Bánh mì, One Really Great Sandwich

slice of bmIn the previous post one of the things I said I loved was a great sandwich. Not just a good sandwich but a great one. I make ‘good’ sandwiches, my husband makes great sandwiches and his bánh mì is one of them.

It is not a difficult sandwich to make if you have the ingredients and that is the key. Curt can pull together a great sandwich just from what he finds available in the fridge but if we are having bánh mì, then you know it is a plan.

Bánh mì is a Vietnamese term for all kinds of bread but mostly it refers to a baguette. But if you walk into a Vietnamese restaurant in America, bánh mì is a type of meat-filled sandwich on a short baguette or bánh mì bread. In Green Bay you can get a pretty good version at Pho #1 Noodle & Grill.  (their bánh mì is image #6 in their menu slide show).

Typical fillings for a bánh mì may include pan-roasted or oven-roasted seasoned pork belly, Vietnamese sausage, grilled pork, spreadable pork liver pate, grilled chicken, roast duck, soft pork meatballs in tomato sauce, fried eggs, and even tofu – in other words, whatever is at hand and that strikes your fancy. That sort of flies in the face of a plan but you’ve got to have the roll and the pate’ or liver sausage is an important flavor.  Accompanying vegetables typically include fresh cucumber slices, cilantro and pickled shredded carrots and daikon radish. Common condiments  might include spicy chili sauce, sliced chilis, mayonnaise, and cheese.

Mise en place:  bolillo, ham, liver sausage, Shriracha laced mayo, frresh pickled carrots and cabbage, cilantro and mint

Mise en place: bolillo, ham, liver sausage, Shriracha laced mayo, fresh pickled carrots and cabbage, cilantro and mint

Curt’s version starts with a baguette, or a hoagy roll, or most likely a bolillo (a short baguette-like roll common in Latino markets).  Not shown in the mise en place photo, is a little commercial sandwich dressing (he used Beano’s Original Submarine Dressing) which he squirted on the greens – you could substitute any Italian dressing or just oil and vinegar.

Bánh mì (ala Curt)

Bánh mì, ala Curt.  This is a pared down version.  A more authentic bánh mì would also include lean roast pork and thinly sliced fresh green chiles.

Put it all together and voilà – a great sandwich. If it is a serious plan he usually gets roast pork slices and good ham from the deli which in my opinion is better than just ham.

Hey, look, it’s lunchtime by my clock and writing this post has made me hungry. I think I’ll go see what sandwich fixin’s I can find…maybe even get Curt to give me some pointers.

Closed and ready for the first bite!

Closed and ready for the first bite!

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5 thoughts on “Bánh mì, One Really Great Sandwich

  1. I’m glad to experience the sandwich through your words and photos and I would probably try it once, but man, that is so not my type of sandwich!

  2. You just spoke directly to my heart with this post. All I need is for that sandwich to be handed to me wrapped in someone’s dry cleaning bill and it will be just like I’m back in Battambang!

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