On a gorgeous hot summer day, most of our extended family came over for a banh xeo dinner. Since it was a scorcher, we made banh xeo outside on two portable cooking elements to prevent the kitchen from becoming a greasy-smelling oven. People brought over some cucumbers, herbs from their garden, and drinks.
The first steps was to make the banh xeo filling, which contained ground pork, toasted shredded coconut, finely diced onion, soy sauce, and a bit of fish sauce.
All the vegetables and herbs were rinsed and plated on two trays, as the filling was allowed to cool.
Then the batter was made using a premix, which contained rice flour, and water. Then some turmeric was added for the yellow colour.
Peanuts were toasted and then cooled before getting crushed in our stone mortar and pestle. If the peanuts were still warm, they oils in the peanuts would turn the crushed peanuts into sticky clumps.
People typically eat banh xeo with their hands, wrapping bits of banh xeo with lettuce, herbs, and vegetables, then dipping the wraps into a dipping sauce of crushed peanuts in nuoc cham (made of fish sauce, vinegar or lemon/lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, water, minced garlic, and minced peppers). Many people say that banh xeo tastes better when eaten with your hands.
But I didn’t feel like getting my hands dirty, so I mixed everything in a bowl. It was quite filling! I think it's the perfect summer dish because you can add so many fresh herbs and vegetables.