This month I would like to bring a little Vietnamese taste to you. My ethnic background is Chinese-Vietnamese and I have grown up learning Vietnamese cooking from my mum.
I have made a very traditional Vietnamese dish called “Bánh Xèo” translated to sizzling crêpes. It brought back a lot of happy childhood memories when I was making these. Traditionally, you eat them with king prawns and pork belly and plenty of fresh vegetables or if you are vegetarian I find smoked tofu and vegetables taste just as good! We usually serve them with lots of different types of herbs and lettuces.
This dish is definitely something for the whole family, very toddler friendly. I told my toddler son they are called crispy pancakes. haha!
Let’s make some sizzling crêpes!!!
Ingredients for bánh xèo batter
- 150gr rice flour
- 1/4 / 60 ml cup coconut cream (I used the thick part floating of coconut milk)
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 stalks of spring onion / Scallion (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 tsp himalayian salt
- 1 cup / 250 ml water
- vegetable oil for cooking (I used peanut oil)
Ingredients for the filling
- 200 gr pork belly, thinly sliced (optional – cooked for 30-40 minutes in salted water on medium heat)
- 1/2 cup cooked prawns (optional)
- 2 large carrots, thinly shredded / grated)
- 1 cup beans sprouts
- 1 yellow onion (thinly sliced)
Side dish – all fresh
- mint leaves
- coriander leaves
- mixed lettuces
- sliced spring onions / scallions
- beans sprouts
Ingredients for Nuoc Cham Sauce – Vietnamese sweet & sour dipping sauce
- 1 clove garlic (chopped)
- 1/2-1 red thai bird’s eye chile (chopped, be careful it’s very hot!)
- 1 tbps fish sauce ( I used my favourite brand “Squid”)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- juice of 1/2 of a lemon
- Boil pork belly in salted water for 30-40 minutes or pan fry smoked tofu on both sides.
- Prepare all vegetables and make the dipping sauce.
- Combine rice flour, coconut cream, turmeric, spring onion and salt in a bowl with water. Stir until a smooth batter forms. Cover and set aside to rest for 1 hour.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan (I used a medium size) over medium-high heat until it’s hot. Brush over with oil then add 1/4 cup batter, swirling pan to form a thin crêpe. If you are using a large frying pan then double the amount of batter.
- For each crêpe, add a few pieces of pork belly/tofu, sear both sides, the add onion and a few pieces of prawns. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until it’s just cooked through, scatter one half of pancake with carrots, bean sprouts. Flip pancake in half to cover filling and cook for a further 30 seconds.
- Remove and serve while it’s still crispy with the side dish and pour some dipping over the crêpe.
- Repeat the process with the remaining batter.
YUM & ENJOY!
Eating different colours doesn’t just make your dish look more appealing to your children, but it also packs in a variety of different nutrients and vitamins.
There are so many fruits and vegetables that I could use and I have chosen one of my favourite root vegetable “Beetroot”!
Betroot is low in fat, full of vitamins and minerals and packed with powerful antioxidants – a health-food titan. Beetroots are an excellent source of folic acid and a very good source of fibre, manganese and potassium. The greens should not be overlooked; they can be cooked up and enjoyed in the same way as spinach, the leaves have a bitter taste whereas the round root is sweet. Belonging to the same family as chard and spinach. Typically a rich purple colour, beetroot can also be white or golden. Due to its high sugar content, beetroot is delicious eaten raw but is more typically cooked or pickled.
Source: To read more about this wonder vegetable go to http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/ingredient-focus-beetroot
Have you ever tasted cheesy beetroot scones? I love anything with beetroots and this is now my new favourite. haha! The cheese is so over powering that you can barely taste beetroot in them.
This recipe is very kids friendly. I served one to toddler son Jacob (3 years old) with some unsalted butter and more cheese on top! For little brother Constantin (13 months) I just gave it to him plain and he was really savouring the taste.
As for myself I was happy with a dollop of salted butter. YUM! These scones taste so good with any fillings from savoury to sweet.
Let’s makie some beetroot cheesy scones!
Served 16 small scones
- 1 1/2 cup / 250gr of plain all purpose flour (I used spelt hence the darkness)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 -1 1/2 cup of grated mature cheedar cheese or any other strong cheese such as greyer
- 70 gr good quality butter left at room temperature
- 1/4 cup full fat milk or buttermilk
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1 medium beetroot
- a little milk to glaze
Oven temparature 190C fan / 200C / 390F. Pre-heat the oven and bake them for 15-20 minutes.
- Wear disposable gloves and an apron when peeling the beetroot, this will keep your hand and clothes from staining. Cut into half and steam for 15-20 minutes until the beetroot is al dente (slightly hard in middle). Grate them and set aside.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the butter and rubb it in well into the flour with your finger tips until they look like bread crumbs.
- Add cheese, milk, egg and beetroot.
- Mix well and plop the dough onto a floured surface and bring the dough together until you have a ball. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes. This will allow the dough to rise before cutting it.
- Make sure that you measure the height before cutting the dough. I made my one 2cm high but next time I will increase to 2.5 cm high. Press the cutter straight down without twisting. Once the first batch is ready, gently bring the dough back into a ball, you don’t want to overwork the dough and repeat the steps until you have used up all the dough.
- Line them up over a non stick baking sheet and brush them over with milk.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes in a pre-heated oven.
I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
Baked Salmon Kale Fish Balls
Here is another fun way to serve salmon and kale together to your kids and they won’t even notice them because they are so #delicious ! The texture is extremely soft and ideal for #blw babies from 6-7 months old!
I have a very fussy eater since he was a baby and I tend add veggies and hide them wherever possible. The smaller the bits the more likely he will eat them! I really envy parents who have good eaters!
These yummy fish balls also make a great #lunchbox lunch, simply preheat a little beforehand.
- 300 gr salmon fillet (cubed)
- 1 cup of kale (chopped) – I used frozen chopped kale
- 1 large carrot (chopped)
- 1 very large / 4 small shallot (sliced) or 1 small onion
- 1 1/2 cup cooked cous cous (I used leftover)
- 1 tsp pink salt ( avoid for babies under 12m )
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tbsp organic coldpressed coconut oil
- Boil the cous cous and leave to cool down completely or use leftover.
- Put kale, carrot and onion/shallot in a food processor & blitz until the they look finely chopped, remove & rinse off the remains. Put the salmon in the food processor and blend for approxmiately 5 secs.
- Add 1 tsbp of coconut oil in a medium size fryin pan, keep it on medium heat. Add the kale mix and saute until the carrots is almost cooked. It will make the texture a lot nicer to chew for your toddler(s).
- Move all ingredients in to a large bowl. Add salt, lemon juice and mix well. Cover the bowls with cling film and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven at 190°C. Mould them into little/big balls and place over a pre-lined baking paper and baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through.
- Suitable for freezing. ❄❄❄