I fell head-over-heels in love with Vietnamese crepes (called bánh xèo) when I lived in New York City in my early twenties. The rice flour crepes are often filled with bean sprouts, ground pork and/or shrimp and are eaten in lettuce wraps. It’s one of my favorite dinners of all time.

Close up of a hand holding a piece of lettuce wrapped around a crispy rice crepe with cilantro.

Since we no longer have easy access to Vietnamese restaurants here in the Hudson Valley, I now recreate my favorite flavors at home. These rice flour crepes are filled with caramelized pork or turkey (although you can easily make them vegan—see below!), and they get served with crunchy lettuce leaves, fresh herbs and a sweet and salty dipping sauce. It’s a meal I crave, and my kids love it too. Don’t miss my step-by-step VIDEO below! 

Vietnamese crepes (bánh xèo)

If you’ve never had them, bánh xèo are savory crepes made with rice flour and turmeric. They’re deliciously crispy—the name refers to the sizzle in the pan when the batter hits the oil—and they’re usually filled with meat or fish. 

Close up of a crispy rice crepe filled with pork and bean sprouts.

Gluten free rice flour crepe recipe

These crepes are made with Bob’s Red Mill Stone Ground White Rice Flour and Bob’s Red Mill Arrowroot Starch/Flour, making them naturally gluten free. The rice flour is key, as it allows the crepes to turn deliciously crispy. It’s important to use Stone Ground White Rice Flour, not sweet rice flour, which is too gelatinous for these crepes. 

A bag of Bob's Red Mill Stone Ground White Rice Flour and a bag of Arrowroot Starch/Flour on a countertop.

Vietnamese crepe ingredients:

  • Bob’s Red Mill Stone Ground White Rice Flour: White rice flour provides the base for the crepes. Be sure to use stone-ground white rice flour, not brown rice flour or sweet rice flour. 
  • Bob’s Red Mill Arrowroot Starch/Flour: The crepe batter is bound with arrowroot starch (you can use cornstarch instead), making these crepes egg-free!
  • Turmeric powder: Turmeric gives the crepes a beautiful golden hue. 
  • Unsweetened Full-fat coconut milk: Coconut milk not only contributes to the texture, but it lends a subtly sweet flavor.
  • Water: Water thins the batter and helps hydrate the rice flour. 
  • Scallions: Scallions give the crepes a delicious flavor. 
All of the ingredients for the Vietnamese rice flour crepes arranged on a work surface.

Vietnamese dipping sauce

The crepes are served with an easy, umami-packed dipping sauce made with fresh lime juice, coconut sugar (or granulated sugar), garlic, serrano pepper and fish sauce. 

A hand dipping a rice flour crepe into a small bowl of dipping sauce.

How to make Vietnamese inspired rice crepes:

Like all crepes, these crepes take a bit of practice, but you’ll get the hang of it as you go. Also, keep in mind that these crepes are meant to be eating torn up inside of lettuce leaves, so if they tear in the skillet, it’s no big deal!

  • Make the crepe batter: Whisk together the crepe ingredients (the batter is much thinner than a French crepe batter), then let the batter sit for 30 minutes (or you can refrigerate it overnight).
Process shot showing a hand whisking the crepe batter.
  • Make the dipping sauce: Whisk together the dipping sauce ingredients.
Process shot showing a hand whisking together the Vietnamese dipping sauce ingredients.
  • Cook the ground pork (or turkey): Divide the ground pork into six portions. Cook a portion in a 10-inch non-stick skillet until it’s browned.
Process shot showing ground pork cooking in a non-stick skillet.
  • Swirl in the batter: Swirl in a scant 1/2 cup of batter, then sprinkle bean sprouts over half of the crepe (the bean sprouts are optional).
Process shot showing the rice flour crepe batter in a 10-inch skillet, topped with bean sprouts.
  • Cover and cook: Partially cover the pan and cook until the bean sprouts are slightly softened. Uncover the pan, loosen the edges of the crepe with a thin spatula, then continue cooking until the bottom of the crepe is golden brown and crispy.
A cooked rice flour crepe in a skillet.
  • Transfer to a rack: Fold the crepe over like an omelet and transfer it to a wire rack set inside a baking sheet. Slide the pan into the oven to keep warm while you make the rest of the crepes.
Process shot showing a spatula folding over a rice crepe in a skillet.
Vietnamese rice crepes arranged on a rack set inside a baking sheet.

