Vietnam visits a French Country Kitchen!
Crispy Coconut Crepes with Prawns
A few weeks ago I was sent another LOVELY box of exotic and exciting ingredients from the lovely people at Kitchen Nomad – you can read about my last box from Greece here, A Nomad in my Kitchen! My Big Fat Greek Tomato, Olive and Caper Tart. Last month’s box was from Greece, but this month’s box could not have been further from the Mediterranean, as it was all the way from Vietnam. I was fascinated with the ingredients in the box, with included Rice Vermicelli, Fish Sauce, Rice Paper, s selection of Vietnamese Spices, Crepes Batter, Hoisin Sauce, Peanuts, Lemongrass, Ginger & Citrus Fruits Tea and Fruit Chips. I use fish sauce a lot, as well as rice vermicelli and peanuts, but I was really keen to experiment with the crepes batter mix, which is the first recipe I made from the box.
The crepes batter is made up with coconut milk, which sounded amazing as I love coconut milk when used in cooking and baking. The filling, which is cooked IN the crepe batter, is the made from a delicious selection of beansprouts, prawns and pork, and is then served with lettuce leaves and a selection of fresh herbs; the dipping sauce was a spicy combination of fish sauce, chilli, garlic and cider vinegar, and was the perfect accompaniment to these sweet and savoury coconut crepes. You then wrap up your crepe inside a lettuce leaf with a selection of herbs, coriander, sweet basil and mint.
We both loved these crispy, coconut crepes and thought that the combination of the beansprouts, prawns, bacon (which I used in place of belly pork), lettuce and fresh herbs was fresh and made for a tasty flavour combination. The crepes were delicious with the addition of the coconut milk and they tasted totally different to the usual French crepes I make, or English pancakes. The coconut milk in the crepes added that essential Asian sweetness as well as enhancing the saltiness of the bacon – the crepe batter was easily made, but was quite thin when cooked, so consequently my crepes weren’t as delicate as I wanted (as seen in the Kitchen Nomad recipe section), but they still tasted delicious.
The other ingredients in the box were suggested for several other tasty recipes – Saigon Summer Rolls, Bo Kho (beef stew), Lemongrass, Beef & Vermicelli Salad and Mixed Fruit in Lemongrass Syrup. I am bookmarking the Saigon Summer Rolls to make next, as I LOVE Spring Rolls, and these look amazing as they are stuffed with prawns, pork and herbs, similar flavours to the crispy crepes I made, but wrapped in rice paper sheets for a lighter style recipe.
And why did Vietnam visit a French country kitchen you may ask; well, just after I received my box of Asian goodies, I made my way over to France for the summer, and my Vietnamese ingredients came with me! If you want to get involved with this fabulous global box scheme, just pop over the Kitchen Nomad site and get started. This month’s box is VERY exciting, as it is all about Lebanon and the guest chef is none other than Bethany Kehdy, organiser of Food Blogger Connect and author of the beautiful book, The Jewelled Kitchen. I have been reviewing her book over the last few weeks, so look out for my review and some of the recipes I made. I hope you are inspired to have a go at making these delicious Vietnamese crispy crepes, have a great weekend and I will see you soon, Karen
The recipe for these crispy crepes is on the Kitchen Nomad website, and I have also copied it here for ease too…….
Bánh Xeo is a street food favourite of many Vietnamese – it is a light savoury crepe made with rice flour and coconut milk, to be eaten as you cook. It’s served with an abundance of salad leaves and herbs. Everything should be prepped before the crepes are made so they can be eaten with your hands as soon as they are done.
500g king prawns
300g of pork belly
500g of beansprouts
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp of cider vinegar
2 tbsp of sugar
750ml coconut milk
Salt & pepper
Coriander, sweet basil and mint (all or at least one of the 3)
From the BOX:
2 tbsp. of fish sauce
2 tsp. of birdseye chilli
Pour the batter mix in a bowl with 750ml of coconut milk and stir, making sure that the mixture is smooth and free of lumps.
Wash the salad leaves and set aside. Roughly chop the herbs and leave on the table. Make the sauce as per the recipe below and then place into bowls, one for each person.
