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Saturday, November 14, 2009

If Martha were Vietnamese-- Bánh mì or Vietnamese Sandwich

I think I must be hungry.  Ya, what's new!  So I'm taking a break from the state fair for another Vietnamese recipe.  And honestly, this isn't really a recipe.  It's more like assembly instructions.  

Bánh mì  (pronounced ban me)  is kinda like VietNam's counterpart to the hamburger.  Except it's French-Vietnamese fusion food, so you just KNOW it's way way better!  Bánh mì  is actually the name of the french bagutte the sandwich is on too, as well as the name of the completed sandwich on the bread.  A traditional bánh mì can be made with lots of different meats.  Our family prefers pork.  We've used both pork chops and porkloin.  Honestly, we use whatever is on sale.  This time Papa brought home pork loin.  If you want, you can marinade the meat.  For a long time, we thought the marinade was the key to making this sandwich so yummy.  But now we've come to the conclusion that it really doesn't matter.  Even without the marinade it is good, as long as the meat doesn't get too dry.  Here's what Papa pulled out of the fridge this time to marinade the pork.   Left to right-rice vinegar, fish sauce, soya sauce, and seseame oil.  Really, it doesn't matter.  I think he just pulled out the pretty bottles!

Then cause it's a lazy day, he cooked on the indoor electric grill.
Now for the bread.  If you're at the Asian market, the baguettes will be there.  If not, just grab either a french baguette, or french style sandwich rolls, or... You get the picture, right?
Cut the baguette in half.  I like to hollow out the bread a little pulling out some of the inside to make it easier to eat, and let's face it, the less carb-o-liciousness that ends up in me, is less for my bum.  So hollowing out the bread is a good thing all around.  Also a good idea to pop the bread in a toaster oven or the broiler and very lightly toast the bread till just a little crispy.
Spread a little mayo on both halves, (Not that Miracle Whip goo either.  That stuff's just wrong.) and add a drizzle of soy sauce.  Then layer on pork slices.
And some chili sauce.  Don't let the name or those little chili flakes inside the bottle fool you.  Chili sauce isn't hot.  It's tangy like sweet and sour sauce.
Add marinated carrots and dikon  Ya, you can prepare your own, but remember today was all about lazyness.  So I just got it at the Asian market all ready marinated.  I don't have the time or desire to julienne all those veggies!  It was in the produce section for my fellow lazy-ettes.
then sliced cucumbers
Instead of lettuce, it's all topped with cilantro.  Lots of cilantro!  Don't skip this step or substitute.  Just rip some of the cilantro off the top and slap in on the bánh mì .  It's a good thing!
Now if you want a little adventure in your day, here's the fun part!  Last thing add some sliced up jalapeños to your bánh mì  .  If you order this sandwich from a traditional Vietnamese deli, it will come with the jalapeños.  I really recommend it.  Just a little will give your day a kick in the pants.  But since my kiddos were eating these sandwiches, no jalapeños for us.  If it were just me, they would have been in there.

Slice and eat.  Mmmmmmmmmm!  All my kiddos eat this.  It's not spicy, (unless you opt for the yummy jalapeños) and the flavors are pretty "normal" for you non-adventurous eaters.
My bum grows with every bite.  Unlike bánh mì, that's not a good thing, but maybe worth it for the lazy me today who lives in the here and now and damned be the consequences.  (I'm gonna regret that.)

bánh mì or french sandwich rolls
pork, grilled and sliced
soy sauce
marinated carrots and dicon, julienned
chili sauce
cucumbers, sliced
jalapeño slices


  1. i wish we lived closer and i could go shopping/take cooking lessons from you!

  2. I don't eat meat, but my mouth is watering looking at these pics. Must be that rockin' photography of yours!


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