Sunday, January 10, 2010

Building The Classic Banh Mi - Recipe: Banh Mi

It’s no secret that my favorite sandwich is the Vietnamese Banh Mi. I did several posts last September on Vietnamese food in which I raved about the Banh Mi. Not only are they delicious but also healthy and really easy to make.

The Vietnamese use a lot of fresh herbs and spices to bring out the flavors of the ingredients along with a variety of pickled vegetables. For the meat, I use lemon basil rotisserie chicken. as it adds a lot of great quality to the sandwich. If you don’t have time to make it from scratch, you can buy a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, in which case you can make this sandwich in less than a half hour.

Another ingredient is liverwurst or liver pate. Just the tiny bit that you spread on the top of the bread is enough to add another great dimension to the sandwich.

I would have gone to Ba Le Bakery to buy rolls today but it was another below zero wind chill day so the crusty rolls from Caputos were a good substitute. The only difference was in the color.

Banh Mi

½ Lb. Daikon Radish, peeled (Use local radishes if you cannot find Daikon)

1 carrot, peeled

½ cup rice vinegar

1 Tablespoon sugar

4 baguettes

2 Tablespoons Oil

1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce

½ teaspoon Soy Sauce

¼ pound liver pate or liverwurst

2 fresh jalapenos, thinly sliced

½ sweet onion, cut into ¼ -inch rings

¾ cup packed cilantro

2 cooked chicken breasts from a rotisserie chicken, thinly sliced



2 Tablespoons mayonnaise

Make the slaw: Shred Daikon or radish and carrot. (I use a vegetable peeler) Stir together vinegar, sugar and ½ teaspoon salt with the shredded vegetables. Let stand 15 minutes and then drain in a colander.

Split baguette.

Mix together oil, fish sauce, and soy sauce and brush on cut sides of bread.

Spread liver pate or liverwurst on bottom layer of bread and top with chilies, onion and cilantro.

Arrange chicken, slaw, and lettuce on top of the cilantro,

Spread top layer with mayonnaise.

Here are some of the things that I do to change up this recipe:

1) I like a lot of vegetables on my Banh Mi so I will add julienne cut cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash and a little red cabbage to the slaw mixture.

2) I change up the cilantro and will sometimes add basil or a little mint to the mix.

3) I will often add a dash of Sesame Oil.

4) I use Vietnamese Grilled Pork ( a caramelized pork) sometimes instead of the chicken. Watch for the recipe in a future post.

Bon Appetit!