Vegan rice flour crepes

Since the crepes are bound with Bob’s Red Mill Arrowroot Starch instead of eggs, you can easily make them vegan! Swap out the ground meat for tofu or tempeh crumbles and increase the oil to 2 tablespoons per crepe (to prevent sticking). Also, use tamari instead of fish sauce in the dipping sauce. 

Red lettuce leaves, fresh mint leaves and cilantro sprigs on a plate.

How do you eat crispy rice crepes?

The crepes are served with lettuce leaves along with fresh cilantro and mint (or you could try Thai basil). Wrap a piece of the crepe in a lettuce leaf, tuck in a few herbs, then dunk it into the sauce. The juxtaposition of the cool, juicy lettuce with the crispy warm crepe and the salty-sweet sauce is HEAVEN. 

Close up of a hand holding a rice crepe wrapped in lettuce.

FAQ

Can you make the crepes ahead?

The crepes can be kept warm in the oven for up to 1 hour before serving. Leftovers also store well!

How do you store leftover crepes?

Store any leftover crepes in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Before serving, heat them in a toaster oven or regular oven until warmed through and crisp. 

What’s good to put in rice crepes?

Ground pork (or turkey), chopped shrimp, bean sprouts, and/or firm tofu crumbles are all delicious in savory rice crepes. 

Close up of a piece of a crispy rice crepe, with a small bowl of dipping sauce alongside.

Vietnamese sources to explore!

It’s important to acknowledge that while cooking and eating have always been my favorite way to learn about other cultures and traditions, I’m in no way an authority on Vietnamese cooking. These crepes are not meant to be authentic, but I hope they will inspire you to dive deeper into Vietnamese cuisine at home. I encourage you to visit the work of some of my favorite Vietnamese sources, including as Andrea Nguyen, Charles Phan, Hungry Huy and Vicky Pham.   

Tips for making savory rice crepes:

  • It’s important to use a good non-stick skillet for these crepes. I love my Scan Pan, which has a fantastic non-stick surface and is teflon free. 
  • Be sure to use Bob’s Red Mill Stone Ground White Rice Flour, not sweet rice flour or brown rice flour in these crepes. 
  • You can swap out the Arrowroot Starch/Flour for Cornstarch
  • Use full-fat coconut milk (not light) in the crepe batter and stir it well before using.
  • If you’d like, you can swap out the ground pork or turkey for chopped fresh shrimp (or do a mix of shrimp and pork!).
  • If your ground meat is really lean, feel free to add more oil to the pan as needed (conversely, if your meat is fatty you can cut back on the oil). 
  • For vegan rice crepes, swap out the ground meat for tofu or tempeh crumbles and increase the oil to 2 tablespoons per crepe (to prevent sticking). Also, use tamari instead of fish sauce in the dipping sauce. 
  • For a stronger garlic flavor in the dipping sauce, grate the garlic clove instead of slicing it. 

Thank you to Bob’s Red Mill for sponsoring this post! I was compensated for this post, but all opinions and recipes are mine alone. Thank you to all of the companies who help keep From Scratch Fast cooking!

A Vietnamese inspired rice flour crepe on a plate with a bite taken out.

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Vietnamese Inspired Crispy Rice Crepes

These crispy rice flour crepes are studded with scallions and are filled with caramelized pork or turkey (although you can easily make them vegan—see below!). They get served with crunchy lettuce leaves, fresh herbs and a sweet and salty dipping sauce—it’s the ultimate combination of flavors and textures. Bean sprouts gives the crepes texture and subtle flavor, but you can omit them if you prefer. The crepes take a bit of practice, but you’ll get better as you go (and I promise the results are worth it!!). And remember, if the crepes tear in the pan it’s no big deal—you’re going to tear them up when eating anyway. Take note that the crepe batter needs to rest for at least 30 minutes (or up to 1 day) before cooking. Be sure to check out my step-by-step video above!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Resting Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Asian crepes, rice crepes, Rice flour crepes recipe, Vietnamese crepes
Servings: 6 crepes

