Vietnamese Sandwich 'Banh Mi' Recipe


Driving through the streets in Vietnam early in the morning, there is one dish you will see more than anything- the fantastically simple Banh mi. This sandwich can also be traced back to the French colonial period, even through the roots of the name; banh is pronounced similarly to the French word for bread pain and literally translates into “bread made from wheat.”  

Initially this dish was imported and only sold by expensive bakeries, however it began to spread to the masses when the Vietnamese working class discovered ways to change the ingredients and make it more accessible. Today the typical Vietnamese Banh mi consists of mayonnaise, pate, sliced ham and pork, pickled vegetables, coriander, and hot sauce. The fusion of flavours between the Vietnamese fillings and French baguette makes this delicious meal a favourite of many.

Ingredients :

For the pork:

  • 10 cups simmering water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 medium serrano chiles, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, cracked
  • 3 pounds boneless pork butt

For the pickled carrots:

  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled and coarsely shredded carrots (from about 3 medium)

Banh Mi Stuffing :

  • 2 Vietnamese or French baguettes (not sourdough)
  • 6 tablespoons homemade or high-quality store-bought mayonnaise (see Game Plan note)
  • 10 ounces pork pâté (optional)
  • 1 large English cucumber, halved crosswise and sliced lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick pieces
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 jalapeños, sliced lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick pieces
 How To Make :
  1. Slice off the top 1/3 of the baguettes lengthwise and set aside. Remove enough of the bottom interiors so that the filling can fit easily.
  2.  Spread 1 tablespoon of the mayonnaise on each baguette’s upper 1/3 and 2 tablespoons on each bottom. Crumble half of the pâté (if using) on each bottom section, then top with sliced pork (there may be some left over), cucumber, cilantro leaves, pickled carrots, and jalapeños. Sprinkle each sandwich with soy sauce and close with the upper parts of the baguettes. Place 10 toothpicks approximately 1 inch apart to secure the sandwiches and slice into about 10 (1-1/2-inch) pieces. Serve.


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