Breakfast and Brunch, Fish and Seafood, Pancakes, Waffles & French Toast

Vietnamese-Style Crispy Pancake with Shrimp and Bean Sprouts

Loreto June 30, 2017

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Vietnamese-Style Crispy Pancake with Shrimp and Bean Sprouts is our contribution dish to the monthly challenge “Around the World in 12 Plates” that took us to Vietnam. A wonderfully crisp and flavorful pancake stuffed with sauteed shrimp, caramelized onion, and fresh bean sprout.

Song of the day: “The Machine” by Nickelback.

Vietnamese-Style Crispy Pancake with shrimp and bean sprouts

Vietnamese-Style Crispy Pancake with Shrimp and Bean Sprout, combines texture, spice, and flavor in an all in one delicious dish!



Vietnamese cooking makes me think of fresh, healthy, and tasty food that is vibrant and when I heard that the next Country on our Around the World in 12 Plates was Vietnam I was really excited to do some research and create a wonderful recipe.

My first thoughts of  Vietnam first are the war and episodes of M.A.S.H., but as in most cases the war fades away and a culture rises to the occasion to rebuild their life and land. I have never been to Vietnam but I have seen pictures and heard stories of friends’ travels that peeks my interest. I have a fondness for the Asian culture, especially the food. The noodle dishes, with that simple but ever so tasty broth, and fresh ingredients. The skewers, with those wonderful spices combining sweet and savory. The dipping sauces, packing a nice acidic yet sweet punch.

After much drooling and stomach growling during my search for the recipe that I wanted, I came upon these pancakes (or sometimes called Vietnamese crepes). As soon as I said pancakes, Nicoletta’s eyebrows rose and a smile came across her face. That alone had my decision sealed, along with the thought of a crunchy savoury combination as in this Vietnamese-Style Crispy Pancake with Shrimp and Bean Sprout.

Vietnamese-Style Crispy Pancake with shrimp and bean sproutsVietnamese-Style Crispy Pancake with shrimp and bean sprouts

Banh Xeo in Vietnamese meaning “sizzling cake”, as this is the sound you are going to hear when you put the batter into a nice hot pan glistening with oil. Breakfast pancakes are one of my most favorite things to make, especially for my beautiful wife Nicoletta. The thought of changing lanes and making a savory pancake has my curiosity heightened and my tastebuds wondering. After researching quite a few recipes, I settled in on a simple one that has few ingredients but some spice that I think we will enjoy.

The batter is a combination of rice flour, coconut cream, turmeric, some seasoning and of course green onion. The filling, some shrimp and onion and for that fresh element, bean sprouts. I didn’t have the rice flour but used a “00” flour. You know what they say if you don’t have something, improvise, and that is what I did. I am going to make these again because I want to know how it tasted and the texture that comes about, when using the rice flour. We found some amazing bean sprouts at our downtown market on 104th street and off Jasper Avenue. The stand is Reclaim Urban Farm, which houses a variety of micro greens and this is where we found the bean sprouts, which will be perfect to offset the crispy spiciness of the cakes thanks to the turmeric.

Vietnamese-Style Crispy Pancake with shrimp and bean sprouts

I wanted to garnish with some fresh herbs, and in our herb garden we have basil and mint in abundance, and so the finishing touches are covered. I also like the way it just gives sparks of vibrant color and accentuates the golden hue of the pancakes delivered by the turmeric. They say turmeric is quite good for us and helps eliminate joint soreness and inflammation, which is a bonus because it tastes so good too.

I want to just dig in. The crispy edges of these golden globes are evident in that crackling sound.  The nice hints of green onion nestled so nicely in the folds of batter. The hue of the turmeric gives us a burst of sunshine, and abundance prevalent in the shrimp, onion, bean sprout billowing out of the fold of the pancake. Even in my breakfast pancakes, I like to get a nice crunchy edge, but this Vietnamese-style pancake defies the laws of texture. A nice light layer of crispiness bringing us into the center folds of spice and tenderness, and a beautiful hit of peppery and curriness from the turmeric. The coconut milk provides a nice nutty sweetness to the mix and adding in the fact that I fried them in a hot pan with a smidge of sesame and peanut oil just to accentuate the nuttiness which marries well with all the other flavor combinations. The shrimp and onion combination melt in your mouth with such succulence, sending you in a blissful trance of enjoyment and gratification. Then out of no where the bean sprout, fresh basil and mint, come in with that vibrant earthy crack, that wakes us to the fact that we have many more adventures in each bite of this dish.

