Neighborhood Kitchens

Pho Le's Vietnamese Crepes - Banh Xeo

Here's a gluten-free take on the ever popular crepe, served at Pho Le as an appetizer. Wrap it up in lettuce and dip in the special sauce that has a lime kick.


Banh Xeo (Vietnamese crepe)
Rice batter
1 egg
1 cup coconut milk
2 cups water
1 tsp Tumeric powder
2 cups rice flour
¼ lb Pork shoulder or pork belly
¼ lb peeled and deveined shrimp
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups bean sprouts
Dipping Sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water
1 tsp garlic chili sauce

Romaine lettuce
5 Thai basil leaves
5 mint leaves
5 Perilla leaves
Sliced cucumber
Chopped carrot
Chopped Daikon radish
In a large bowl break 1 egg and add 1 cup of coconut milk, 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and mix.  Add 2 cups of rice flour and whisk very well.  Refrigerate batter for a few hours.
Slice pork belly into thin slices.  Prepare the shrimp by removing the tails, peeling and deveining them.  Cut each piece of shrimp in half, lengthwise.
Add vegetable oil to a pan over medium-high heat.  When pan is hot, add a few pieces of pork and shrimp.  Be sure to keep the two meats separated in the pan, adding the pork to one side and the shrimp to the other.  Do not put them all together in the middle of the pan.
Pour enough rice batter in the pan to fill the bottom, as if you were making an omelet.  Swirl the pan to make sure the rice batter fills the bottom.
Steam a handful of bean sprouts in boiling water for 10 seconds, just to soften.  Add the bean sprouts to one side of the pan.  Add vegetable oil around the side of the dish to make the crepe shell crispy.  Be sure to add the oil to the side and not directly on top of the crepe.  Cover, lower the heat, and let cook for a minute. 
After a minute, remove the cover and fold one side of the crepe over on the other.  Remove from pan and serve to plate.
Preparing the Dipping Sauce
In a small bowl add two tablespoons of fish sauce, one tablespoon of lime juice, two tablespoons of sugar, two tablespoons of water and one teaspoon of garlic chili sauce and mix thoroughly.
Garnish a plate with a large leaf of romaine lettuce, 2 leaves of Thai basil, 2 mint leaves and 1 piece of perilla leaf.  Cut a single serving slice of the crepe and place it in the middle of the leaf garnish.  Add sliced cucumber, chopped carrot and Daikon radish.  Roll it all up in the leafy garnish and serve with the dipping sauce.

chef duyen

Chef Duyen Le shared this recipe with us when he was featured as our guest on Neighborhood Kitchens.


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About Neighborhood Kitchens

Building on a 35-year history of producing Latino and multicultural programming, WGBH’s award winning La Plaza team has a new offering — Neighborhood Kitchens, a series about the exploration of culture through food. Every week the show offers a unique window into immigrant communities in New England.

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In each episode, host Margarita Martínez visits a different ethnic restaurant and learns three delicious recipes from the chef. She also explores the restaurant’s neighborhood, discovering hidden gems along the way. Join her as she learns about new ingredients, new cultures, and new neighborhoods. ¡Hasta pronto!

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Margarita's Neighborhood Visits

»Boston: Bristol Lounge
»Boston's South End: Orinoco, Teranga and Oishii
»Boston's Back Bay: Casa Romero
»Boston's North End: Taranta
»Roxbury: Merengue
»Boston's Beacon Hill: Scampo
»All Around Boston: Mei Mei Street Kitchens
»Cambridge: Muqueca, Oleana, and Sandrine's
Somerville: Dosa Temple
»Lawrence: Cafe Azteca
»Lowell: Simply Khmer

»Fresh from the Fish Market
»Jamaica Plain: Tres Gatos
»Dorchester: Pho Le and Cafe Polonia
»Medford: Bistro 5
»Portland, ME: Emilitsa
»Newport, RI: Tallulah on Thames
»Pawtucket, RI: Rasoi


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