To make the crepes, heat a frying pan with cooking oil, then brown off a teaspoon of chopped shallots. Add a few pieces of thinly sliced pork belly and two prawns to colour off. Using a shallow ladle, pour on a thin layer of batter, add a handful of beansprouts and close the pan with a lid and wait patiently for two minutes to cook. Then remove the lid and cook for a further one minute, making sure the batter is crispy and brown.
Turn the crepe onto a half moon and serve immediately! Continue to make more and serve as it comes…!
NUOC CHAM DIPPING SAUCE
2 tbsp. of fish sauce
2 tsp. of birdeye chilli
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp. of cider vinegar
2 tbsp. of sugar
Thinly chop the chilli and garlic and make the dipping sauce by combining all the ingredients together, If you find that it is too sweet, add more fish sauce, if too sour, add more sugar, if too salty add a little water.
Uyen Luu is a Vietnamese chef, food stylist, and food photographer. She writes recipes for numerous newspapers and online magazines, and her Vietnamese cook book ‘My Vietnamese Kitchen’ will be published in October 2013.
Disclaimer: I was sent a Kitchen Nomad Box to review; I was not paid or asked to write a review on my site; I chose to share my views here as I believe my readers will be interested in this service. All opinions are my own. Karen S Burns-Booth
As this recipe contains three herbs in it, I am also entering into my own Cooking with Herbs Challenge.
The current challenge is open here: August 2013
Rachel Cotterill says
I haven’t made up my crepes yet – I’m going to stuff mine with an oriental mushroom medley, I think. Yours look great.
Thanks Rachel! I forgot to say in my post, that I also added some grated carrot and cabbage to mine too! Karen
oooh, you had me at coconut milk… what a brilliant idea to use it in crepe making… I love this blend of Asian inspired spices and your French classic touch, so pretty and chic… perfect food!.. lovely generous hamper too x
Thanks Dom, yes, the coconut milk really adds a fabulous Asian fragrance and taste to the pancakes.
That’s something, love coconut milk and the whole idea behind the dish. This looks wonderful especially with the dipping sauce.
Thanks so much Ash – the coconut milk really makes this recipe special.
The crepes look delicious, lovely flavours.
Thanks Janice, it was a lovely recipe to make.
I love asian food! One of my favorite foods is asian crepes too! I also love anything with coconut! Mmm, I got to say. I never knew how they made it, I always bought it in a restaurant and now I can have it homemade! Yum! Thanks.
Tracy Nixon says
I am going to attempt the Nuoc Cham dipping sauce as it sounds and looks delicious!!! G+’d!
Thanks Tracy! I hope you like it!
What Kate Baked says
We had the mst incredible month travelling around Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos a few years back and your post has brought back some very wonderful entries of all the delicious food we ate, a true culinary journey around Indochina
Thanks Kate – it is the forgotten part of Asian cuisine I think and with lovely flavour combinations.
Liz Thomas says
These look lovely. I adore Vietnamese food, though prefer the southern to the northern. In Saigon Bánh Xeo is known as the “Happy Pancake”. Delicious cooked at street stalls and certainly do make you feel happy!
Wish I could get those boxes over here. Seems like you are having great fun with them.
I adore Vietnamese food, and your pics looks ‘droolworthy’!
Tracy Nixon says
Shared on FB today and made the Nuoc Cham dipping sauce – OMG it was lovely – really enjoyed by my parents too so thank you Karen for sharing!
Tracy Nixon says
Thanks Karen – made this dish last night for dinner and it was delicious! Sharing on Facebook so others can try too!
Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry says
I love Vietnamese street food. Those kitchen nomad boxes are fab.
Thanks Bintu! Me too, such clean flavours and lots of zing!
Cherry Tyer says
The pancakes look absolutely delicious and I love coconut milk! I am certainly going to look at the Nomad website, it sounds a great idea – in the meantime, would it ‘sort of’ work with a batter made with coconut milk? A thin batter? Your food always looks wonderful and I have made LOTS of your recipes. Best wishes.
Looks awesome, leave out the sugar though…
I actually catch prawns (and crab) all the time. Love em so much I usually eat them just quickly pan fried with very few ingredients. This recipe looks great and will try it.
Sonia Vegas says
Never of thought to put prawns & coconut in a crepe together, wonderful idea, thank you!