The first time I tasted a Vietnamese omelet I could not believe that it was eggless. What a discovery! It was light, fluffy, with a light yellow hue. It was crispy on the edges and thicker in the middle to hold the filling. Oh and don’t get me started on the pickled carrots on the side! That’s my definition of happy food!
Called ‘bánh xèo’ in Vietnamese (pronounced Ban Seo) meaning “sizzling cake”, these savory crepes are one of the most popular street food in Vietnam. It may have originated in the Central part of the country. While the crepe is always made with rice batter the filling varies greatly from region to region depending on what food is available locally. What makes this omelet so wonderful is the paper-thin crispy edges that easily break while the middle section is softer and thicker to hold the filling.
Banh xeo is always served with a plate of fresh and/or pickled vegetables (see my quick pickled vegetables recipe) and herbs like mint and Vietnamese basil and a dipping sauce. The size of the omelet seems to increase as you travel from North to the South of the country.
Ok so they are called omelets but they are more like thin crepes since they are no eggs in the batter. With 0 cholesterol and all of the health benefits of turmeric that produces the lovely yellow hue, these crepes are gluten-free and really healthy.
Vietnamese omelets are usually served with a dipping sauce made with fermented fish called Nuoc Cham but you can make the sauce without the fish sauce!
If you are looking for another great Vietnamese dish, check our Banh Mi sandwich.
Crispy Vietnamese omelet
- 2 tbsp ground chia or flax
- 4 tbsp warm water
- 1.5 cup rice flour
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 scallions thinly chopped
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 garlic clove
- 2-3 cups fresh bean sprouts
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 chili pepper
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup sugar (raw, brown)
- 1/2 cucumber sliced
- 1 cup fresh mint
- 1 cup fresh cilantro
- 2-3 scallions chopped
- 4 lettuce leaves (romaine)
- 1 cup pickled carrots and daikon
Prepare the omelet
- Mix the ground flax or chia seeds with the warm water. Stir and set aside.
- Pour the rice flour, turmeric powder, garlic powder, sea salt and mix in a large bowl.
- Mix in the coconut milk and water and stir until everything is incorporated.
- Chop the scallion and add to the batter. Stir.
- Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
Prepare the filling
- Sautee the onions in a little oil until translucent.
- Add the sliced mushrooms. Season with some salt and pepper.
- Cook until the mushrooms are cooked and the juices have evaporated. Set aside.
Make the omelet
- Heat a frying pan with a little oil on medium to high heat.
- When the pan is hot, pour a ladle of batter and quickly swirl it around the pan to make a thin and even layer.
- Let it cook until the edges start to crisp.
- Add some mushroom filling and some of the fresh bean sprouts on one half of the omelet and flip the other side over. Cook on medium heat for another minute.
- Flip it for a minute. Serve immediately.
- Serve with the dipping sauce, a few lettuce leaves, cucumber slices, some fresh cilantro and mint and a side of pickled vegetables.