Vietnamese Bánh Mì Sandwich – My recipe for a classic Vietnamese Bánh Mì sandwich is based on the most popular variant of this snack, Bánh mì xá xíu, (BBQ or smoked pork) and uses some extra fusion ingredients, namely Korean Kimchi in place of the usual Do Chua pickled carrots and daikon radishes.
Kimchi or Do Chua
I love a good sandwich, the invention that is largely attributed to the Earl of Sandwich is as brilliant as sliced bread in my humble opinion, although I rarely buy sliced bread it has to be said! And, as regular Lavender and Lovage readers will know, I regularly post sandwich recipes here as part of an ongoing series called Great Sandwiches of the World. I’m a big fan of all things between crusty slices of bread, as well as hot sandwiches such as burgers and hot dogs etc etc. But today, we are travelling East for my latest Gorgeous Global Sarnie, to Vietnam to be precise, although there is a fair bit of France in today’s recipe for Vietnamese Bánh Mì Sandwich, which I will explain in a bit.
A Vietnamese Bánh Mì Sandwich is a thing of simple beauty, an Asian Sub or Hoagie if you wish, a long sandwich filled with tasty local ingredients. It’s a fast food fusion feast and a real street food snack that can be seen all over Vietnam, as the Glamorous Glutton discovered when she visited Vietnam recently! The sandwich is made with a baguette and is filled with mayonnaise, pickles, vegetables, barbecued meats, pate (sometimes) and aromatic herbs, making it very East meets West; the influence of Vietnam’s French Colonial past is an essential part of the sandwich, with the baguette, mayonnaise and pate making a Gallic appearance. The word Bánh Mì means any type of food including bread and wheat, so it literally means “wheat bread”.
There are many kinds of Bánh Mì sandwiches, which include my recipe today for Bánh mì xá xíu, (BBQ or smoked pork); other varieties of this Asian sarnie comprise:
Bánh mì bì (shredded pork sandwich) – shredded pork or pork skin, doused with fish sauce
Bánh mì chà bông (pork floss sandwich)
Bánh mì xíu mại (minced pork meatball sandwich) – smashed pork meatballs
Bánh mì cá mòi (sardine sandwich)
Bánh mì pa-tê (pâté sandwich)
Bánh mì chả lụa or bánh mì giò lụa (pork sausage sandwich)
Bánh mì gà nướng (grilled chicken sandwich)
To conclude the potted history surrounding this sandwich, the word Bánh Mì is also thought to refer to the Vietnamese Baguette, which is lighter and airier than its French cousin, and can be made with rice flour. Bánh Mì are very popular in Vietnam for breakfast, (as well as being sold on the street) where the baguettes are simply stuffed with meat and pickles may be served on the side. My recipe today takes a few liberties, as I’d just made a batch of Kimchi, and so the pickled veggies I added were in fact some home-made Kimchi, which is Korean in origin. (However, on doing some research, I discovered that Vietnam also has a version of Kimchi too, KIM CHI VIỆT NAM)
I will be sharing my recipe for Kimchi next week, so keep an eye open for this fabulous sweet, salty and sour pickled vegetable recipe. Included in today’s recipe for my Vietnamese Bánh Mì Sandwich is a method for the pickled veggies that are usually used in a Bánh Mì, called Do Chua, they are a quick pickle that’s made with carrots and daikon radishes. I hope you will enjoy my version of this classic Vietnamese sarnie, and please DO let me know if you make it, or if you have a version that you make yourself. Karen
More GLOBAL Sandwich Recipes:
List of Sandwiches On-Line: