Banh khot is the regional specialty of Vung Tau, my family’s hometown in Vietnam. Normally, it’s made in a cast-iron pan with small, domed wells, much like aebleskiver or takoyaki pans, with the shrimp on top. My mom and I came up with this rendition of it, which is a lot more accessible if you don’t have that kind of pan. If you want to get super fancy, grill the shrimp separately and brush with the scallion oil to use as a topping.
- Heat up the oil in a small pot until hot. You can test the oil by throwing in one piece of scallion. If it sizzles, you’re good to go! Pour the scallions into the oil and stir immediately to distribute them evenly.
- Pulse rice with coconut milk in a food processor until blended, and combine with the shrimp, rice flour, cornstarch, beer, water, turmeric, salt, and oil. Let rest 30 minutes.
- While the batter is resting, warm up your waffle iron and set it to the medium-high setting. When the iron is hot, pour ¾ C of the batter in or proceed according to your machine’s instructions.
- Cut the waffles into pieces you can comfortably hold, then drizzle them with scallion oil. Use a lettuce leaf to wrap a piece and garnish with perilla leaf. Dip in fish sauce!
When Soleil was in kindergarten, she reviewed a book for Reading Rainbow that she didn’t actually read. She is mainly a chef and cohosts Racist Sandwich, a biweekly podcast on food and its intersections with race, class, and gender.