Happy Pancakes with Prawns & Lime Chilli Sauce


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves:


Appears in

My Street Food Kitchen

My Street Food Kitchen

By Jennifer Joyce

Published 2015

  • About

You will be happy indeed when you eat these amazing pancakes, called banh xeo, from Hue, Vietnam. The rice flour makes a thick lacy pancake that is wrapped in chilled lettuce and stuffed with prawns, crisp bean sprouts and fragrant herbs. Dip it in sharp Chilli Lime Dipping Sauce (nuoc cham) for a burst of freshness. You can use two frying pans at once if you want to speed up the process of cooking. These can also be served as a snack. Cut the folded pancake into triangles and serve on baby cos leaves with the herbs, prawns and chilli and lime dipping sauce.

Preparation: 20 Minutes, Plus 1 Hour Standing
Cooking: 10 Minutes


  • 130 g ( oz) rice flour
  • 20 g (¾ oz) cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 75 ml ( fl oz) coconut milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil, for frying


  • 200 g (7 oz) cooked peeled prawns (shrimp)
  • 4 large handfuls of fresh bean sprouts, trimmed
  • 1 handful each of dill, mint, Thai basil and coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • 4 spring onions (scallions), shredded


To make the pancakes, put the rice flour, cornflour, egg, turmeric and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Add the coconut milk and 75 ml ( fl oz) water and whisk until smooth. Set aside for 1 hour or cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

Prepare the dipping sauce and fillings and set aside. It’s best to chill the lettuce and herbs on a tray covered with wet paper towel so they are crisp when you serve them.

Heat two medium frying pans over medium-high heat. Put 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in each pan. When hot, put 2 tablespoons of the pancake mixture in each pan and swirl to coat the base. Cook for 2-3 minutes until golden and crisp. Remove from the heat and place one-quarter of the fillings on one side. Fold the other side over and slide onto a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter and fillings. Serve immediately with the lettuce and lime wedges and a small bowl of Chilli Lime Dipping Sauce or Sticky Cucumber Relish for dipping.