Mini rice flour pockets with tiger prawns & prawn floss

Mini rice flour pockets with tiger prawns & prawn floss

Bánh khọt

Street Food Asia
Alan Benson

Next on my Cô Giang food crawl menu is this fantastic dish – a miniature version of the typical Vietnamese savoury pancakes (bánh xèo), traditionally eaten with lettuce cups or mustard leaves, fresh herbs and pickled veggies before being dunked in nuoc cham. These little pancakes are often cooked in a special cast-iron griddle pan over a high heat, which leaves the outside texture crispy while keeping the insides creamy and soft.


Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon dried mung beans, soaked in cold water overnight
4 cooked tiger prawns, peeled and deveined
vegetable oil, for brushing
1 spring onion, thinly sliced, green part only
60ml Spring onion oil, for drizzling
60ml Nuoc cham, for drizzling

Prawn floss

Quantity Ingredient
6 cooked tiger prawns, peeled, deveined and finely diced


Quantity Ingredient
125g rice flour
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
50ml coconut cream
60g left-over cooked jasmine rice
sea salt


  1. Half-fill a steamer, wok or large saucepan with water and bring to a rapid boil over a high heat.
  2. Line a steamer basket or bamboo steamer with baking paper and punch a few small holes in the paper. Drain the mung beans and place them in the steamer, then set over the pan and cover with a lid. Steam for 15 minutes, or until the beans are soft. Set aside.
  3. To make the prawn floss, use a mortar and pestle to pound the diced prawns to a smooth paste.
  4. Place a small non-stick saucepan over a low heat, add the prawn paste and cook for 20–30 minutes, stirring the mixture regularly and pressing it down onto the bottom of the pan using the back of a fork, until the prawn meat is dry, fibrous and crisp. (The idea is to dry the prawn meat — it should not colour, and you should notice a small amount of steam being released from the prawns.) Remove from the heat and leave to cool to room temperature.
  5. For the batter, combine the rice flour, turmeric and a pinch of salt in a bowl and mix well. Add 250 ml water, the coconut cream and the cooked rice and stir to combine, then blend until smooth with a hand-held blender.
  6. Slice the whole prawns in half lengthways, then slice each half into three pieces and set aside.
  7. Heat an eight-mould bánh khot pan or a Dutch pancake pan (poffertjes pan) over a medium–high heat and brush the moulds with vegetable oil. Add a tablespoon of batter to each mould, turning the pan in a circular motion to run the batter up the edges of the moulds, then add a pinch each of steamed mung bean and sliced spring onion together with a few prawn pieces to each mould. Place the lid over the pan, reduce the heat slightly and cook for 2–3 minutes, or until the batter is cooked through.
  8. Using a teaspoon, remove the pockets from the moulds and transfer to a serving platter. Repeat the cooking process with any leftover batter and prawns.
  9. To serve, sprinkle a generous amount of the prawn floss over each pocket and drizzle with spring onion oil and nuoc cham.
South-East Asian
Street Food
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