Prawn & pancetta bánh xèo (sizzling crispy pancakes)
“These sizzling pancakes, bursting with flavour and texture, are a southern Vietnamese-style street-food staple, but I’ve given them a European twist. Stuff the pancakes in a lettuce wrap with fresh herbs and dip them in a sweet-savoury nuoc cham dipping sauce.”
Recipe by Thuy Diem Pham, a Vietnamese-British chef and author. She is the chef-owner of Little Viet Kitchen in London’s Islington. Her second cookbook, Vietnamese Made Easy, is out later in 2023.
- CourseMain meal
- Prepare20 mins
- Cook45 mins
- Total time1 hr 5 mins
- 77g diced pancetta
- 200g No.1 Woodland Mushrooms, any larger ones halved
- 120g pack extra fine green beans
- 4 tsp vegetable oil, plus extra for brushing
- 150g pack Waitrose Duchy Organic Cooked King Prawns
For the Nouc Cham Dipping Sauce
- 25ml fish sauce
- 25ml lime juice
- 50ml sweet chilli sauce
- 2 clove/s garlic, crushed
- 1 small red chilli, finely chopped
For the batter
- 100g rice flour
- 50g cornflour
- 200ml coconut milk
- 200ml sparkling water
- ½ tsp fine salt
- ½ tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- ½ x 20g chives, finely chopped
- 1 Little Gem lettuce, leaves separated
- ½ x 25g pack mint, leaves picked
- ½ x 25g pack coriander, leaves picked
- ½ x 20g pack Thai basil, leaves picked
Combine the dipping sauce ingredients in a bowl with 50ml water; set aside. Heat a large frying pan over a high heat. When very hot, dry fry the pancetta for 15 seconds, then set aside. Blanch the mushrooms and green beans in boiling water for 2 minutes; drain. Put all the batter ingredients, apart from the chives, into a large bowl. Use a balloon whisk to beat until smooth, then add the chives.
Heat 1 tsp oil in a large nonstick frying pan with a lid over a high heat. Pour in a ladleful of batter, swirling the pan to cover the base with a thin layer. Immediately reduce the heat to low.
Scatter over a small handful (about ¼ each) mushrooms, beans, prawns and pancetta and cook for 3 minutes, covered. Uncover, then cook for a further 5 minutes, until golden and crispy. Use a brush to oil the rim of the pancake to help it crisp up. Fold the pancake over the filling, then transfer to a serving plate. Keep warm while you repeat with the remaining oil, batter and filling to make 4 large pancakes.
To serve, tear of a piece of pancake, put it on a lettuce leaf and add a few of each of the fresh herbs. Roll up and dip into the nuoc cham sauce.
For a more authentic flavour, use 200ml coconut cream instead of coconut milk in the pancake batter.
Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe