In January 2020, myself and some of the Slice of Culture editors along with Saint Peter’s University took a trip to Vietnam.
One of the beloved street foods was a Bánh mì — I joked that it was the Vietnamese take on a sub with lighter ingredients.
Bánh mì is a baguette filled with many ingredients, typically pork, cilantro, cucumber, pickled carrots and pickled daikon which is a crispy white radish.
The pork can be replaced with chicken or beef as well, and it is also combined with condiments such as a pâté, or mayonnaise.
It is commonly sold as a street food in Vietnam and can be served for breakfast or as a snack.
The dish was recently introduced in the 19th century and by the 20th century became a staple Vietnamese dish.
Eventually, it made its way to multiple countries including Australia, Canada and the United States. It’s even on the menu of the Saigon Cafe, located right in Jersey City!
If you want to learn how to make this dish at home, follow the recipe below.
How to make Bánh mì:
- Place rice vinegar, water, and sugar into a saucepan over medium heat, bring to a boil, and stir until the sugar has dissolved, about 1 minute. Allow the mixture to cool.
- Pour the cooled vinegar mixture over the carrot, radish, and onion in a bowl, and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes. Drain off the excess vinegar mixture after the vegetables have marinated.
- While the vegetables are marinating, season and cook your chicken
- Slice the baguette in half the long way
- To assemble the bahn mi sandwich, spread each half of the toasted baguette with mayonnaise, place chicken on bottom half of the bread
- Top with cucumber slices, pickled carrot, onion, and radish, cilantro leaves, and jalapeno pepper. Squeeze a wedge of lime over the filling, and top with the other half of the baguette.
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup carrot, cut into 1/16-inch-thick matchsticks
- ¼ cup white (daikon) radish, cut into 1/16-inch-thick matchsticks
- ¼ cup thinly sliced white onion
- 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast half
- garlic salt to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
- 1 (12 inch) French baguette
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- ¼ cup thinly sliced cucumber
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 small jalapeno pepper – seeded and cut into 1/16-inch-thick matchsticks
- 1 wedge lime