June 8, 2024

Phnom Penh’s greatest banh xeo

4 min read

What is Phnom Penh’s finest banh xeo? It’s weird to have a yearning for Vietnamese cuisine when you live in Cambodia since there are so many similar meals. That being said, I have had one lately.

Both Vietnam and Cambodia have loc lak (spelled differently), but Num Pang is found in Cambodia. Banh Xeo is next in line.

What role does a name play? Banh Chao vs. Banh Xeo

The Khmer equivalent of the isn, banh chao, was originally brought to us by a friend who lives in Cambodia last year. When our local Vietnam expert saw it, she identified it as a Vietnamese cuisine. As they debated the topic, humor won out.

Read more about Banh Chao here. For the sake of this post, we shall discuss Vietnamese banh xeo.

Bánh xèo: what is it?

The crispy, filled rice pancake known as banh xeo is very popular in both Vietnam and Cambodia. It may be found as a very basic street food snack and at fine dining establishments. It works with meats, veggies, and a variety of unusual herbs.

Stuffing all these things onto a leaf to make a bizarre sandwich is the most enjoyable aspect of making banh xeo. This meal is delicious, despite its peculiar name!

What is meant by banh?

You will encounter the phrase banh everywhere if you have even the slightest familiarity with Vietnamese cuisine. like in the banh mi stated before. Depending on the situation, banh lonely may be translated as either cake or bread. The bread used to prepare the sandwich is referred to as banh mi.

It’s interesting to note that it may also refer to very inedible items that resemble bread or cake, such bánh xe, which literally translates as “care tire”!

What is meant by Xeo?

“Sizzle” is what the Xeo in Banh Xeo signifies. It therefore means “sizzling cake” in literal terms. Very cool, huh. However, I assume you are still unaware of the dish’s true identity, so let’s move on to that section.

What is meant by banh xeo?

A tasty fried pancake prepared with rice flour, water, and turmeric powder is the first dish you make. a kind of vVietnamese crepe! You may see them make the pancake in front of you as you consume it as street food. Really awesome!

Try 60 Meter Street for this meal in particular, but also fantastic for regular street food if you’re in Siem Reap. Read more about it here.

Then, “stuff” is added to the pancake. This may be anything from shrimp to various meats, but from what I’ve seen, the most common combination is minced pork, onions, and bean sprouts.

But there’s still more! After that, a large platter of leaves is presented with it. These include lettuce, mint leaves, Thai basil, and, at the very least, “jungle leaves” in Cambodia. They taste excellent, but I’ve never been able to find out precisely what they are in Khmer.

Now that we know it’s a concoction of several components that don’t seem to blend well together, how do you actually eat the dang thing? This is the enjoyable portion.

How is banh xeo eaten?


How is it cons? Let’s take this step-by-step!

  1. Cut a portion of the pancake off.
  2. Scoop up the meat and bean sprouts with the pancake.
  3. Take a leaf—lettuce or not.
  4. Encase everything in the leaf.
  5. Eat it 

That’s how banh xeo is eaten, then! The leaf functions almost like sandwich bread. It made me think of Korean BBQ, where lettuce is also used to cover the meat. Just so you know, Pyongyang’s Duck BBQ restaurant is the best venue for this!

I’ll make a post on it eventually.

What flavor is banh xeo?

The leaf is what really sets this pancake apart; it’s crispy on the surface and soft in the center, with minced pork throughout. What gives banh xeo its distinct flavor is wrapping it in a leafy green that has a minty or herbaceous flavor.

What separates Banh Chao from Banh Xeo?

If being very honest, not that much—maybe excluding the laves that you are given. It all depends on what local foods are in season. And it’s that moment that gives the meal its remarkable and surprising qualities.

The best available in Phnom Penh?

To be explicit once again, we are discussing banh xeo, not បាញ់ᐆែᐜ. So, you must be Vietnamese in order to be eligible! The greatest Vietnamese cuisine in Phnom Penh can be found at Magnolia Cuisine, which you can read about here. According to the narrative, they are well-known for their banh xeo. It was excellent; we had it.

BUT! Even though I liked it, banh xeo is better served as street food, in my opinion, than as a fancy meal.

All of the information regarding Bang Xeo is provided here!

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