Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches

Aug 19, 2009 at 11:18 a.m. ET

A traditional Vietnamese lunch often consists of a banh mi, a baguette like sandwich piled high with vegetables, meat and a delicious mayonnaise-like sauce. Scrumptious and satisfying, a banh mi is a special midday meal whether you frequent a Vietnamese eatery or make this tasty sandwich at home.

Banh Mi

How to make a bahn mi

Bread: A notable component of a banh mi is the bread. Though it is similar to a French baguette, it is usually made of rice or wheat flour, featuring a crisp crust and fluffy, light crumb. Most eateries that specialize in banh mi bake their own bread. However, if you are making banh mi at home, a traditional French baguette will suffice.

Fillings: There are a variety of fillings for a banh mi, all featuring traditional Vietnamese spices. Main fillings can include pork, chicken, pate, egg or tofu. The meats can be roasted or barbecued or even prepared in meatball form. Thin sliced deli meats are also popular, particularly Vietnamese style ham.

Toppings: In addition to the main filling, a banh mi usually contains julienned daikon, carrot, onions, cucumbers, jalapenos and cilantro. You can, of course, mix and match your favorite vegetables and meats and make it as spicy or mild as you desire.

Spread: Just as in American sandwiches, a banh mi has a spread or sauce to keep the sandwich moist. A traditional spicy mayonnaise is most common, but, depending on the filling, butter may be used.

Next page: Banh mi recipes

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