Chef Mei Ibach of Eight Cuisine & Wine in Sebastopol has been making lots of these Vietnamese crepes in the new year for her family and friends. The crepe batter is made with rice flour and coconut milk, so it is nice and light but filling enough for brunch or dinner.
Feel free to substitute filling ingredients. For a slightly heavier crepe, use a blend of sausages, mushrooms and crabmeat. For a lighter crepe, throw in some sliced, seasonal veggies like broccoli and carrots.
Saigon Crepes with Shrimp and Ground Pork
2 cups rice flour mix (prefer Kim Tu Thap Brand or Bot Banh Xeo)
2 cups plus coconut milk
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup finely chopped scallion, reserved 1 or more tablespoon for garnish
½ teaspoon salt
¼ pound ground pork or chicken
½ pound medium shrimp, deveined and cut into halves lengthwise
¼ cup bean sprout
½ cup thinly sliced yellow onion
¼ cup cooking oil or oil spray
Fresh Mint Sprigs
Fresh Cilantro Sprigs
For the Dipping Sauce:
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoon fish sauce or more to taste
2 tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoon garlic
2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon or more finely chopped Serrano chilies
In a medium mixing bowl, combine rice flour, coconut milk, turmeric powder, baking soda, 1 tablespoon scallion and mix well with a whisk. The batter should be loose and running, add more coconut milk if needed. Set aside.
Preheat a medium sauté pan, add the oil and cook the ground pork or chicken with 2 tablespoons water to loosen the meat. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spatula. Transfer into a bowl.
Preheat a non-stick 6-inch sauté pan, add 1 teaspoon of oil or generously spray the oil on the surface of the pan, add a tablespoon of onion and ground meat, 3 slices of shrimp, a handful of bean sprouts and arrange them evenly. Ladle about 2 ounces of the rice batter into the mixture, swirl it around quickly. Loosely cover with a lid and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until the crepe is golden brown and crispy. Transfer to a warm plate and continue cooking more crepes with the remaining batter.
Serve immediately with dipping sauce and your favorite, fragrant herbs.
To make the dipping sauce, combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well.