Bahn Xeo

I go to a Vietnamese nail salon run by an adorable young couple, and the husband takes care of my hands. He and I always talk food, because he’s knowledgeable about Asian cuisines, besides Vietnamese, and he cooks! The last time I was there I told him I’d made Chinese flaky scallion pancakes. He probably rolled his eyes because of course I do realize he’s Vietnamese, not Chinese, but it did pay off. He got out his phone and told me about bahn xeo, and showed me google images, similar to this one.

Bahn xeo are beautiful yellow, crispy pancakes, folded over like taco shells, with healthy fillings. Yum.

I found a perfect recipe on the blog Delicious. The author of the recipe is Matt Preston, who wrote “Yummy Easy Quick Around the World.”

It’s impossible for me to mimic a Vietnamese accent, so the closest I can get to how bahn xeo is pronounced, is bon-say-oh. Just say it really fast!

Bahn Xeo are my new joy in my life! I could eat them every day. They’re spicy, fresh, flavorful, and really pleasing to the eyes! Next time I’ll make them with shrimp.

Bahn Xeo
Printable recipe below

1 cup rice flour
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 – 13.5 ounce can coconut cream (actually coconut milk, unsweetened)
1 cup soda water
8 spring onions, white part very finely chopped, dark-green part thinly sliced
3 x 250g chicken breast fillets
3 tsp vegetable or coconut oil
2 handfuls bean shoots
2 Lebanese cucumbers, cut into thin 5cm-long batons
2 long red chillies, thinly sliced
150g pickled carrot and daikon (see below)
1/2 bunch each coriander, Vietnamese mint, Thai basil, mint and shiso (a mint variety I can’t find)

Nuoc Cham

1 red bird’s eye chilli, (more if you like it hot, or use a deseeded long red chilli if you don’t), chopped
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
1/3 cup (80ml) fish sauce, plus extra if needed
1/3 cup (70g) caster sugar
1 tbs lime juice, plus extra if needed
1 tbs lemon juice

Pickled Carrot and Daikon

2 large (about 350g) carrots, cut into 5- to 6cm-long matchsticks
1 small (about 350g) daikon radish, cut into 5- to 6cm-long matchsticks (I used radishes)
3 tsp sea salt
80g caster sugar
1/2 cup (125ml) rice wine vinegar

I did a quick pickling of baby carrot slices and sliced radishes. No daikon to be found!

Combine rice flour, turmeric, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in the coconut cream, then stir through the soda water and the white part of the spring onion until combined. Place the batter in the fridge for 30 minutes to thicken slightly.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). (I didn’t bother with this step.)

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the chicken and bring water back to the boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, then remove from the heat and set aside for 11 minutes or until poached through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover loosely with foil. Rest for at least 10 minutes, then shred the chicken. (I used rotisserie chicken.)

For the nuoc cham, place the chilli and garlic in a mortar and pound with a pestle to form a paste. Transfer to a bowl, add the remaining ingredients and 2 tbs water, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Season with more fish sauce or lime juice until it hits that sweet spot – which varies from person to person. Set aside.

To make the pancakes, swirl 1/2 tsp of the oil around the base of a 26cm frypan and heat until the pan is super hot. Don’t be tempted to add more oil, otherwise the batter won’t adhere to the side of the pan and crisp up. Wipe out any excess oil. Working quickly, place 1 ladle of batter (about 2/3 cup [165ml]) in the pan and swirl pan so the batter goes a little way up the side (the edge of the pancake will be thinner than the middle) Cook for about 3 minutes, then use a spatula to work around the edge and slide the pancake gently onto a baking tray, taking care not to break it. Place in the oven to keep warm and repeat with remaining oil and batter.

The pancakes take much longer to cook than I expected, so be patient.

Arrange the chicken, dark green part of the spring onion, bean shoots, cucumber, chilli, pickled carrot and daikon, and herbs on a serving platter.

Serve with pancakes and nuoc cham.

