Recipe: How To Make A Bánh Mì

‘Bánh mì’ is a Vietnamese baguette, it was inspired by the French and has become a staple in Vietnamese cuisine. A typical banh mi contains some of the most flavoursome combination of ingredients. The perfect equilibrium of sweet and sour crunchy carrot and daikon, a salty smooth velvety smear of pate with umani BBQ pork cuts and cooling fresh coriander and cucumber among a spicy chilli sauce makes this a quintessential bite.
The Vietnamese baguette has a light crunchy exterior and is delicately fluffy inside. Some describe it as biting into crispy air! As with most of Vietnamese cuisine, the lightness of ingredients is vital to one’s enjoyment as no one relishes in being weighed down. The dough in the centre of the baguette is usually removed so that all that you bite into is the lovely light crisp crust to reach the sensational filling.
If you cannot get a Vietnamese baguette, use a regular French baguette – the lightest kind you can find.
Ingredients to buy
Vietnamese baguette or regular freshly baked baguette
cha lua – Vietnamese ham – slice thinly
pork or chicken liver pate (or make)
coriander
cucumber – cut into10cm lengthways
butter or Laughing Cow cheese
spring onions – thinly slice lengthways
Maggi seasoning
chilli
Sriracha hot chilli sauce (optional)
 
Ingredients to make
carrot and daikon pickle
2 carrots
1/2 daikon
5tbs cider vinegar
5bs sugar
Julienne the carrots and daikon (aka mooli) and pickle in cider vinegar and sugar for 15 mins. Then drain and wring with your hands to dry.
BBQ pork belly – makes one -1 foot baguette
100g pork belly
1 tbc char sui ready made powder
2 cloves garlic
1/2 red onion or shallot
1tsp pork seasoning
1tsp Maggi seasoning (or soy sauce)
1 tsp sugar
150ml coconut juice
Method
Finely chop the garlic and onion and mix together with the char sui powder, pork seasoning, soy sauce and sugar and marinate the piece of pork belly for about 20 mins.
With cooking oil in a hot pan, fry the pork belly until golden brown then pour in the coconut juice, turn the heat down and cook for a further 15 mins with the lid on, turning occasionally. Rest. Once cooled, slice into thin pieces.
Making a Bánh mì
Slit the baguette lengthwise and pull out the filling. (This could be used for breadcrumbs). Spread with butter or Laughing Cow cheese and a smear of pate. Layer the meat, cucumber, pickle, chilli, coriander, spring onions and squirt over a few drops of Maggi seasoning. Close the sandwich and cut if its too long. Enjoy!
Another option for the meat filling in bánh mì:
Chargrilled Pork with Lemongrass
Ingredients
100g pork (loin, shoulder or belly)
1 stalk lemongrass
1 clove garlic
1 shallot
1 tsp Maggi seasoning (or soy sauce)
1 tsp pork seasoning
1 tsp sugar
Method
Preheat oven to 220.
Finely chop the lemongrass, garlic and shallots and marinate with soy sauce, sugar and pork seasoning for 10 minutes. Then bake in a tray for 15 mins – or until golden. Slice and serve warm in baguettes. Use the jus/ gravy to season your sandwich!
  • Banh mi! I love it. Didn’t realise how easy it is to make the pickle – I might have to give it try!

  • Ooooh, these fillings all look ace. It;s good to read about the little things like Maggi seasoning that really finish off the flavour. It’s so often that I try something and then realise i’m missing that essential final step.

    Now, where is the best place to get the proper baguettes (are they made with some rice flour?)? Also, interesting that Vietnamese food has two of the best versions of what we might think of as quintessential English food – sandwiches and soup… 😉

  • @Mr Noodles
    Vietnamese food is so easy to make, its the knowing how easy xx

    @The Grubworm
    Maggi is an essential ingredient in Vietnamese cuisine. My family can’t get enough of the stuff!

    I tried to make the baguette according to Luke Nguyen’s recipe in Indochine, but I failed miserably! There was rice flour in the recipe! The clue is actually in the word “Banh Mi” which translate as Wheat cake. I heard that you mustn’t put any rice flour in. Even though I am not really a baker, I think I can say that any baker would find making a Vietnamese baguette a challenge as its to do with a secret technique, the right oven and the right climate! Nobody makes their own baguettes in Vietnam either so further investigation is planned.