Bahn Xeo: It’s What’s for Dinner

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Here’s a Southeast Asian staple that you won’t feel too guilty stuffing your face with: bahn xeo. Think of it as the Asian version of the crepe, or a pancake. It’s very similar to a pancake mixture; except this version gets its color from Turmeric, and instead of white flour and milk, rice flour and coconut milk are used instead. Stuffed inside bahn xeo is usually pork, beef, or shrimp, along with bean sprouts. This savory pancake is best enjoyed wrapped in fresh lettuce and herbs, and dipped into a light and slightly sweet, fish sauce vinaigrette.

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Now, if you didn’t grow up eating this in large batches, with baskets of fresh veggies, and large groups of people reaching all over you and your plate  — then Bahn Xeo, the restaurant in Sacramento might be a good introduction to this dish.

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I went there on the suggestion from one of our Twitter followers, @jmendick (thanks Jonathan!). I LOVED this place. It looks like a great spot to gather all your friends to absolutely pig out. Bahn Xeo (the restaurant) specializes in its namesake, but they had a lot of other rice and Pho dishes that looked delicious. For appetizers, I highly recommend the baby clams. This dish is extremely spicy and fishy. It may be even uncomfortably fishy, if you’re not used to strong Asian flavors. We broke off the crackers and loaded them up with the baby clams — our own version of caviar, if you will.

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And Bahn Xeo does not skimp on the portions. This thing is larger than my torso! The idea is to tear off a piece of it, add lots of fresh herbs, lettuce, and wrap it up in the rice paper. It’s very similar to a spring roll. And it has the same idea: eat with your hands, and fresh is best. So, roll a few, and dip to your delight.

Image 2Banh Xeo 46a

7837 Stockton Blvd

(916) 476-4895

Hours: Every Day 11am-9pm

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