Ultimate Banh Xeo Waffle Guide: Batter, Toppings & Serving Tips

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Written By Hot Thai Restaurant

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We’ve all savored the classic Vietnamese Banh Xeo, a sizzling, savory crepe that’s a feast for the senses. Now, imagine this traditional favorite with a twist that’s as delightful as it is surprising: Banh Xeo Waffles. This innovative fusion combines the crispy, golden edges of a waffle with the rich, aromatic flavors of Banh Xeo, creating a dish that’s bound to become a new favorite in your culinary repertoire.

Ingredients

In the spirit of blending traditional Vietnamese Banh Xeo with the crisp delight of waffles, we’ve carefully selected ingredients that capture the essence of both dishes. Here’s everything you’ll need to create your own Banh Xeo Waffles, ensuring a perfect balance of flavor and texture.

For the Batter

  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (for waffle iron)

For the Filling

  • 1/2 pound pork belly, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
  • Vegetable oil, as needed for frying
  • Fresh lettuce leaves
  • Mint leaves
  • Cilantro
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Pickled carrots and daikon
  • Lime wedges for serving
  • Fish sauce for serving

Each ingredient has been chosen to complement the others, ensuring that every bite of your Banh Xeo Waffle is as inviting and flavorful as the traditional dish, with the added bonus of a wonderfully crispy texture.

Kitchen Equipment Needed

To bring our Banh Xeo Waffles to life, we need some key pieces of kitchen equipment that will ensure our fusion creation is as delightful in texture as it is in flavor. Let’s take a look at what we’ll need to make this innovative dish a reality.

Waffle Iron

First and foremost, a waffle iron is essential. This is what transforms our Banh Xeo batter into those perfectly crisp, golden waffles that serve as the base of our dish. We recommend using a standard waffle iron, but if you have a Belgian waffle iron, that works too—the deeper pockets are excellent at holding all our delicious toppings.

Mixing Bowls

Multiple mixing bowls will come in handy for preparing the Banh Xeo batter, marinating the pork belly, and mixing the pickled carrots and daikon. Having a few sizes on hand ensures that everything from mixing to marinating is as efficient as possible.

Measuring Cups and Spoons

Accuracy is key in achieving the perfect balance of flavors in our Banh Xeo batter and toppings. Measuring cups and spoons will be our best friends to ensure each ingredient’s quantity is just right.

Whisk

A good whisk is essential for combining our Banh Xeo batter to a smooth and lump-free consistency. This ensures our waffles will have a crispy exterior and a light, airy interior.

Skillet or Frying Pan

We’ll need a skillet or frying pan to cook our marinated pork belly and shrimp to perfection. A non-stick skillet works best to ensure easy flipping and even cooking.

Spatula

A flexible spatula is great for transferring our cooked proteins to the waffle iron without breaking them. It’s also handy for flipping ingredients while cooking.

Vegetable Peeler and Grater

For preparing our fresh toppings and sides, a vegetable peeler and grater are necessary. We’ll use these to peel and grate the carrots and daikon for our pickled side dish which adds a crisp, tangy contrast to the rich flavors of our Banh Xeo Waffles.

Gathering these kitchen essentials will ensure we’re well-equipped to create this innovative and delicious dish. With our equipment ready, we’re all set to dive into the exciting world of Banh Xeo Waffles, combining traditional Vietnamese flavors with the beloved crispiness of waffles for a meal that’s sure to impress.

Make-Ahead Instructions

Preparing Banh Xeo Waffles does involve several steps, but we’ve got some excellent make-ahead tips to streamline your cooking process. By organizing some elements beforehand, you’ll be able to enjoy these delicious waffles with less stress and more pleasure.

Prepping the Batter

First off, the waffle batter benefits from resting, so it’s perfect for making ahead. Simply combine the rice flour, coconut milk, turmeric powder, and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth, then cover and refrigerate. This rest period allows the flavors to meld together beautifully and can be done up to 24 hours in advance.

Cooking the Fillings

Next, let’s talk about the savory fillings. You can cook the pork belly and shrimp ahead of time. For the pork belly, slice it thinly and sauté until it’s nicely browned. For the shrimp, a quick cook until they’re pink and opaque will do. Both can be stored in the refrigerator overnight. Just reheat quickly in a skillet when you’re ready to assemble your waffles.

Preparing the Accompaniments

The fresh herbs and vegetables that accompany the Banh Xeo Waffle—like lettuce, mint, and any other herbs you cherish—can also be prepared ahead. Wash, dry, and wrap them in slightly damp paper towels before storing in resealable bags or containers. This keeps them fresh and crisp. Grating the carrot and slicing the cucumber can be done a day in advance too, ensuring they’re ready to go when it’s time to serve.

Assembling the Ingredients

Lastly, organizing all your ingredients in the fridge by category can be a real time-saver. Group all your prepared items together so when it’s time to cook, everything is within easy reach. This includes your pre-mixed fish sauce and any other garnishes you plan to use.

