VietnamFood & DrinksVietnamese Foods: Banh Xeo in Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnamese Foods: Banh Xeo in Ho Chi Minh City

You have tried Pho and Banh mi; what is next on the list of must-eat foods in Ho Chi Minh City? “Banh xeo”, a Vietnamese pancake, is many people’s favorite, including locals and tourists. It would be an incomplete, foody journey in Ho Chi Minh City without knowing or trying Banh xeo here.

Banh Xeo’s Origin

According to some sources, Banh xeo has long originated from the Khmer in the South, while others believe that this Vietnamese street food came from Central Vietnamese during their migration to the South. Another theory is that Banh xeo is a modification of the Indian “dosa,” which came to Vietnam via the Chams, who lived in South-Central Vietnam until the 19th century.

Banh Xeo in Vietnamese Foods Culture

If you cannot decide what there is to eat in the afternoon in Ho Chi Minh City, Banh xeo – one of the favorite foods in Vietnamese daily life – could be the best choice for your snack time.

Depending on the region, the locals have different ways to make and enjoy Banh xeo. However, the main ingredient of Vietnamese pancakes is always the rice flour batter, served with herbs and dipping sauce.

How to Make Banh Xeo

vietnamese pancakes banh xeo ingredients
Banh xeo’s main proteins usually include shrimp, thinly-sliced pork, and baby seashells

Banh xeo’s name comes from the sizzling sound of the batter pouring into the wok. The batter of this pancake is usually made from rice flour, coconut milk, chopped scallions, turmeric powder, and altogether with hot water. However, the fillings can be a little different across regions.

Whole prawns, pork belly, bean sprouts, and mung beans are stir-fried. The batter is later poured over the fillings spread thinly in a circular motion on the hot-fired wok. Once cooked, the pancake is folded halfway and served with fresh Vietnamese herbs and vegetables such as lettuce, perilla, fish mint, Thai basil, ambarella leaves, etc.

vietnamese pancakes banh xeo pans
vietnamese pancakes banh xeo making

Banh Xeo Variations Throughout Vietnam

Mekong Delta’s Banh Xeo

vietnamese pancakes banh xeo southern style
Southern-style banh xeo is quite big, thin, and crispy

The pancake is best enjoyed fresh off the heat. While it is still hot, you should break a piece of the golden and thin fringed rim like rice paper and try to taste the unique flavor of pancakes. The smell, texture, and taste of the Banh xeo combined with the sweet and sour garlic fish sauce would excite you and admire this work of art.

Central Vietnam’s Banh Xeo

vietnamese pancakes banh xeo central style
Central-style banh xeo is much smaller with more generous toppings

This version of the Vietnamese pancake is much different from the Southwest style. It is called “Banh khoai” and the size is significantly smaller. The ingredients are put into round molds, cast on charcoal stoves, and covered by a lid for about 2 minutes until everything is cooked. The brownish color is that of an egg rather than turmeric.

Northern Vietnam’s Banh Xeo

Northern pancakes are different than others because they use beer instead of coconut milk, which makes the pancakes crispy even when they get cooler. This version of Banh xeo is not as famous as the Central and Southwest Vietnam versions, so it could be difficult to find them in restaurants.

Banh Xeo in Ho Chi Minh City – How to Eat Like a Local

vietnamese pancakes banh xeo veggies
Banh xeo goes hand in hand with tasty fish sauce dipping sauce and a lot of vegetables

The best way to eat and enjoy Banh xeo is by using your hands. A pair of chopsticks may be provided to pick up the ingredients, but likely you won’t need utensils.

Step 1: Use rice paper, or “Banh trang,” take a part of the crepe with shrimp and pork belly, a few bean sprouts accompanied with vegetables you like, and place them on one side of the rice paper. You can also replace the rice paper with lettuce or mustard leaf for the wrap. Some locals go straight for the big vegetable leaf to wrap a piece of banh xeo (similar to how you’d eat Korean BBQ) and skip the rice paper wrapper.

Step 2: Roll ingredients up tightly and slowly like a spring roll.

Step 3: It is now ready to be dipped in the fish sauce called nuoc mam, one of the secrets that make this Vietnamese pancake the best must-try food in Vietnam. That sauce combines fish extracts, lime juice, sugar, chili, and garlic in a particular proportion.

Where to Eat Banh Xeo in Ho Chi Minh City

Banh Xeo 46A

Address: 46A Dinh Cong Trang St., Tan Dinh Ward, District 1
Opening hours: 9:30 AM – 2 PM and 4:30 PM – 9 PM
Price: VND 80,000 – VND 135,000

The unique feature of “Banh Xeo 46A” is how they cook the Vietnamese crepes on charcoal stoves. This place is still at the top of traditional Vietnamese pancake eateries in Ho Chi Minh, especially among foreign visitors looking to enjoy the iconic Vietnamese street food.

Banh Xeo Muoi Xiem

Address: 204 Nguyen Trai St., Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1
Opening hours: 10 AM – 10 PM
Price: VND 50,000 – VND 110,000

The original Muoi Xiem’s pancakes are served on a bamboo tray. Besides Vietnamese pancakes at branches of Muoi Xiem restaurants, people can also enjoy Southwest Vietnam dishes such as Banh tet, a traditional cylinder cake, che (sweet dessert soup), and tea.

Ngu Binh

Address: 82 Nguyen Van Troi Residential, District Phu Nhuan
Opening hours: 3 PM – 9 PM
Price: VND 20,000 – VND 70,000

At this restaurant, you can not only see how Banh khoai is different from Banh xeo but also get to enjoy many other Central Vietnamese dishes.

Summary of Banh Xeo in Ho Chi Minh City

Banh xeo has been a favorite food in Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City for many generations. It is good to have it both as a snack and a meal. The crispy rim and creamy coconut milk flavor will make you want another bite. It has become famous worldwide, but you should come to Vietnam and try it the local way.

- Advertisement -

More Vietnam Travel Guides

Should You Try Weasel Coffee in Vietnam

Other names of weasel coffee you may have heard of are kopi luwak, civet...

Pet-friendly Accommodations in Ho Chi Minh City

It is frustrating to leave your beloved pet at home when you are traveling...

Booking a Foodie Scooter Tour in Saigon? Read Our Precautions

Are you a foodie traveler? Saigon will be your perfect destination. Hopping on a...

An Introduction to Vietnam’s Mountains

In Vietnam, we have serene and bustling cities for those who want to join...

The Russian Market in Ho Chi Minh City

Markets are the soul of Ho Chi Minh City and play an essential role...

Old Cafes in Saigon

As some coffee enthusiast once said, drinking Vietnamese coffee isn’t just about the coffee...
Powered by 12Go system