Enjoy Binh Dinh jumping shrimp pancakes in Hanoi


HANOI – Open for more than a month, Ms. My’s restaurant attracts many diners to enjoy Binh Dinh’s specialty – jumping shrimp pancakes.

Jumping shrimp pancake is a famous rustic specialty of Binh Dinh with a thin, crispy crust combined with fresh shrimp filling.

Ms. Vu Thi Tra My, 30 years old, said her husband is from Binh Dinh so she has had many opportunities to enjoy this specialty. In her husband’s family, there is also an uncle who has opened a shrimp pancake restaurant in Binh Dinh for more than 15 years. After a period of learning the recipe from her uncle in Binh Dinh, last October, she and her husband opened a shop at 28 Nguyen Phong Sac, Cau Giay district.

The initial number of visitors was not much. In the last two or three days, some experiences of the restaurant’s banh xeo dishes were posted on social networks, attracting a large number of diners.

The restaurant has an area of ​​about 70 m2, can arrange 8 tables, serving about 30 customers at a time. The space is simply decorated, tables and chairs are neatly arranged.

Open from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. every day, but in recent days the shop often closes early because it runs out of ingredients.

Most of the ingredients at the restaurant from shrimp, white shrimp, squid and rice, rice paper, banh hoi, and ram rolls are imported from Binh Dinh. Ms. My said shrimp and seafood in Binh Dinh are much cheaper than in the north even with additional shipping fees. In addition, she has not found a supplier of ground shrimp near Hanoi.

The two main ingredients of jumping shrimp pancakes are rice flour and ground shrimp. To make the crust crispy and fragrant without using additives, rice flour is mixed with green bean flour in a certain ratio.

The ingredient that creates the main flavor of the dish is fresh ground shrimp, which when purchased are still alive, jumping and cracking. This is also the reason this pancake is called jumping shrimp pancake.

Binh Dinh jumping shrimp pancakes have a smaller mold and size than the pancakes commonly found in Hanoi. The shop uses pans used to make jumping shrimp pancakes in Binh Dinh, about 15 cm in diameter.

After heating the oil in the pan, add about 5 – 6 ground shrimp and fry until cooked. Add a spoonful of rice flour, wait about 3 minutes for the flour to cook. Spread onions, bean sprouts, and green onions on top of the cake, cover the pot and wait about one to two minutes for the ingredients to cook evenly.

For squid pancakes and beef pancakes, the dough is poured into the pan first, and when it is almost cooked, the filling is added. The restaurant uses pre-steamed rice squid, transported from Binh Dinh. Each one is about 7 – 8 cm long, fits into the cake mold, and is purple-pink in color. Beef taken in Hanoi.

The processing process requires skill so that the crust is thin and crispy but not too hard or fragile. It is necessary to adjust the time and temperature when frying to maintain the sweetness and aroma as well as ensure the ripeness of the ingredients, without drying or burning.

Jumping shrimp pancakes in Binh Dinh are eaten with wet rice paper. Some accompanying vegetables are lettuce, sour mango, cucumber, perilla, and laksa leaves. Banh Xeo dipping sauce is made from anchovy fish sauce and spices such as garlic, lemon, and chili, giving a uniform sour, salty, and sweet flavor.

The way to eat jumping shrimp pancakes is the same as regular pancakes. The difference is that wet rice paper is softer, chewier, more flexible and sticky than regular dry rice paper, so removing each layer of cake to wrap the ingredients is a bit difficult.

Thin, milky white rice paper wrapped inside is just fried shrimp and squid, crispy and fragrant. Fresh raw vegetables and sour mango help reduce the greasiness of rice flour and frying oil. “The shop’s banh xeo is 90% made according to the recipe, the only missing ingredient is cabbage sprouts because they haven’t found a supplier yet,” said Ms. My.

Because it has just opened not long ago, customers coming to the restaurant are mainly office workers and university students in the Cau Giay district area, with few tourists.

Vu Thi Thanh Tho, 21 years old, a student at a university in Hanoi, first came to the restaurant on November 30. Tho hasn’t had the chance to travel to Binh Dinh so she came here to “try to see how Binh Dinh’s specialty banh xeo is different from banh xeo in Hanoi”.

Jumping shrimp pancakes are smaller in size, the crust is white rather than yellow and the dipping sauce has a stronger fish sauce flavor, Tho commented. “The taste of this cake is completely different from the banh xeo I usually eat, the crust is crispy but still soft, the shrimp and squid meat is delicious and sweet,” Tho said.

On average a day, the shop sells about 400 – 500 pieces, each priced at 35,000 VND. The restaurant is usually crowded from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. every day.

Although there are two serving kitchens, customers still have to wait because of the long processing time. “On November 29, there were an unexpected crowd of guests. I couldn’t arrange a table and there were few ingredients, so I had to refuse and ask them to come back the next day,” Ms. My said.

There is no significant difference in the number of visitors during the week and on weekends. Therefore, to avoid waiting, diners should avoid coming during peak hours.

($1=24,000 VND)
Photo,Video: Internet (Vinlove.net)