Bahn Mi (Vietnamese Sandwiches)
Vietnamese sandwiches (Bánh mì ___)
Vietnamese sandwiches are the latest Vietnamese food that have gained popularity in the last couple years. "Bánh mì" means "bread" in Vietnamese so it always sounds funny to my ear when it is used in an English sentence to mean the sandwich. My family rarely makes the sandwiches at home because they are so cheap and the bakery has awesome bread for it. When we say we're going to get sandwiches we usually qualify "Bánh mì" with the name of the restaurant, so to refer to the sandwich we say "Bánh mì Ba Lẹ" because Ba Lẹ is where we buy them. If you want to be grammatically proper when making them at home you can say Bánh mì (name the protein you will be filling the sandwich with). Of course everyone knows you mean the sandwich when you say Bánh mì though, so this is just one of those things that causes me to be overly prescriptive.
- Good crusty bread that has a light and crisp exterior but a soft interior. I like Peter Reinhart's Pain a l'Ancienne from the Bread Baker's Apprentice which is more on the airy side than soft on the inside but I just love that bread.
- Homemade mayonnaise. I like to make the mayo with more lemon juice so that it is a little more tart. Different shops will make the mayo differently. Some use the whole egg instead of just the yolk. Some mix the mayo with butter. Others mix a little Maggi seasoning in with it. Experiment to find what you like best.
- Maggi seasoning. You can substitute soy sauce but Maggi has a distinctive taste:
- Protein: One classic combination is to use pork pate, ham that often has whole peppercorns in it, and other cold cuts. You can use any of the Vietnamese grilled meats too. Fried lemongrass tofu is excellent. Or just use whatever you have on hand since the toppings are what really create the flavor profile of this sandwich.
- Sliced jalapeno. They tend to be sliced lengthwise for spears to go in the sandwich.
- Cucumber spears
- Pickled carrot and daikon radish
Build a sandwich! I have pictures of the process but realized that is boring.
- Cut your bread. Pull out some of the insides if there's too much of it.
- Spread on your mayo.
- Drizzle on your Maggi.
- Place down your protein.
- Place down some jalapeno if you like it spicy. Or even some squirts of sriracha.
- Lay some cucumber spears next to the jalapeno.
- Pile on some cilantro sprigs.
- Top with Pickled_Carrot_and_Daikon_Radish.
Compress and eat! OP by Mich, submitted by Aery