Vietnamese-Style Crispy Pancake with shrimp and bean sprouts

If Asian cuisine is your thing, and you want to take your cooking on a little adventure, try these wonderful Vietnamese-Style Crispy Pancake with Shrimp and Bean Sprout.


Song of the day: “The Machine” by Nickelback. (p.s. Love this song, the rhythm, the energy, perfect for creativity!)

Vietnamese-Style Crispy Pancake with shrimp and bean sprouts

Vietnamese-Style Crispy Pancake with Shrimp and Bean Sprouts

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 pancakes 1x



  • 1 1/3 cups rice flour (we used “00” flour)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 green onion chopped fine
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Pinch of chili flakes
  • Pinch of sea salt, cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder.
  • 1 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp of peanut oil


  • 1 cup small shrimp pre-cooked
  • 1/2 white onion sliced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp mayo
  • 1 tsp peanut oil
  • Pinch of salt, and ground white pepper
  • Pat of butter
  • 1 cup fresh bean sprout
  • 1 green onion chopped


  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped basil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped mint



  1. In a bowl sift flour, turmeric, salt, pepper, onion powder.
  2. Mix in coconut milk and whisk until smooth. Set aside for 15 minutes.


  1. In a wok heat up sesame and peanut oil.
  2. Toss in onion and sautee till soft and translucent.
  3. Toss in shrimp and mayo and saute for another 2 minutes or so.
  4. Season white pepper, salt and butter.
  5. Take off heat and set aside.


  1. Heat up sesame oil and peanut oil in a saute pan.
  2. Pour 2 tbsp of batter into center of pan and use spoon to shape it into a circle, spreading the batter from center to outside round.
  3. Let it cook for 1-2 minutes then flip and cook for an additional minute.
  4. Place some shrimp and onion mixture onto one side of the pancake.
  5. Sprinkle some bean sprout and green onion on top of shrimp.
  6. Then fold pancake in half and take out of pan and onto a serving plate.


  1. Sprinkle pancakes with fresh chopped basil and mint.
  2. Repeat this process until batter is finished.
  3. Ready to serve.
  4. Enjoy!


Traditionally they put coriander leaves, and also fresh chilies in the batter mix.
We used “00” flour but traditionally they use rice flour.

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Vietnamese-Style Crispy Pancake with shrimp and bean sprouts

Making our recipes? Take a pic and tag us on Instagram: @sugarlovespices /#sugarlovespices .  You’ll be in our gallery!

Make sure you check out the other amazing recipes from fellow bloggers participating in this exciting challenge that is “Around the World in 12 Plates”:

Around the World in 12 Plates: Vietnam

Dish ‘n The Kitchen

Korena in the Kitchen

Disclosure: All other links in our posts are NOT affiliate links. They are only about products or places we normally purchase and like.  

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  • Avatar
    Reply Flavour and Savour June 30, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Thanks so much for this recipe!! We had this meal in Ho Chi Minh City earlier this spring and it was fabulous! Must try making it now!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto June 30, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      Hi nElaine, wow you too made it to vietnam, thats wonderful. Travel is such a learning experience and getting to try all that food is just an added bonus. You gotta try these, so simple and so so delicious.
      Happy FRiday to you

  • Avatar
    Reply Cathy June 30, 2017 at 8:36 am

    What a great, unique recipe! Unique in these parts, anyway. I love that it’s gluten- and dairy-free, too. I must make this myself!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto June 30, 2017 at 1:05 pm

      Thanks Cathy. I love rice flour, especilaly when it is used in this manmner. It gets so crispy and tasty with the tumeric and coconut milk combinatio So glad we could widen you culturtal boundry!
      Have a great weekend!

  • Avatar
    Reply Milena | Craft Beering June 30, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Loreto, this pancake is a great example of the Vietnamese texture and flavor blending. I travel to Ho Chi Minh City for work every year and always take a street food tour or a cooking class while there. The more I learn about their food, the more I enjoy having it here at home. We are lucky with several good Vietnamese restaurants in our town and a Vietnamese family as neighbors… Love your recipe:) So ‘sunny’ too! Pinned.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto June 30, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      Thank you Milena, I envy you and your travels. It is on our bucket list. Culture is such a wonderful thing especially when it comes to food. The real peace keeper! Would love to hear about some of the vietnamese dishes you make at home and also the street ones you tried there.
      Have a wonderful close to the week!

