Cook's Hideout: Vietnam -- Crispy Rice & Mung bean Pancakes (Bánh Xèo)

September 25, 2014

Vietnam -- Crispy Rice & Mung bean Pancakes (Bánh Xèo)

BM# 44: A-Z Cooking Series -- Around the World in 30 days
Country: V for Vietnam
Dish: Crispy Rice & Mung bean Pancakes (Bánh Xèo)
We are visiting Vietnam today. Vietnam is located in Southeast Asia and is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest and Cambodia to southwest.
Vietnamese cuisine features a combination of 5 fundamental taste elements/ senses: spicy, sour, bitter, salty and sweet which sounds much like Indian tastes as well. Traditional Vietnamese cooking uses lot of fresh ingredients, minimum use of oil and relies on herbs and vegetables. Vietnamese food is considered as one of the healthiest cuisines worldwide.
Vietnam -- Crispy Rice & Mung bean Pancakes (Bánh Xèo)
Last month's Vegetarian times magazine had a whole spread of Vietnamese dishes and I knew right away that it is going to be Vietnam for V. These rice and mung bean pancakes sounded very similar to Andhra Pesarattu and the stuffing with mushrooms and bean sprouts sounded really interesting to me.

Vietnam -- Crispy Rice & Mung bean Pancakes (Bánh Xèo)
The only disappointment I have with the recipe is that I halved it and wished I had made the whole recipe because the pancakes turned out great. I wasn't sure if the family would like it, but everyone really loved it and wanted more, which unfortunately I couldn't make because the batter requires overnight soaking. I enjoyed the fresh herbs as garnish on top. They make perfect weekend breakfast.
Vietnam -- Crispy Rice & Mung bean Pancakes (Bánh Xèo)
Long grain Jasmine rice - ½cup
Mung/ Moong beans - ½cup
Light coconut milk - ¼cup
Green Onions - 2~3, thinly sliced
Turmeric - a pinch
Mushrooms - 2 cups, sliced
Firm Tofu - 8 oz., drained into 16 thin slices
Bean Sprouts - 2 cups
Fresh herbs like basil, cilantro and/ or mint - 2 cups, for garnish
Salt - to taste
Vietnamese Dipping Sauce - for serving (recipe follows)

  • Soak mung beans and rice overnight or at least for 8 hours. Rinse and drain soaked rice and blend into a smooth paste using some water. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Rinse and drain the mung beans and grind to a somewhat smooth paste. Add this to rice mixture along with coconut milk, green onions, turmeric and salt.
  • Heat 1tsp oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add ¼cup mushrooms and 2 slices tofu, and stir-fry till the mushrooms are slightly tender.
  • Ladle in just enough batter to cover the veggies in the pan, swirling the pan to coat the bottom.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 3~5 minutes or until the bottom is crispy.
  • Scatter ¼cup bean sprouts over one side of the pancake; fold other side over to form a half moon.
  • Cook the pancake 1~2 minutes per side.
  • Repeat with the remaining batter and veggies to make a total of 6 pancakes. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve with Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (recipe follows),
Vietnam -- Crispy Rice & Mung bean Pancakes (Bánh Xèo)

Vietnamese Dipping Sauce: Mix up a large batch of this sauce and use to dress salads or dip dumplings and spring rolls.
Lime juice - 1tbsp
Sugar - 1tbsp
Vegetarian Fish sauce - 1½tsp (recipe follows)
Chile-garlic paste (like Sambal Oelek) - 1tsp

  • Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.
Vegetarian Fish Sauce: This is a great alternative to store-bought vegetarian fish sauce and will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Turbinado Sugar - ¼cup (I used light brown sugar)
Low-sodium soy sauce - ¼cup
Unseasoned Rice Vinegar - 3tbsp
Lime juice - 2tsp
Garlic - 4 cloves, minced
Red Thai bird chile - 1, finely chopped

  • Stir 5tbsp boiling water into sugar in small bowl.
  • Cool, then stir in remaining ingredients.



  1. Yeah, we made the same thing but different ingredients. Even I liked the filling used though mine had shrimp instead of tofu. I should try your vegetarian fish sauce. I eat fish, we do not like the smell of the fish sauce. Thought I made the dipping sauce, we ate our pancakes without the dipping sauce as the fish sauce smell was too strong. Beautiful clicks.

  2. I does look a lot like pesarattu. With the filling it looks really appetizing. Good one.

  3. Lovely pancakes and those garnishes make it look so rustic..absolutely amazing. The veg sauce caught me attention right away ..looks stunning. Loved the complete meal. Super.

  4. Nutritious and filling pancakes.

  5. Wow, this pancake sounds almost like our pesarattu na, wow u made vegan fish sauce, thats truly amazing Pavani.

  6. Looks like andhra pesarattu very very tempting and healthy pancakes :) make me drool here .. Love the healthy combo !!

  7. Tofu in Pesarattu!! A real fusion cuisine :) Love it. Good choice for Vietnam!

  8. Very pretty pictures Pavani..and agree this looks so much like our own...I am sure we will like the different tastes this gets..

  9. SO many similarities in cuisine across the globe! And you have plated the dish so well Pavani!

  10. Looks like a vegan moong chilla , very tempting stuffing dear :) looks fantastic !!

  11. Love the ingredients in this one and this would make a great breakfast

  12. They look similar to pesarattu.. Tempting.

  13. Pancakes looks so light and delicious .


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