By following these make-ahead instructions, you’ll make the cooking process for Banh Xeo Waffles not just easier, but much more enjoyable. It turns what could be a complex dish into a manageable and delightful cooking experience, giving you more time to enjoy the incredible fusion of flavors that this dish offers.

Preparing the Banh Xeo Batter

Crafting the perfect Banh Xeo batter sets the foundation for our delicious fusion, combining the crispiness of waffles with the vibrant flavors of traditional Vietnamese Banh Xeo. Let’s dive into each step to ensure your Banh Xeo Waffles turn out just right.

Mixing Dry Ingredients

First, we’ll mix the dry ingredients to create a smooth and uniform base. Gather:

  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch (for extra crispiness)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (for color and a slight earthy flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, whisk together the rice flour, cornstarch, turmeric, and salt until well combined. It’s essential that these ingredients are evenly mixed to ensure our batter cooks up perfectly crisp and flavorful.

Incorporating Liquid Components

Let’s bring our batter to life by adding the liquid ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk (for a creamy texture and a hint of sweetness)
  • 1 cup water (adjust as needed for consistency)

Gradually pour the coconut milk and water into the dry ingredients while whisking. This gradual incorporation helps prevent any lumps from forming. Whisk until the batter is smooth and has the consistency of heavy cream. If it seems too thick, feel free to add a little more water until you achieve the desired consistency. This step is crucial for ensuring our Banh Xeo waffles are light, crispy, and beautifully golden.

Resting the Batter

Once our batter is smoothly whisked, it’s time to let it rest. This resting period allows the flour to hydrate fully and the flavors to meld, resulting in a more cohesive and flavorful batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. If you’re planning ahead, you can also let it rest in the refrigerator overnight. Just be sure to bring it back to room temperature before you start cooking.

This rest is the perfect opportunity to prep other components of your Banh Xeo Waffles, making the cooking process more enjoyable and streamlined.

Prepping the Filling

Now that our batter is resting and developing flavors, let’s turn our attention to the heart of the Banh Xeo Waffle—the filling. A good filling is essential for that burst of flavor and texture with every bite.

Marinating the Protein

We’ll start with marinating the protein to ensure it’s flavorful and tender. For the Banh Xeo Waffle, we typically use thin slices of pork belly and some shrimp. Here’s how we do it:

  1. Pork Belly: Thinly slice 200 grams of pork belly. In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and a pinch of black pepper. Add the pork belly slices to the bowl and ensure they’re well coated with the marinade. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes or, for the best flavor, marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Shrimp: Peel and devein 200 grams of shrimp. We’ll use a simpler marinade here: just a drizzle of fish sauce and a sprinkle of black pepper. Mix well and let the shrimp marinate alongside the pork belly.

Marinating the proteins not only infuses them with a rich, savory flavor but also tenderizes them, making each bite into your Banh Xeo Waffle a delightful experience.

Chopping Vegetables

While our proteins are marinating, we’ll prepare the vegetables. Fresh, crispy vegetables are key to adding that refreshing crunch and balance to the richness of the meat and creaminess of the batter. Here’s what we need:

  1. Bean Sprouts: Rinse 1 cup of bean sprouts under cold water and drain well. These don’t need any prep other than washing as they will be used fresh to maintain their crunch.
  2. Scallions and Onion: Thinly slice 2 scallions and 1 small onion. The onion should be thinly sliced to ensure it cooks quickly and blends well with the soft interior of our waffle.
  3. Mung Beans (optional): If you like a bit of extra bite in your filling, soak 1/2 cup of mung beans in water for about an hour, then drain. This step is optional but adds a lovely texture and earthiness to the filling.

Chopping and prepping these vegetables does not only add layers of texture to our Banh Xeo Waffle but also introduces fresh flavors that complement the rich and savory notes of the marinated proteins. Each component, from the crisp bean sprouts to the soft, sweet onions, plays a crucial role in creating a harmonious filling for our fusion dish.

Cooking the Banh Xeo Waffles

After preparing the flavorful Banh Xeo batter and marinating the fillings, we’re moving on to the exciting part: cooking the Banh Xeo waffles. This fusion brings a delectable crispiness with a lush interior, blending Vietnamese flavors in a popular Western format.

Preheating the Waffle Iron

Before we dive into the cooking process, let’s start with preheating our waffle iron. Ensure it reaches a medium-high heat setting to achieve the perfect crispness on the outside while still maintaining a tender inside. It usually takes about 5 to 10 minutes for the waffle iron to reach the desired temperature. A properly heated waffle iron is crucial for that golden, crispy exterior that makes Banh Xeo waffles truly special.

Pouring and Cooking the Batter

Once your waffle iron is hot and ready, lightly grease it with a bit of oil to prevent sticking. Next, ladle in the Banh Xeo batter, ensuring it’s evenly distributed across the iron’s surface. The batter should sizzle slightly upon contact, signaling the right temperature. Close the lid gently and let the waffle cook for about 4 to 5 minutes until it turns a beautiful golden brown and emits a wonderfully fragrant scent. The Banh Xeo batter’s turmeric gives it a unique yellow color and a slightly earthy taste, enhancing the waffle’s visual and flavorful appeal.

