xeo, a Vietnamese-style crepe, is prepared differently
throughout the country. Tourists traveling about in Vietnam
are sure to encounter a different recipe, and sometimes even
a different name, for banh xeo depending on which region and
province they are visiting.
In the southern region, the banh xeo is the size of a large
dish and yellow in color due to the employment of turmeric
powder. The southern people always add coconut milk to the
rice flour to make the crepe extra delicious. The crepe is
stuffed with bean sprouts, mung beans, shrimp and pork. A
sweet and sour fish sauce and fresh vegetables are used as
central region of Quang Ngai, banh xeo cooks make a smaller
crepe that is white in color. In Hue, the crepes are called
banh khoai, which is similar to banh xeo, but smaller in
size and stuffed with fennel, sour star fruit, green banana
and a thick soy sauce.
Thiet, the intersection between Tuyen Quang Street,
Nguyen Tat Thanh Boulevard and Thu Khoa Huan Street is
devoted to banh xeo. In addition to selling the crepes to
patrons, vendors also prepare them en masse for birthday
parties and festivals.
Northern preparations of banh xeo are similar to the ones
down south, but include special fillings like slices of
Indian taro and manioc.
In some regions, banh xeo is prepared thick, but southern
crepes are characteristically thin, crispy and served fresh
out of the frying pan. The secret to extra-thin crepes is a
deep frying pan and a quick wrist to coat the frying pan
with the batter before it starts to set.
In Ho Chi Minh
City, southern-style banh xeo can be found at
Banh Xeo 46A on Dinh Cong Trang Street, District 1 or An la
ghien Restaurant, 54A Nguyen Van Troi Street, Ward 15, Phu
For those looking to try a Cambodian-style crepe called banh
xeo Nam Vang, head over to the Eco-tourism area of Vuon
Thien Thanh (171 Street No. 22, Ward Thanh My, District 9).
In addition to the traditional fillings, this version
includes sliced bamboo shoots. The crepes are served with la
lot leaves that are a bit spicy.
Those seeking a meatless version of banh xeo can find them
at vegetarian restaurants on An Lac Restaurant, 175/15 Pham
Ngu Lao Street, District 1, and Thien Nguyen Restaurant, 174
Calmete Street, District 1.