Little known fact: the largest vietnamese population outside of Vietnam is in “Little Saigon” in Orange County, CA, which also just so happens to be my hometown. In hindsight I wish I’d taken more advantage of the bountiful vietnamese cuisine and markets when I lived there. These crispy and delicious crepes are made from a mix of rice flour, which makes them very FODMAP-friendly, and tumeric, which gives them their yellow color. They are great for a family meal which you can prepare for a bit in advance, but also customize for different family members (i.e. if one doesn’t eat shrimp or some aren’t on the FODMAP diet and are allowed to add some onion) since you fry the crepes one-by-one.
The batter is best if prepared the night before, or at least a few hours in advance. It should be very fluid and slightly yellow. Just before you are ready to start frying you can add green onion tops.
It is typical in vietnamese cuisine to have both pork and shrimp in the same meal. I used thinly sliced pork belly, and only had pre-cooked shrimps available to me, but it is also possible to use raw shrimp (without heads and de-veined) and fry them alongside the pork belly until they are nearly done before adding the batter. This initial meat-frying step is also where you may add some thinly sliced yellow onion if you are cooking for a non-FODMAPer.
Once the proteins are nearly done cooking, you are ready to add the batter. The key to getting a nice and crispy bottom is to swirl the pan continually as you pour the batter. It is also crucial to have a good non-stick pan… unfortunately some of my crepes ended up leaving their crispy bottoms behind, but they still tasted great!
Use a lid to cook the crepe until the bottom is nice and crispy and the top is cooked through. Add some bean sprouts to one half of the crepe and fold over, then allow it to sit for another minute so that they get a chance to cook a bit.
Serve with loads of lettuce and fresh herbs, such as mint, coriander, and thai basil. Traditionally they are eaten by hand, wrapped in the lettuce, and dipped in a Nước Chấm dipping sauce.
about 8 servings
200 g rice flour
2 tbsp corn starch (corn flour)
2 tsp ground tumeric (swedish: gurkmeja)
1/2 tsp salt
400 mL coconut milk
400 mL cold water
green tops of 3 green onions (scallions)
g of pork belly (swedish: sidfläsk) thinly sliced
shrimp (pre-cooked or raw, without heads, shelled and de-veined)
lettuce, thai basil, cilantro (coriander), mint, etc. to serve
1. Mix the rice flour, corn starch, tumeric, and salt.
2. Whisk in one 400 mL can of coconut milk (well shaken) and then fill the can with cold water and add this to the batter as well. Whisk until all the lumps disappear and you are left with a fluid batter. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
3. Once ready to begin frying, add the green scallion tops to the batter.
4. Heat a non-stick pan on medium-heat until warm. Fry some pork belly until crispy. If shrimp are raw, also fry them at this point, otherwise add them just before the batter.
5. Pour the batter while swirling the pan, so that it immediately coats the entire surface and comes up a bit onto the sides. Lower to medium heat and cover the pan. Allow to cook for 4-5 minutes, until the bottom is brown and crispy and the top is cooked through.
6. Add bean sprouts to one half of the crepe and fold over. Allow to cook for an additional minute before removing from the pan.
7. Serve with plenty of lettuce, fresh herbs, and Nước Chấm dipping sauce. Eat with your hands!