Hue Pancake: Banh Khoai

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Inactive: 10 min
  • Cook: 20 min
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Ingredients

Hue Hoisin Dipping Sauce: 

4 ounces/ 100 g pork liver

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 cloves garlic, finely diced (1 tablespoon)

1 tablespoon finely diced red shallots

2 ounces/50 g minced pork

1/2 cup hoisin sauce (salty variety)

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 tablespoon shrimp paste, mixed with 2 tablespoons water

1/2 cup pork stock

1 tablespoon peanut butter

1 tablespoon corn flour, diluted with water

3 tablespoons crushed roasted peanuts

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Vegetable oil, for stir-frying

2 cloves garlic, minced

7 ounces/200 g school prawns, legs and heads trimmed

7 ounces/200 g boneless pork belly, fat trimmed, thinly sliced

17 1/2 ounces/500 g bean sprouts

1/2 cup spring onions, sliced

Batter:

3 1/2 ounces/100 g rice flour

5 1/4 teaspoons/25 g plain (all-purpose) flour

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

5 fluid ounces /150 ml coconut milk

5 fluid ounces/150 ml soda water

2 eggs beaten

For serving:

Lettuce

1 bunch fresh perilla leaves

1 bunch fresh mint leaves

1 bunch Vietnamese mint leaves

1 bunch Vietnamese fish mint

1 star fruit, sliced

Directions

  1. For the dipping sauce: Place the liver on a chopping board. With a heavy knife in each hand chop the liver in a fast motion mincing it finely. In a medium heated small saucepan, add oil, garlic, shallots, and cook the liver and minced pork for 4 minutes. Add hoisin sauce, sugar, shrimp paste, and pork stock, then stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil, then add peanut butter, corn flour and stir until sauce thickens. Once thickened, add peanuts and sesame seeds. Turn off heat and set aside. Place a frying pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, and the prawns and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Remove the prawns and set aside. Wipe the pan clean, then repeat this process with the pork belly. Set aside.
  2. To make the batter: Combine the rice flour, plain flour, turmeric, salt, bicarbonate of soda, coconut milk, and soda water. Whisk well and set aside for 10 minutes. Wash the lettuce leaves and herbs and arrange them on a large platter. Place a small, about 8 inches/20 cm heavy-based nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. Once the oil is hot, add a thin layer of batter to the pan, swirling to coat the base of the pan. Add 1 tablespoon beaten egg, then add some prawns, pork, spring onions, and bean sprouts. Fry for 2 minutes or until the base is crisp and browned. Repeat this process with the remaining batter and filling ingredients. Fold the pancake in half to make it 'smile', and eat with lettuce, perilla, mint leaves, and star fruit. Dip into Hue Hoisin dipping sauce.

Cook’s Note

Pork liver should be bright coloured, moist and should not be slimy. Try to avoid using frozen liver.

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