1 bunch coriander
2 onions, quartered
1 teaspoon five spice powder
6 star anise
2kg lamb flap
500ml lamb or chicken stock
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
60ml red or rice vinegar, plus 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
150g cashews
2 tablespoons black vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 chillies, sliced (leave the seeds in for a hot sauce)
1 tablespoon palm sugar
juice of 2 limes
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon honey
350g crisp lettuce leaves (I used Cos)
3 cups of mixed herbs, preferably a mix of Vietnamese and English mint, Thai and purple basil, coriander leaves from above
half a cucumber, sliced diagonally
6 small tomatoes, cut in small wedges
1 cup buckwheat flour
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup cashew or almond milk
½ cup water
1 tablespoon oil plus a bit extra
1 onion, cut in thin wedges
1 cup bean sprouts

Vietnamese banh xeo are traditionally cooked with rice flour, but here I have used buckwheat for its earthy, nutty flavour. Feel free to use rice flour if you prefer.


1.Heat the oven to 160°C.
2.Chop the stalks off the coriander and set the leaves aside.
3.Place the stalks in a large roasting dish with the onion, five spice powder and star anise and place the lamb on top, skin side up.
4.Pour over the stock, sprinkle the top of the lamb with salt, cover the dish with foil and bake for 3 hours.
5.Remove the lamb to a plate, drain off the stock (you can use this for another purpose) and discard the onion and spices.
6.Set the lamb aside until cool enough to handle.
7.Turn the lamb to skin side down and pull or cut out any small bones – the lamb will be falling off the bone so they are very easy to remove.
8.Put the lamb back in the dish skin side up and pour over the wine and the 60ml of red or rice vinegar, cover and set aside for an hour, or you can refrigerate for up to 2 days until needed.
9.TO MAKE THE CASHEWS, heat the oven to 150°C.
10.Put the cashews in a bowl with the black vinegar and mix well.
11.Spread the nuts in an even layer on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
12.Bake for 15 minutes, stirring once.
13.Replace the baking paper (as the vinegar sometimes catches), stir through the soy sauce and roast for another 10 minutes.
14.Cool completely and store in an airtight container.
15.Roughly chop before serving.
16.TO MAKE THE NOUC CHAM, whisk together the chillies, palm sugar, lime juice, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar and fish sauce until the sugar is dissolved.
17.Set the nuoc cham aside for at least 30 minutes for the chillies to flavour the sauce.
19.When ready to serve, heat the oven to 200°C.
20.Combine the hoisin sauce and honey and smear over the top of the lamb.
21.Roast the lamb to heat through and crisp up for 15-20 minutes.
22.Cut into pieces and arrange on a dish.
23.Arrange the pancakes, lamb, lettuce leaves, mint, cucumber, tomato, cashews and nuoc cham on serving dishes on the table.
24.Each person tears off pieces of pancake and puts it in a bowl or on a lettuce leaf with lamb, herbs, cucumber, tomato, nuoc cham and cashews.
26.In a bowl, mix together the buckwheat flour, turmeric, sugar, baking powder and salt.
27.Stir in the cashew or almond milk and water and stir well, making sure there are no lumps.
28.Set aside for 1 hour.
29.Heat the oil in a medium-sized frying pan over a medium heat.
30.Cook the onion for five minutes until soft, then add the bean sprouts and toss for one minute.
31.Set aside.
32.Wipe out the pan and heat some more oil (I like to use quite a bit to get crunchy edges).
33.Whisk the batter well and ladle about 1⁄2 cup into the frying pan.
34.Swirl so the batter completely covers the surface.
35.Spoon a quarter of the onion and bean sprouts over one side of the pancake.
36.Cover the frying pan with a lid and cook for about 2 minutes until set.
37.Fold the pancake in half using a spatula and gently slide onto a warmed serving plate.
38.Wipe the pan clean and make remaining pancakes in the same way.

Recipes & Food Styling  Fiona Smith / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Fiona Lascelles

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