These savory Vietnamese crepes are thin and crispy on the edges and filled with crunchy veggies and protein-rich tofu! Served with a sweet, sour, and spicy dipping sauce. This classic Vietnamese Bánh Xèo is a must-try!
📘 What is Bánh Xèo
Bánh Xèo is a Vietnamese crêpe filled with a variety of vegetables, meat, and/or seafood and served with a dipping sauce called "nước chấm."
The name "bánh xèo" can be translated to cracking cake, which comes from the sound the batter makes when it hits the piping hot skillet.
These crêpes are super crispy on the edges and prepared with a combination of rice flour and coconut milk.
🥣 How to Make Bánh Xèo
It starts with the crêpe batter that needs to rest for a few minutes. It is super easy to make and requires just 5 ingredients you most probably already have on hand. Here is what you will need:
- Rice flour - It makes the base of the batter, giving the crêpes a crispy texture. Make sure you are using white rice flour here.
- Tapioca starch - The addition of starch helps the crêpes hold together better. If you do not have tapioca starch, feel free to use cornstarch.
- Coconut milk - It doesn't add a lot of flavors but brings some fat that is also essential to get a crispy crêpe.
- Green onions - For flavor and freshness.
- Turmeric - Without turmeric, the crêpes would be pale. Turmeric gives them a vibrant yellow color.
Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and whisk until smooth. Then, let it sit for at least 15 minutes before use.
Next, we have the filling: mushrooms (I recommend using a mix of different ones), tofu, carrots, and mung bean sprouts. Feel free to be creative and use red bell pepper, zucchini, tempeh, smoked tofu, or even Vegan Chick'n for something meaty! The possibilities are endless!
Start by frying the tofu until golden brown, and then add the rest of the vegetables. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
Cooking the Bánh Xèo
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of oil, and tilt the skillet to spread the oil evenly.
- Pour in the batter. Add about ⅓ cup of the batter to the hot skillet and tilt to spread it into a thin layer.
- Top with the filling. Top one-half of the crêpe with some of the cooked mushrooms, tofu, carrots, and a handful of bean sprouts. Do not go overboard with the amount of filling.
- Cook for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on the edges. Ultimately, the perfect bánh xèo should have very thin and crumbly edges.
- Fold in half and transfer to a serving plate. Enjoy!
Called "nước chấm" in Vietnamese, the dipping sauce is a key component of this dish! The sauce has the perfect balance of sweet, salty, sour, and spicy! To prepare the sauce, you will need:
- Vegan fish sauce - While you could substitute it for soy sauce, I highly recommend getting your hands on a bottle of vegan fish sauce. The flavor will be unmatched! You can also check your local Asian store; they sometimes carry it as well.
- Lime juice - For a subtle tanginess and citrusy flavor.
- Sugar - You can use white or brown sugar. Maple or agave syrup will also work.
- Water - Since fish sauce is very salty, you want to dilute it with water.
- Minced garlic and chili - For spiciness and flavor.
🥢 How to Eat it
There are different ways to eat bánh xèo; however, the most common way to enjoy this dish is to make rolls:
Take a small leaf of lettuce, add some of the crêpe and filling, and a few fresh herbs (Thai basil, perilla leaves, and mint), and roll it tightly into a roll. Then, dip into the fish sauce!
- Is this recipe authentic? I tried to make it as authentic as possible and as close to the ones I tried in Viet Nam. There are hundreds of different ways to make bánh xèo, so there is not one authentic recipe.
- Can I use pre-made bánh xèo flour mix? Yes, however, you have to be aware these mixes usually contain wheat flour, so avoid them if you are gluten-free.
- Which type of skillet works best for bánh xèo? Preferably, a non-stick wok. It also works with a very well-seasoned carbon steel wok (you will have to use a bit more oil). Stay away from cast-iron or stainless steel skillets; the crêpe would stick to it.
- How long does bánh xèo keep? This dish is best served immediately while it's still crispy. You can keep the batter for up to 2 days in the refrigerator, but it's best to cook the crêpes just before serving.
I hope you will love this bánh xèo recipe! This Vietnamese classic is incredibly flavorful and loaded with different textures.
🇻🇳 More Vegan Vietnamese Recipes
Let me know in the comments, and leave a rating if you try this recipe!
Update January 2021: Post has been updated with new photos, a more comprehensive recipe, and extra tips!
Vegan Bánh Xèo
- ¾ cup white rice flour
- 2 tablespoon tapioca starch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
- ⅓ cup coconut milk
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup chopped green onions
- 3 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon vegan fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- ½ clove of garlic finely minced
- ¼ Thai chili finely chopped
- Batter: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the white rice flour, tapioca starch, salt, sugar, and turmeric.
- Add the coconut milk, water, and green onions, and whisk until you get a smooth batter. Cover and set aside for at least 15 minutes.
