Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Banh Mi

The banh mi (pronounced BUN-mee) is a Vietnamese-French sandwich that suddenly seems to be everywhere! There is no definitive recipe, this is just my cobbled together version. I don't even like sandwiches that much--I mean, I don't not like them, I just don't eat them on a regular basis. But this recipe...I seem to be eating every day (hopefully it's just a phase). I had to make my own since there aren't any Vietnamese restaurants in the area. Traditionally this is served with a couple of pork products--ham, barbecued pork, pate, etc.--but in this version I just use the chicken sausage I usually make for breakfast. It isn't an open-faced sandwich like you might guess from the above picture--I just photographed it that way since the insides looked so purty!
  • bun: you're supposed to use a baguette, but I prefer softer sub rolls you get at the supermarket (lightly toasted)
  • mayo: I know some people don't like mayonnaise, whatever...so don't use it then
  • cilantro: ditto the mayo comment
  • sausage: I end up cutting the patty in half and placing end to end to fit on the roll
  • cucumber: sliced or planked (am I making up this word? I mean cutting it lengthwise, instead of in rounds)
  • pickled carrot & radish: I'm debating whether to include the recipe I used for this since I'm not crazy about it.* I think you could just julienne some carrots and throw those on for crunch.
  • jalapeno slivers
  • sriracha sauce: I couldn't find this hot sauce in my area, but picked some up in Brooklyn. Love it! Before that, I did try making my own by blending up some Tabasco sauce, minced garlic and jalepeno, red chili oil and a touch of Worcestershire. It looked disgusting, but wasn't that bad--and provided the necessary heat!
*Oh fine, here is the do chua (pickled carrot & radish) recipe I used from the May '09 Saveur. It calls for daikon radish, but of course I couldn't find that and had to use little round red radishes (which may explain why I didn't like it that much).
  • 1/2 pound carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1+1/2 pounds small daikon, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon + 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons white vinegar (I thought this was too sweet and ended up using more vinegar)
Combine carrots, daikon, salt and 1 teaspoon sugar. Let sit until the vegetables have wilted slightly, about 30 minutes. Drain vegetables, rinse and pat dry. Whisk together the remaining sugar, vinegar and 1/2 warm water, and pour over the vegetables. Stir to combine and let marinate for at least 1 hour, or refrigerate, tightly covered for up to 4 weeks.


  1. Finally! Finally I made these! Even got the sriracha and made the pickled carrot/beets. MMMM thanks for the yumness.