The next time I saw my nail guy and showed him that I’d made bahn xeo, his wife tells me that I worked too hard! I guess there’s a bahn xeo pancake mix out there! She recommends adding an egg, and beer instead of water. Who knew?!



By Published On: February 21st, 202341 Comments on Bahn Xeo

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Travel Gourmet February 21, 2023 at 6:21 AM - Reply

    They look fabulous and what a great story of your nail guy telling you about them.

    • Chef Mimi February 21, 2023 at 8:44 AM - Reply

      I know! I love seeing home and exchanging food photos!

  2. angiesrecipes February 21, 2023 at 6:40 AM - Reply

    These rice pancakes look incredibly beautiful and delicious, Mimi. And I love that you made everything from scratch.

    • Chef Mimi February 21, 2023 at 8:45 AM - Reply

      Well, I didn’t know there was any other way! The mix is probably easier, cause I had a tough time at the beginning. Worse than with most pancakes…

  3. Healthy World Cuisine February 21, 2023 at 7:21 AM - Reply

    Now this like our kind of meal. So much flavor and a bit of time in the kitchen but so worth it. I bet there were not any leftovers.

    • Chef Mimi February 21, 2023 at 9:09 AM - Reply

      Well, there were leftovers because it’s not my husband thing… More for me!!!

  4. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen February 21, 2023 at 11:43 AM - Reply

    These look so good! I’ll take a serving, and my favorite scallion pancake on the side please!

    • Chef Mimi February 21, 2023 at 6:32 PM - Reply

      Aren’t they so good?!! I think I pretty much love all Asian foods.

  5. BERNADETTE February 21, 2023 at 1:16 PM - Reply

    Is there a mix? You did work very hard to make this beautiful dish.

    • Chef Mimi February 21, 2023 at 6:32 PM - Reply

      I haven’t looked yet. It could be on Amazon, but it surely exists at an Asian grocery store. It would be interesting to try the mix!

  6. David Scott Allen February 21, 2023 at 4:36 PM - Reply

    Now this makes me want to come to OKC to have my nails done! :) I will definitely be making this — all ingredients we love and have on hand. Thanks, Mimi!

    • Chef Mimi February 21, 2023 at 6:33 PM - Reply

      I know what you mean – they’re all fantastic ingredients! And I’ll happily share my nail guy!

  7. Cynthia February 21, 2023 at 4:55 PM - Reply

    These sound delicious! I took a Chinese class in culinary school, but never made these! I need to try them!

    • Chef Mimi February 21, 2023 at 6:34 PM - Reply

      Well they are a bit fiddly made from scratch, so I’d try the mix. It was a very odd batter, although it did thicken up!

  8. Sherry M February 21, 2023 at 6:46 PM - Reply

    how delicious Mimi. I tend to love crepes and very thin pancakes as opposed to thick ones. So glad you found Mr Preston, an Aussie treasure!

    • Chef Mimi February 22, 2023 at 12:23 PM - Reply

      Another one! I had no idea. Well it was a great recipe.

  9. Tandy | Lavender and Lime February 21, 2023 at 9:58 PM - Reply

    These look like it’s worth buying a bag of rice flour! We don’t get shiso here either.

    • Chef Mimi February 22, 2023 at 12:22 PM - Reply

      I think it is! Although the mix does sound easier. The pancakes were a bit touch and go…

  10. Gerlinde February 22, 2023 at 6:43 PM - Reply

    Well Mimi, I think you did a fantastic job. I will not attempt this recipe but will order it in a restaurant if I see it.

    • Chef Mimi February 22, 2023 at 6:50 PM - Reply

      Do! It’s so good. Especially with that dipping sauce.

