Vietnamese pancakes with prawns
MAKES 6 X 24CM 200g brown rice flour
1tsp ground turmeric
300ml coconut milk
3tbsp groundnut, sunflower or rapeseed oil, for cooking
For the dipping sauce 40ml lime juice
1½tbsp sesame oil
1tbsp brown sugar
1tbsp rice wine vinegar
1tbsp kecap manis
(sweet soy sauce)
2cm knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 Thai red chilli, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, crushed
For the filling 3tbsp groundnut, sunflower or rapeseed oil
1 onion, finely sliced
100g shiitake mushrooms, finely sliced
150g mangetout, thinly sliced 150g raw prawns
150g bean sprouts
3 spring onions, sliced
To serve 1 Romaine lettuce 15g coriander leaves 15g mint leaves
15g Thai basil leaves Preheat the oven to 100C/210F/ Gas ¼ and heat a plate to keep the pancakes warm.
Put the rice flour in a mixing bowl and add the salt and turmeric. Whisk in the coconut milk until the batter is the consistency of single cream. Add up to 150ml warm water to thin the batter if necessary. Set aside to rest for at least 30 minutes.
To make the dipping sauce, whisk all the ingredients in a bowl with 50ml warm water until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
To make the filling, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and mushrooms then cook gently until the onion softens and the mushrooms start to brown. Add the mangetout and stir so they warm through but are still crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside. Heat the remaining oil in the pan over a medium heat.
Add the prawns and cook for
1-2 minutes until pink, then return the mushroom mixture back to the pan. Reduce the heat to low and place a lid on top to keep warm.
To cook the pancakes, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Spread evenly with kitchen paper so it covers the base very lightly. Turn the heat up to high and pour in 4 tablespoons of the batter and immediately swirl it around so it spreads out to the edges of the pan. The edges can be thinner than the centre of the bánh xèo to encourage them to crisp up.
Add a spoonful of the mushroom mixture, some bean sprouts and spring onions. Cover and cook for 3 minutes or until the bánh xèo is crisp, golden and coming away from the pan. Fold the pancake in half and keep warm in the oven while you repeat with the rest of the batter.
Serve with lettuce leaves, coriander, mint and Thai basil with the dipping sauce. The traditional way to eat bánh xèo is to take a lettuce leaf, pile some herbs on top, then break off a piece of the pancake, sit it inside the leaf, roll it up and dip into the sauce.