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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I made this last night, in spite of the other reviews. One reviewer obviously missed the additional 1 1/2 cups of water in the batter. True, they didn't fold without cracking a bit, but they tasted wonderful - especially with the dipping sauce.
Something is wrong with this proportions Sunset designated in this recipe. 1/2 cup of coconut milk with the dry ingredients does not make a whisk-able batter, let alone make four 3/4 cup potential crepe servings. Once I added more liquid, the crepe batter went into the pan just fine, but it lacks any real binding agent and when I tried to fold it, it cracked, every time (and not just a little-- we're talking it made a scramble rather than an omelet). With the spicy dipping sauce, though, the flavors of this recipe have huge potential. I think I'll do some research about how to make rice-flour crepes (I'm thinking eggs should be involved) and try again.
We have used Sunset recipe books dating from the 1980's for years and have always thought the recipes turned out well. My wife made these crepes tonight and they were simply revolting...there must be something wrong with the recipe. The yellow crepes are gummy and look kind of like a thin crumpet...ugh!
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