  11. Ann Coleman February 22, 2023 at 8:24 PM - Reply

    Looks delicious! One of the best things about getting to know people from other countries and cultures is the access to their foods……

    • Chef Mimi February 23, 2023 at 7:47 AM - Reply


  12. David @ Spiced February 23, 2023 at 6:34 AM - Reply

    Laura is on a huge pickled everything kick lately. I’m thinking she would love this recipe – I’m sharing it with her right now! And I like your idea of adding shrimp.

    • Chef Mimi February 23, 2023 at 7:48 AM - Reply

      Pickled onions are the best! But the carrots were really good, too.

  13. Thao @ In Good Flavor February 23, 2023 at 1:57 PM - Reply

    This looks fantastic!! My husband is a meat, cheese, potato and very little vegetable American, but this is his favorite Vietnamese dish. Other the occasional salad, it’s the only time he loads his plate up with lots of veggies and greens :) We love to add lots of lettuce or watercress to our banh xeo.

    • Chef Mimi February 23, 2023 at 4:20 PM - Reply

      Oh that’s interesting! I can’t imagine not loving this! So many great flavors and textures!

  14. Debra February 23, 2023 at 6:04 PM - Reply

    I have several Vietnamese restaurants near me and I typically order some version of Pho, primarily because I know it well! I’m not too adventurous. But Bahn Xeo looks incredible, and I know I’d enjoy it. I am happy to have this recipe. I think this would be fun to cook with my gluten-free daughter-in-law, and she’s someone who would take the time for all the detail. You’ve definitely contributed to my hunger! :-)

    • Chef Mimi February 23, 2023 at 6:33 PM - Reply

      Well I understand that cause these are fabulous! So fresh and tasty. And healthy! Pho is good, too!

  15. Liz @ spades, spatulas, and spoons February 24, 2023 at 11:54 AM - Reply

    What fun! This looks like a lovely meal to share on a warm day. Vegetarians can just leave out the chicken, everyone makes their own. And I do like that it is gluten-free.

    • Chef Mimi February 25, 2023 at 7:33 AM - Reply

      I never thought about it being gluten free! I guess that’s a plus!!! Pescatarians can use shrimp. Can’t wait to do that myself!

  16. February 25, 2023 at 1:14 AM - Reply

    Love all those fresh healthy vegetables stuffed into this pancake Mimi! Looks so appealing. Yum!

    • Chef Mimi February 25, 2023 at 7:34 AM - Reply

      Thanks, Neil! It was so fresh and satisfying.

  17. Raymund February 26, 2023 at 3:48 PM - Reply

    I completely understand your love for Vietnamese food! I’m also a huge fan of it, especially since it has a similar taste profile to Filipino cuisine. Those crispy pancakes look absolutely delicious, and I’m definitely going to try out your recipe

    • Chef Mimi February 26, 2023 at 4:28 PM - Reply

      All Asian cuisines are just so delicious to me. Such great ingredients, great textures. I’m no expert on any of them but I’m happy to try recipes!

  18. Ronit February 26, 2023 at 7:02 PM - Reply

    I adore Vietnamese food, but this is new to me. It looks amazing, with all the wonderful additions.
    I’ve tried pickling Daikon radish, and my only suggestion is to eat is soon after making, as the longer it is kept, the smelliest if becomes, and not in a pleasant way! :)

    • Chef Mimi February 27, 2023 at 2:43 PM - Reply

      Oh, that is good to know! Thanks!

  19. Ben | Havocinthekitchen February 27, 2023 at 8:10 PM - Reply

    I’ve never heard of bahn xeo, and I must admit these pancakes/crepes look stunning; loving their beautiful colour and lacy texture. And the savoury stuffing? Oh yes!

    • Chef Mimi February 28, 2023 at 8:06 AM - Reply

      And the fillings are so fresh and wonderful!

  20. Jean February 28, 2023 at 9:12 PM - Reply

    Banh xeo is so good but I’ve only ever made it once. Love all the fillings and accompaniments in yours. Beautiful presentation!

    • Chef Mimi March 1, 2023 at 8:21 AM - Reply

      Thank you Jean! They were so fun to make!

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