It is pronounced “bun me.” Sometimes spelled banh my. The Vietnamese love their banh mi (bánh mì). The foundation of this versatile sandwich is French: baguette, mayonnaise and sometimes paté. But everything else is pure Vietnamese: fresh coriander, pickled vegetables, chili. They can be filled with barbecue pork, grilled chicken, tofu or even scrambled eggs in a breakfast version.
For Vietnamese style, they can be filled with slices of cha lua (also known as Vietnamese devon) and thit nguoi (best described as Vietnamese ham). However these fillings vary according to personal taste and can even include barbecued meats.
You can prepare the ingredients and assemble the baguettes an hour or two in advance.
500g Vietnamese Cha Lua (Vietnamese devon usually found wrapped in banana leaves)
500g Vietnamese Thit Nguoi (Vietnamese ham usually found wrapped in a layer of fat)
4 Small baguettes
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
100g Vietnamese Pork Pate or French Pork Pate
2 medium cucumbers, sliced thinly
1 bunch fresh coriander
3 stalks spring onions
a dozen dinner rolls
Salt and pepper
chopped chili (optional)
Soy sauce — to taste
• Vinegar — 1/4 cup
• Water — 3 tablespoons
• Sugar — 1 tablespoon
• Salt — 1 teaspoon
• Carrot, julienne or grated — 1
• Daikon, julienne or grated — 1/4 pound
1. Stir the vinegar, water, sugar and salt together in a small bowl. Add the carrot and daikon, mix well and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes. Drain well before using on sandwiches.
2. Slice the baguettes open lengthwise, leaving one side of the bread as a hinge. Open the bread up and remove a little of the inside to hollow out a space.
3. Spread the inside of each baguette with mayo. Coat the bottom layer with the pate Add layers of meat, pickled vegetables, cucumbers, coriander, spring onion and chili. Sprinkle on Maggi seasoning and salt and pepper.