  • Avatar
    Reply diversivore June 30, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Well, I’m on board. I adore Vietnamese food, but I know there’s a lot more to explore than what I’ve been exposed to thus far. Case in point – I’ve never heard of Banh Xeo! I have to say though, they sound like exactly my kind of thing – something a bit like a Viethamese taco (if you’ll excuse my reductionist cross-cultural simplification), and I’m a massive fan of any meal delivered in that format. Thanks for broadening my culinary horizons! Cheers!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto June 30, 2017 at 2:43 pm

      I love that, reductionalist cross-cultural simplification, lol. I am glad that I got to broaden your culinary horizons too. What a great comment, always a joy to hear from you sean!.
      Have a great Canada Day weekend

  • Avatar
    Reply Gabrielle @ eyecandypopper June 30, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Nicely done! I am liking this! I find Asian food so intriguing and appealing. I have recently been to Vietnam briefly, and the food we ate was delicious. I love how most food is neatly wrapped like cute little packages, just as you made here. And you can’t go wrong with shrimps! Yum!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto June 30, 2017 at 2:49 pm

      Hi Gabrielle, yes some cultures just know how to present things. Yesterday we were testing another cute littlke flavor packet that will be coming out soon more on the Italian cultural side. They worked out well and were so delicious too. These pancakes though had so much to offer too between texture and spices. Give them a try, they were so easy.
      Have a great weekend.

  • Avatar
    Reply Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop June 30, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    I loved watching MASH growing up! It is probably all I really know about Vietnam though. Time to change that, starting with this dish. It sounds wonderful!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto July 3, 2017 at 6:24 am

      Hi Kathy, there is so much to discover in our world isn’t there. Mash was a great show with some crazy episodes and antics, that brings me back down memory lane. What a great way to start to get to know a country than with food.
      Can’t waite for you to try these crispy flavorful pancakes!
      Have a great week.

  • Avatar
    Reply Korena July 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

    These sound wonderful! At first I thought they must be omelettes/egg pancakes because of the beautiful yellow colour, but I guess that’s thanks to the turmeric. Yum!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto July 3, 2017 at 6:21 am

      Hi Korena, I just love tumeric and the way it hued these pancakes, so rich in color and that flavor. This is definately on our make again list, enjoyed them so much and that crispiness is so good, I hope you get to try making these.
      Thanks for checking out our recipe.

  • Avatar
    Reply Dawn @ Girl Heart Food July 4, 2017 at 6:37 am

    I could totally eat this for breakfast or dinner and I’m a huge fan of those bean sprouts – gotta love that crunch! The batter is so intriguing with the coconut milk in there too. So nice to try different types of cuisines and this one hits the spot for sure! Hope you guys have a wonderful week 🙂

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto July 4, 2017 at 3:56 pm

      Hi Dawn, I am with you on the different cuisine. I am like a kid in a candy store when there is a multicultural event, or we are in a cultural grocery store. So much to see, try and experiment with. Oh yes these would be a great breakfast. Imagine some rich creamy, succulent scrambled eggs, the sprouts and that spice to kick things up. Hmmmmmm I think I have an idea, thanks for the inspiration!
      Thank you for the lovely comment and have a great happy cooking week!

  • Avatar
    Reply dishnthekitchen July 4, 2017 at 10:36 am

    These are so bright and fresh looking! This post reminds me that I really need to get on with properly seasoning my wok. Did you do an initial seasoning when you first bought it or is it just seasoned with usage?

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto July 4, 2017 at 3:54 pm

      I would say that it is seasoned through usage, I did have a wok that was close to 25 years old but it started to getquite tarnished and so I retired it, a sad day in the kitchen of SugarLoveSpices.You are so right on the look of these pancakes and just loved that crispiness and flavor. So yummy, will definately be making these again!
      Thanks a bunch for stopping by and happy wok seasoning!

  • Avatar
    Reply Nicole | Culinary Cool July 4, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    I’m a huge fan of Vietnamese flavours and I’m quite intrigued by this savoury pancake – especially since it’s crispy! I’m also loving all the different textures going on here. Definitely need to give this a try.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto July 5, 2017 at 2:42 pm

      Thank you Nicole
      I loved it. This was my first time making Vietnamewse pancakes and I have to say very easy and so, so, flavorful. Can’t waite to hear how you made out and how you liked them. Send us a note when you do.
      Have a great day!

  • Avatar
    Reply Sabrina April 25, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    Yum! The flavors in these sound amazing! Love the color the turmeric gives to the pancakes!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 27, 2018 at 4:37 am

      Thank you it was the first time making them and I was quite pleased how they turned out.
      Have a great day!

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