- Filling: Heat the tablespoon of oil in a non-stick skillet. Once hot, add the tofu and sauté for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.
- Next, add mushrooms and carrots, and sauté for another 5 minutes. You still want the carrots to be slightly crunchy. Remove from heat and set aside.
- To make the Bánh Xèo: heat a teaspoon of oil in a non-stick wok over medium-high heat. Use a kitchen paper towel to spread the oil evenly. Pour about ⅓ cup (or less if using a small wok) of the batter into the skillet and quickly tilt to spread it into an even thin layer.
- Arrange about ¼ cup of the sautéed mushrooms, tofu, and carrots on one half of the crepe. Top with some mung bean sprouts and cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes or until the crepe is golden brown and crispy.
- Fold the Bánh Xèo in half and transfer to a serving plate. Repeat with the remaining batter and vegetables.
- Serve the Bánh Xèo warm with the dipping sauce and fresh herbs on the side!
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar.
I made this on the weekend and my god it was delicious.
Question; do you think a good frying pan is key? I have cheap ones and it took until the third pancake for it to be successful - they kept sticking and even then I had to be super careful?
Glad you liked it!
Definitely! The frying pan plays a big role in the final texture/look of the pancake. I recommend using a non-stick pan (preferably one that is still non-stick, not an old one).
I nearly converted my in laws to veganism with this one! Wow, wow, wow! There's a vegan restaurant where I would order this dish in San Francisco bay area... I love this version even more!
Bahn xeo is probably my favourite food in the whole world. Thank you so much for the recipe, and if you are ever in Sydney do your self a favour and visit Vena Vegan in Newtown. It is a totally vegan Vietnamese restaurant with the best Bahn Xeo ever!
Thanks for the tip Belinda, I also love banh xeo!
This was actually the recipe that brought me to this Full Of Plants blog. I had searched on "vegan Bánh Xèo", and voilà, here's this amazing recipe on this incredible site!
So naturally, I needed to try it and was very pleased with the result. The ingredients and instructions are super simple, I did find my timing and temperature needs to be fine-tuned. I also over-did it with the amount of batter, so will go with smaller crepes next time.
Curiously, the turmeric didn't turn the dough very yellow - it went mostly orange-pink, but the flavor didn't seem off in any way.
I'm sure practice will make perfect, and am planning to keep practicing very frequently. In fact, my friends and family insist I do so. 😉
Making bánh xèo takes a bit of practice for sure 🙂
Thanks again for your rating and feedback, I appreciate it!
do i grind the yellow cooked mung beans ?
No, you simply add them as a topping.
Just to clarify, you should be using bean sprouts, not the actual yellow mung beans found in the dry package. Hope this helps.
Well, sometimes yellow mung beans are also added to banh xeo 😉
trying this tonight. Have you tried it with Kala Namak (that eggy smelling black salt) ?
Hope you will like it Simon 😉
Authentic bánh xèo doesn't contain eggs (rice flour, coconut milk, and water make the base), so there is no need to add an eggy flavor here.
Ah cheers thanks!
Am impressed with this recipe. As someone who is completely plant based and also Vietnamese, am impressed with this recipe.
Thanks Craig! 🙂
Hello, If we can't find white rice flour, is there another flour I could use? Could corn starch or all-purpose flour be a substitute? If not, is there another flour that is similar? Thanks
I'm afraid rice flour is the only flour that will give you that texture and crispiness.
All-purpose flour could be used, but the texture will be quite different.
Do you think brown rice flour would work? That is all I could find in my area. Thanks
I doubt it will give you satisfying results, sorry.
This is one of my favourite things to order when we go out for vegan Vietnamese and now one of my favourite recipe's of yours. It was so good! I may never have to eat out again, lol! And, the batter cooked so easily without sticking, even without a non-stick pan (I use a cast iron crepe pan and just wiped it with oil at the beginning). I might even make it again tomorrow for dinner guests 🙂
One last thing, I made my own rice flour in the Vitamix and then strained it since I only had brown rice flour. The texture was as expected with bought flour and worked well!
Thanks for your great feedback, Tetyana! I'm really happy to hear you liked this recipe 🙂
I just tried it and it's excellent! Thank you Thomas.
the link of your so called vegan fish sauce leads to a regular fish sauce that is not vegan at all...
I'm going to go out on a limb here and surmise that you'll get a delicious vegan fish sauce by adding some seaweed to soy sauce. After all, the "fishy" taste comes from the seaweeds.
This is a vegan blog....I would not link to a regular fish sauce voluntarily. I guess you are visiting from outside the US and Amazon is redirecting you to the wrong product. Unfortunately I have no control over that.
Right, I'm in Canada... this might be the reason why... thank you for the recipe anyway