A few months ago, I tried a Vietnamese sandwich, bánh mì. All I can say is where have I been? And why didn’t anyone tell me about them before! If you’re like me and wondering what is a bánh mì, well then, let me tell you so that you too may be enlightened.
Originating from Vietnam, the bánh mì combines French influence with Vietnamese ingredients and flavors. Consisting of a crusty French baguette and filled with some type of meat, pickled carrots and daikon, cucumbers, cilantro, jalapeños and mayonnaise. These can of course be varied according to individual taste.
What I find so appealing is the many flavors and textures – the spicy and the sour, the savory, the crunchy and the chewy – it’s all there. Inspired to try it at home, I made mine with sliced smoked seitan with pickled carrots and daikon, fresh cilantro and mint, spicy vegan mayo on a toasted sourdough micro baguette, served with sweet potatoes fries.
I don’t have much of a recipe, after all it is a sandwich. And I basically bought most of the ingredients ready-to-eat except for the pickled carrots and daikon. For that, I just took a vegetable peeler to the carrot and daikon to get the extra thin strips and dunked it into a mixture of 1 tablespoon salt, 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar and a 1/4 cup of rice vinegar. Let chill for about an hour until ready to assemble the sandwich.