Top Ten Khmer Foods: #1 Ban Chao

1) Ban Chao -
Ban Chao is a thin savory crepe made with turmeric, eggs, water and rice flour, filled with bean sprouts and your choice of ground meat and veg, and eaten with a lush array of green veggies. The glory of Ban Chao is in the procedure. It’s eaten with the hands — pick a perfect lettuce leaf, fill it with your choice of the veggies and leafy greens provided (amaranth, water convolvulus, chyrsanthemum leaves, cabbage, cucumber, basil, mint, water mimosa, and other curious Cambodia-only green things). Then tear off a piece of crepe and filling, wrap up the whole glorious flavor packet, and dip it into the sweet, garlicky dipping sauce.

Making Ban Chao filling with pork

Making the crepes

The finished product

And the veggie medley

How the experts operate

Yum!

* Ban Chao’s Vietnamese equivalent is Ban Xeo (pronounced roughly the same way). The Vietnamese equivalent is often made a bit crispier with more oil in the pan while frying, and can sometimes have the ingredients embedded in the batter rather than included after the crepe is almost cooked.

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