Adding the Filling

Here’s where we get creative. After the first side of the waffle cooks for a couple of minutes, open the waffle iron and sprinkle your prepared filling—marinated pork belly, shrimp, and your choice of vegetables—on one half of the waffle. Then, close the lid again and continue cooking for another 3 to 4 minutes. This step ensures the filling becomes well-incorporated into the waffle, soaking up the batter’s flavor while also cooking to perfection. The combination of the slightly crispy texture of the waffle with the savory, rich filling creates a harmonious blend of flavors and textures, making every bite a delightful experience.

Assembling the Banh Xeo Waffles

After successfully marrying the crisp textures of Banh Xeo with the heartiness of waffles, it’s time to bring it all together. Assembling the Banh Xeo Waffles is an artful process that layers vibrant flavors and textures for a truly memorable dish.

Layering the Waffles with Toppings

Once your waffles are golden and crisp, begin by placing them on a serving plate. We recommend a flat surface to ensure an even distribution of toppings. Start with the pork belly and shrimp, evenly distributing the pieces across the waffle’s nooks and crannies to ensure every bite is packed with savory goodness. Next, add the sautéed vegetables, offering a fresh contrast to the rich meats. For those who appreciate a bit of extra heat, a sprinkling of finely chopped chili peppers can elevate the dish.

Adding Garnishes

The final touch involves generously garnishing your Banh Xeo Waffles. Fresh herbs play a crucial role; scatter handfuls of mint, cilantro, and sliced green onions all over the top. These greens will introduce a burst of freshness that complements the richness of the waffle and its toppings. Additionally, a drizzle of Nuoc Cham, the quintessential Vietnamese dipping sauce, ties all the elements together with its sweet, tangy, and slightly spicy flavor profile. For an extra pop of texture and nuttiness, a sprinkle of crushed peanuts is highly recommended. This step not only adds to the visual appeal but also enriches each bite with a satisfying crunch.

Assembling the Banh Xeo Waffles is where creativity meets tradition, allowing you to play with flavors and textures. Enjoy the process and don’t hesitate to tweak the garnishes to suit your taste preferences, making each dish uniquely yours.

Serving Suggestions

After crafting your Banh Xeo Waffles, the next delightful step is serving them in a way that maximizes enjoyment and brings out their full flavor profile. It’s all about complementing the crispy waffles with the right sides and garnishes to make every bite an adventure. Let us guide you through some of our favorite ways to serve these unique creations.

Plating Your Waffle

Start by placing a Banh Xeo Waffle on a clean, flat plate. This dish is as much about visual appeal as it is about taste. The golden hue of the waffle, combined with the vibrant toppings, makes for a stunning presentation. A waffle alone can be quite the showstopper, but how you arrange the extras can elevate it even further.

Accompaniments

For a truly authentic experience, serve your Banh Xeo Waffles with a variety of fresh accompaniments. Here’s what we recommend:

  • Fresh Lettuce Wraps: A staple in Vietnamese cuisine, lettuce adds a refreshing crunch that balances the savory waffle. Guests can wrap pieces of waffle in lettuce for a hands-on dining experience.
  • Herb Bouquet: A generous plate of fresh herbs—think mint, cilantro, and basil—is not only visually appealing but also adds layers of flavor. Diners can pick and choose which herbs to add, tailoring each bite to their taste preferences.
  • Pickled Vegetables: Offer a side of quick-pickled carrots and daikon radish for a tangy contrast that cuts through the richness of the waffle toppings.

Dipping Sauces

Nuoc Cham, the quintessential Vietnamese dipping sauce, is a must-have for drizzling over or dipping your waffle pieces into. Its sweet, salty, sour, and spicy flavors bring all the elements of the dish together. Consider also providing a small bowl of hoisin sauce for those who enjoy a sweeter, thicker sauce option.

  • Iced Vietnamese Coffee: The strong, slightly sweet coffee is a refreshing match that can balance the savory notes of the waffle.
  • Sparkling Water: A simple choice, but the effervescence of sparkling water can cleanse the palate between bites, enhancing the flavors of the dish.
  • Light Beer or Floral White Wine: For those who

Conclusion

We’ve journeyed through the delightful fusion of Banh Xeo and waffles, discovering the joy of blending traditions with a twist. Our adventure doesn’t stop at just cooking; it’s about creating meals that bring smiles, with each bite a testament to innovation and culinary creativity. Remember, the beauty of Banh Xeo waffles lies in your hands. From selecting fresh ingredients to artful plating, every step is a chance to express yourself. So, gather your toppings, invite your friends, and dive into this gastronomic delight. Here’s to many more meals that celebrate the fusion of cultures and the joy of eating together. Cheers!

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