The Recipe

Cambodian Bahn Chow
Iceberg wraps filled with crepe, chicken, coconut, and fresh mint and basil.
As cooked by Sopheap Im from Battam Bong, Cambodia,
in South Portland, ME, Sept 2009
Makes 14 crepes, serves 6-8 people

Bahn Chow Dipping Sauce

1 small shallot, finely sliced
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 small red chili pepper
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp distilled vinegar
2 ½ cups water
2 Tbsp fish sauce
½ tsp sambal olek chili
1/2 cup roasted peanuts

Mix everything but the peanuts together to let flavors meld while you cook. Grind peanuts in coffee grinder or chop with knife; add right before serving.

Crepe Filling

¾ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
¾ tsp sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. fresh or frozen grated unsweetened coconut
1 whole chicken, meat ground or chopped finely
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 red onion, sliced in half moon shapes
½ pound bean sprouts, soaked in water then drained

Spread grated coconut evenly on a sheet pan and roast until slightly dry and golden. Heat vegetable oil in large saute pan or wok, add salt, pepper, sugar and garlic. When those begin to caramelize (turn light brown), add chicken. When chicken is well cooked, add roasted coconut, and onion. Keep chicken mixture and bean sprouts in separate bowls near pan where crepes will be made.

Crepe Batter

1 14 oz bag Bot Banh Xeo crepe mix
1 can coconut milk
3 ½ cup water
1 egg
pinch turmeric powder
small piece pork fat or vegetable oil

Mix all ingredients (except pork/oil) until smooth. Spear the piece of pork fat with a fork and keep in a small bowl next to the stove. Heat a12-inch nonstick skillet on medium high and wipe pork over hot surface. Ladel ½ cup batter into pan and tilt pan to spread batter into crepe shape, cover with lid. When rawness is gone, put ½ cup chicken mixture in center of crepe, and ½ cup fresh bean sprouts on top of that. Let heat 1-2 minutes. When edges of crepe get dry and crispy, fold crepe in half over filling, and place the whole thing on a sheet pan or large serving platter. Make 14 more stuffed crepes, putting pieces of tinfoil between each so they don’t stick and are easy to transport to plates.

Wrap Fixins

1 huge bunch fresh mint
1 huge bunch fresh basil
1-2 heads iceberg lettuce
2 cucumbers
Wash mint and basil and pick leaves, putting mounds of each on a platter with washed and quartered iceberg. Use a zester to make ridges in the skin of the cucumbers. Slice diagonally and place on platter.

How to Eat It

Use your hands. No silverware. Take a piece of lettuce, fill it with one cucumber slice, one mint leaf, two basil leaves, a piece of the bahn chow crepe and a little filling. Roll the lettuce so that all the ingredients wrapped inside. Dip in the sauce and eat! Continue until you’re full.