store the left-overs but I'm doing it to make more tomorrow.
Take your lettuce then add some herbs and veggies, some pancake and I used a strip of cucumber to wrap around it like a belt to dip in the sauce. Incredible.
Happy pancake, happy life
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