Crispy Viet­namese Crepes With Shrimp, Pork and Bean Sprouts (Banh Xeo)

The Washington Post - - FOOD -

12 servings, Healthy

Charles Phan says the per­fect crepe for th­ese “happy pan­cakes” should be thin and crisp. The chef rec­om­mends re­frig­er­at­ing the bat­ter overnight so its starches have time to re­lax, then cook­ing the crepes in a non­stick pan. If re­frig­er­ated overnight, let the bat­ter re­turn to room tem­per­a­ture and stir it be­fore mak­ing crepes.

Dried mung beans are avail­able at nat­u­ral foods mar­kets and at Asian mar­kets, as well as via on­line pur­vey­ors.

MAKE AHEAD: The dried mung beans need to be soaked for 30 min­utes. The crepe bat­ter needs to rest for at least 20 min­utes, and up to overnight. The dip­ping sauce can be re­frig­er­ated up to 1 week in ad­vance (or up to 2 days, if us­ing lemon juice in­stead of vine­gar).

From Phan, chef-owner of the Slanted Door in San Francisco.

In­gre­di­ents For the dip­ping sauce

1/2 cup fish sauce 1/3 cup su­gar 1/4 cup dis­tilled white vine­gar (may sub­sti­tute fresh lemon juice) 1/2 cup wa­ter 2 cloves gar­lic, minced 1 or 2 red Thai chiles, stemmed and minced

For the crepes

1/2 cup dried mung beans (see head­note) 1 cup unsweet­ened co­conut milk, stirred be­fore us­ing 2 cups white rice flour 1 cup corn­starch 4 cups wa­ter 2 scal­lions, trimmed and thinly sliced (white and light-green parts) 1 1/2 tea­spoons ground turmeric Kosher salt Veg­etable oil 12 ounces bone­less pork loin, cut into 1/4 inch-thick slices 12 ounces medium shrimp, shelled, de­veined and cut length­wise in half 1 medium white onion, cut from top to bot­tom, and then into thin half-moon slices 3 cups fresh bean sprouts Red leaf let­tuce and mint leaves, for serv­ing

Steps

For the dip­ping sauce: Com­bine the fish sauce, su­gar, vine­gar and wa­ter in a medium bowl, stir­ring un­til the su­gar has dis­solved. Stir in the gar­lic and chiles (to taste). The yield is about 1 cup. The sauce is ready to use, or it can be re­frig­er­ated in an air­tight con­tainer for up to 1 week. For the crepes: Place the dried mung beans in a bowl and cover with wa­ter. Soak for about 30 min­utes, un­til they are soft­ened. Drain the beans and trans­fer them to a blender. Add the co­conut milk and puree un­til smooth. Trans­fer the bean puree to a large bowl and whisk in the rice flour, corn­starch, wa­ter, scal­lions and turmeric, and sea­son lightly with salt. The bat­ter will be thin; let it rest for at least 20 min­utes or re­frig­er­ate overnight. Pour about 1 cup of oil into a small dish. Dip a sil­i­cone brush in it and then use it to grease a 10-inch non­stick skil­let set over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add a cou­ple of slices of the pork, a cou­ple of shrimp and a few sliv­ers of onion — all on one side of the skil­let. Cook for 30 sec­onds, then turn them over and cook for 15 sec­onds on the sec­ond side. Stir the crepe bat­ter, then care­fully pour about 2/ cup of it into

3 the pan, tilt­ing it slightly so the bat­ter coats the bot­tom and a bit of the sides in the pan, but pork, shrimp and onion stay in place. Scat­ter 1/ cup of the bean

4 sprouts on the side with the pork, shrimp and onion. In­crease the heat to medi­umhigh; cover the skil­let and cook for about 1 minute, un­til set. Un­cover and brush some oil around the sides of the crepe (to help crisp the edges). Cook for 1 more minute or so, un­til the bot­tom of the crepe is golden and crisp. Use a spat­ula to gen­tly fold the empty side of the crepe over the fill­ing, then slide the crepe onto a plate. Re­peat with the re­main­ing crepe bat­ter, pork, shrimp, onions, bean sprouts and more oil. Serve the crepes as soon as they are cooked, with let­tuce leaves, mint and the dip­ping sauce.

JOHN MCDON­NELL/THE WASH­ING­TON POST

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