No one comes to Vietnam without trying the infamously flavourful Banh Mi Sandwich. The taste is beyond that of any sandwich you’d eat in any Western Nation.

  1. What is a Banh Mi?

Essentially it is a crusty baguette with fillings. The fillings can be anything from pickled local vegetables and roast pork to chunks of meatballs in a tomato sauce. Rather than have a defined set of Banh Mi rules, the Vietnamese have experimented and perfected a number of different varieties. This dish can be found all around the country.

  1. Banh Mi Sandwich- basic ingredients

Banh Mi is made from many simple ingredients. These are listed below:

  • A roll of warm crusty bread (rice or wheat flour or 50% of both)
  • A filling or fillings (cold cut slices / grilled meat / cheese / eggs / tofu)
  • Pickled vegetables (carrots/daikon or white radish, usually stored in boiled white vinegar, sugar and salt and left for a few hours or days)
  • Fresh vegetables (cucumber slices / cilantro / chilli)
  • Spread (Mayonnaise / margarine/ cheese)
  • Condiments (e.g. Soy sauce/ fish sauce/ chilli sauce)

These basic elements is what makes the difference of Vietnamese Sandwich

  1. How to make a Banh Mi?
  • The bread comes out of the oven
  • The bread is cut in half
  • The spread is applied to the bread.
  • After that, the condiments are sprinkled onto the spread.
  • The pate is applied to the bread. Some prefer an alternate bit of mash, such as smashed avocado
  • The main filling (s) are placed on top, in slices, shreds or chunks
  • These are topped with pickled vegetables
  • Fresh vegetables are stuffed into the banquette

The Banh Mi is placed into wrapping, ready to serve.

  1. The Vietnamese Sandwich – options available
  • Bánh mì Đặc Biệt – This is the house special. Usually one or more filings such a grilled meat or cold cuts, cheese plus the set with a special take on it
  • Bánh mì thịt nguội – This is usually made up of 2-3 kinds of pork cold cut slices, usually fresh. The sliced meats and slices of ham are mixed together with mayo and cucumber added to this traditional Vietnamese Sandwich
  • Bánh mì bì (shredded pork sandwich) – shredded pork or pork skin with soy or fish sauce, with pate, mayo, pickles and fresh veg. Can be served with shredded chicken instead of pork.
  • Bánh mì chả or Chả Lụa (Pork Roll) – pork boiled or steam in banana leaves then cooled down and served as sliced pork. The texture is similar to bologna pork meat. Just add the veg and mayo
  • Bánh mì Xiu Mai (minced pork meatball sandwich) – smashed pork meatballs marinated in a local flavoured sauce, usually with a tomato, fish or soy sauce base
  • Bánh mì xá xíu (Pork sausage sandwich) – This is caramelised chopped up pork meat ‘char siu’ Chinese style. It is marinated with Chinese seasoning and grilled on a stove pan.
  • Bánh mì thịt nướng (barbecue pork sandwich) – A very popular Vietnamese Sandwich for meat lovers. This is a grilled pork belly or grilled pork shoulder with the standard Vietnamese marinade infused into the pork beforehand
  • Bánh mì chả cá (fish patty sandwich) – Fried fish cakes placed into a baguette then served with Sriracha sauce, seasoning and carrot/daikon pickles with veg
  • Bánh mì pa-tê (Pate sandwich) – Pate is usually served as part of the Vietnamese Sandwich, though it can be served as one filling. Usually, pork-based pate is served, though there are various flavors available. A seasoned vegan-based pate has really hit the streets with force recently.
  • Bánh mì cá mòi (sardine sandwich) – This is a traditional pantry style roll. It is a can of tinned sardines which are warmed in a pan, then served with all the trimmings
  • Bánh mì gà nướng (grilled chicken sandwich) – This is marinated grilled chicken with East Asian seasoning, topped with pickled fillings, fresh chilli and cilantro. The chicken is sliced and served on a hot, crispy baguette