Equipment

  • 10 inch non-stick skillet

Ingredients

Crepe batter

  • 1 cup (148g) Bob’s Red Mill Stone Ground White Rice Flour
  • 2 tablespoons (13g) Bob’s Red Mill Arrowroot Starch/Flour
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened full-fat coconut milk (well stirred)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

Dipping sauce

  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar or granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (from 1-2 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce, or to taste
  • 1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1 serrano pepper or 1 small jalapeño, thinly sliced

Crepe filling

  • 1 pound ground pork or dark meat ground turkey
  • 6 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil (such as grapeseed or safflower oil)
  • Salt
  • 2 cups bean sprouts (optional)

For serving

  • Red or green lettuce leaves
  • Fresh mint and cilantro leaves

Instructions

Make the crepe batter

  • In a bowl, whisk together the rice flour, arrowroot starch, turmeric and salt. Add the coconut milk, water and scallions, and whisk until smooth (the batter will be quite thin). Cover and let rest for 30 minutes (or refrigerate overnight). Do Ahead: The batter can be refrigerated for up to 1 day.

Make the dipping sauce

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Whisk in in the lime juice and fish sauce to taste (different brands of fish sauce vary in their intensity). Stir in the garlic and serrano pepper. Do Ahead: The sauce can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.

Cook the crepes

  • Preheat the oven to 200˚F (90˚C). Place a wire rack in a large baking sheet.
  • Divide the pork or turkey into 6 portions on a piece of parchment paper or on a plate.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add one portion of the ground meat and season with salt. Cook, stirring and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until it’s browned and cooked through, about 1-2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and spread the meat out over the bottom of the pan.
  • Give the crepe batter a good stir (the rice flour will settle to the bottom). Pour a scant 1/2 cup of the batter into the skillet, swirling it to evenly coat the bottom (the batter should should start to sizzle immediately). Sprinkle about 1/3 cup of the bean sprouts over one side of the crepe (if using). Cover the pan, leaving the lid slightly ajar to let the steam escape, and cook until the bean sprouts are slightly softened, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Uncover the pan and loosen the edges of the crepe with a thin spatula. Let the crepe cook until the bottom is golden brown and crispy, about 1-3 minutes longer (be patient and don’t fuss—the crepe will loosen from the pan once it’s browned). Slide the crepe onto the prepared rack, folding it in half (it’s okay if it breaks!). Place the pan in the oven to keep warm.
  • Repeat with the rest of the batter, stirring the crepe batter and adding another tablespoon of oil between each batch. Adjust the heat as needed (trust your instincts!).
  • Serve the crepes with lettuce leaves, mint, cilantro and the dipping sauce. To eat, tear off a piece of crepe and wrap it in a lettuce leaf with a few herbs, then dunk the bundle in the dipping sauce. HEAVEN!

Notes

Do Ahead: The cooked crepes (without the lettuce and herbs) can be kept warm in the oven for up to 1 hour before serving. Leftovers are also delicious the next day! Refrigerate the crepes in an airtight container then reheat them in the oven or toaster oven until warmed through and crisp.
Tips:
  • It’s important to use a good non-stick skillet for these crepes. I love my Scan Pan, which has a fantastic non-stick surface and is teflon free. 
  • Be sure to use Bob’s Red Mill Stone Ground White Rice Flour, not sweet rice flour or brown rice flour in these crepes. 
  • You can swap out the Arrowroot Starch/Flour for Cornstarch
  • Use full-fat coconut milk (not light) in the crepe batter and stir it well before using.
  • If you’d like, you can swap out the ground pork or turkey for chopped fresh shrimp (or do a mix of shrimp and pork!).
  • If your ground meat is really lean, feel free to add more oil to the pan as needed (conversely, if your meat is fatty you can cut back on the oil). 
  • For vegan rice crepes, swap out the ground meat for tofu or tempeh crumbles and increase the oil to 2 tablespoons per crepe (to prevent sticking). Also, use tamari instead of fish sauce in the dipping sauce. 
  • For a stronger garlic flavor in the dipping sauce, grate the garlic clove instead of slicing it. 

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