Banh xeo (bánh xèo) is an extremely popular Vietnamese savory pancake. Food is the reason you should travel –
One day while I was in Saigon, Vietnam, I met up with Kyle, who is a local vlogger (see the full food tour video here: and went eating around Saigon. Our first stop was at a restaurant known as Bánh Xèo 46A (Banh Xeo 46A), what is something of a legendary restaurant for eating this dish in Saigon.
Banh xeo can be eaten as a full meal, or just kind of as a snack – and it is enjoyed by Vietnamese from all walks of life, in all times of the day. We ordered the special version here, which was the biggest crepe, and filled with all sorts of goodies. The banh xeo production began with a hot pan over charcoal, with a lot of oil. First some onions were fried, and then in went a batter, which was similar just to a plain crepe batter. Along with the batter, some prawns and some pieces of pork belly were added to the crepe, and then it was topped with what I think was an egg, and finally a handful of bean sprouts. The banh xeo was then folded over, and served to us on a plate – it looked like a dosa!
You can’t eat Vietnamese banh xeo without fresh leafy vegetables, herbs, and sauces – and there was no short supply of green on our table at Bánh Xèo 46A. The main leaves were mustard leaves, which are big and leafy and provide a wonderful base, or wrapper. Then you just take a piece of the crunchy batter crepe, add it to a mustard green, garnish with a bunch of herbs, and then dip it in the sweet fish sauce provided. Along with the sweet fish sauce, I could not eat it without chili. The crepe itself is not all that flavorful, it’s actually quite plain, but all the flavor comes from both the herbs, and the sauce.
It was a great experience to eat banh xeo while I was in Vietnam. What I really enjoyed about it was the fresh herbs paired with the crunchiness savoury flavor of the crepe. If you visit Saigon, although Banh Xeo has become a bit on the touristy side, it’s still worth a visit if you’re looking for a huge banh xeo!
Music in this video from audionetwork.com
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