Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwich....Have you ever had a Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich? Well, it's a different sort of sandwich...a Vietnamese sandwich with a French twist. A sandwich that can't be found here in Montana....or at least I'm not aware of any place that sells them. I have to say that it has been quite a few years since I've last had one. But I do remember when I was first introduced to it...
My older brother had come across a Vietnamese sandwich shop, that had just opened up near his house. The shop offered all sorts of Banh Mi sandwiches...fried egg, pork meatball, bbq pork, deli meat, tofu, shrimp, etc. I vividly remember him raving about their sandwiches... how good and cheap they were. He told me you could basically get a sandwich for $1.50! At the time, I had no idea that there was such a thing as a Vietnamese sandwich. I guess I mostly associated "Asian" food with stir-fries, soups, egg rolls... but definitely not sandwiches. I remember asking my brother, " Well, how is the Vietnamese sandwich different?". He then started describing the sandwich to me...that it had some pate, head cheese, pickled vegetables, fresh cucumber slices, onion, fresh cilantro, etc.... I had never heard of such a sandwich before. Was that Asian? It sounded more European to me...minus the cilantro:). I must say that it's quite nice to have brothers who actually take care to "educate" me:)...
It wasn't long after that conversation, that I had the chance to join my brother for lunch and experience the sandwich for myself. That Banh Mi sandwich was incredibly good... it was different, yet familiar. I guess it sort of reminded me of the type of sandwich we ate while growing up. I say sort of, only because the addition of pickled vegetables and cilantro was new to me. But I rather liked the crunch and taste of the pickled carrots and radish....and the cilantro just brought so much flavor. Anyway, the sandwich was definitely delicious. I felt like I could have tried all their sandwich options...
So the other week, I happened to be in my local supermarket and noticed that they had just started selling these beautiful mini baguettes. I don't always go by the bread aisle, just because I do bake most of my bread at home. But when I saw the mini version of the baguette, I instantly bought some.... just to be able to make the Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich for my husband. You know, I am glad I did....I guess I really wanted to have him try the sandwich I so well remembered. He loved it... and we ended up having another sandwich the next day:)
The fun part of making your own Banh Mi sandwich, is that you can vary the fillings and condiments according to taste. It is worth making a different sort of sandwich every so often. It's even more fun if you are making it for a large group....you can have each guest prepare their own, with ingredients they like. I have listed just some possible ingredients, so feel free to make your own combination. Hope you enjoy....
You will need:
Meat Banh Mi:
Seasoned pork meatballs
Breakfast Banh Mi:
Sunny side up fried egg
Cucumber slices( preferably Persian/Japanese)
Red onion slices
Toast baguette in oven for a minute or so until nice and crispy. Cut in half lengthwise.
1. Spread a layer of pate on the baguette. Add some mayo, if you like.
2. Arrange slices of cucumber.
3. Choose meat/egg filling and add to baguette.
4. Add pickled daikon and carrots
5. Add onion, jalapeno and cilantro.
6. Sprinkle a touch of soy sauce and enjoy!