Bánh xèo[ɓǎɲ sɛ̂w], literally "sizzling cake", named for the loud sizzling sound it makes when the rice batter is poured into the hot skillet (Khmer: បាញ់ឆែវ: Khmer pronunciation: [baɲ cʰaeʋ]) are Vietnamese savoury fried pancakes made of rice flour, water, turmeric powder, 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 or banh 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.
^Ottolenghi, Yotam - Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi 2011 "Bánh xèo - In 2007 I visited Hanoi with my friend, Alex Meitlis, and found myself squatting in the dingiest of family-run street kitchens, experiencing the best food I've ever tasted."
^Lucy Nguyen-Hong-Nhiem - A Dragon Child: Reflections Of A Daughter Of Annam In America Page 13 2004 "She loved to cook our favorite dishes, bánh xèo and bánh khoái. This is a dish that Vietnamese in the US call “happy pancakes”. They are called bánh xèo: bánh is cake; xèo is the sizzling noise of the batter when it is poured into a hot ..."
^Headly, Robert K.; Chhor, Kylin; Lim, Lam Kheng; Kheang, Lim Hak; Chun, Chen. 1977. Cambodian-English Dictionary. Bureau of Special Research in Modern Languages. The Catholic University of America Press. Washington, D.C. ISBN 0-8132-0509-3