Address: 197 Quang Trung Street, Ha Dong District, Ha Noi
Bánh xèo, literally “sizzling cake”, named for the loud sizzling sound it makes when the rice batter is poured into the hot skillet are Vietnamese savoury fried pancakes made of rice flour, water, turmericpowder, stuffed with slivers of fatty pork, shrimp, diced green onion, and bean sprouts. Southern-style bánh xèo contains coconut milk and certain Central regions skip the turmeric powder altogether. They are served wrapped in mustard leaf, lettuce leaves orbanh trang wrappers, and stuffed with mint leaves, basil, fish leaf and/or other herbs, and dipped in a sweet and sour diluted fish sauce. In the Central region, it is often wrapped in fresh rice paper with a sausage (nem lui) and then dipped in a special sauce which consists of fermented soy bean and sticky rice sauce, ground pork liver, ground and toasted peanut and seasonings. It is widely believed that this dish is a derivative of crepes brought from France during the occupation of what was known as Indochina.
The dish is also popular in Cambodian cuisine, where the dish is called បាញ់ឆែវ (most often transliterated as banh chao). It has also been introduced into Thailand where it known by two names: ขนมเบื้องญวน (khanom beuang yuan), where yuan is the Thai word for “Vietnamese”, and บั๊ญแส่ว (Ban sao).
Southern style bánh xèo are larger and thinner compared to the small pan-fried versions in the central and northern regions. In Huế, the former imperial capital, it is called bánh khoái (literally “delicious cake”) and is served open faced instead of being folded in half. Bánh khoái is always served with the fermented soy bean sauce mentioned above. In the central region, it is considered cold weather food because of its greasiness. Therefore, most families make them from scratch only during the winter.