Mai Pham, chef and owner of Lemon Grass restaurant in Sacramento, California, gave us this recipe for a classic Saigon street snack. Use the cool lettuces and aromatic herbs in the table salad to wrap around pieces of hot crêpe, and then dip the bundle into Vietnamese Dipping Sauce.
1 1/2 cups Asian rice flour*
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon curry powder
About 1/2 tsp. salt
2 teaspoons sugar
3 green onions, thinly sliced
5 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
6 shiitake mushrooms, cut into 1/4-in.-thick slices
1/3 yellow onion, slivered
8 ounces pork shoulder, cut into thin bite-size pieces
Whisk together rice flour, coconut milk, 1 1/2 cups water, the turmeric, curry powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, the sugar, and green onions.
Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and a pinch of salt and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, discarding any juices.
Preheat oven to 200°. Wipe out pan and heat 1 tbsp. oil over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 of onions and 1/4 of pork. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes.
Whisk batter again and ladle about 3/4 cup into center of pan. Immediately tilt and rotate pan so batter quickly covers whole surface. Pile 1/4 of bean sprouts and 1/4 of mushrooms on 1 side of crêpe, close to center. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook until edges pull away from the pan, about 2 minutes.
Reduce heat to low, uncover, and cook crêpe until browned on bottom, 4 to 7 minutes.
Fold crêpe over and gently slide onto a plate. Cover loosely with foil and keep warm in oven. Make remaining crêpes the same way.
*Buy rice flour from an Asian market; the kind sold in supermarkets is too coarse.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per crêpe.
Lemon Grass, Sacramento, California
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