Friday, January 15, 2016

Bánh Mì – More Than a Sandwich

I’ll never forget my first real bánh mì. It was here in San Francisco, at a place called Saigon Sandwich, and I remember thinking to myself, this just isn’t one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had to eat, but one of the best things, period.

Not only do we get amazing contrasts in flavor, and texture, but also the temperature difference between the crisp, warm, meat-filled roll, and cool, crunchy vegetables, makes this so much fun to eat.

By the way, the secret sauce should be just sweet enough to temporarily put out the fire from the sriracha and jalapenos. Which reminds me, everything here is “to taste.” The amounts below are just guidelines, and by guidelines, I mean guesses.

If you’re not into our roasted 5-spice pork for this sandwich, you can pretty much use any of your favorite sandwich ingredients. Ham is great, as is smoked turkey, and while I’ve not tried it yet, I bet many of our grilled chicken breast recipes would be stellar here. Just don’t forget the pate!

I prefer the smooth, buttery type of pate, and you don’t have to get to fancy. That one from the cheese shop, made with pork and chicken livers is just fine. Stay tuned for the French rolls video coming soon, and at some point very soon, I hope you give this a try. Enjoy!

Ingredients for one Bánh Mì:
1 crusty French sandwich roll
3 tablespoons secret sauce (mayo, seasoned to taste with hoisin sauce, and sriracha)
4 ounces roasted pork
2 ounces smooth pate
1/2 cup *pickled daikon and carrot
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
6-7 jalapeno slices
6 thin spears English cucumber

* To make the pickled daikon and carrot, use equal parts and toss in enough seasoned rice vinegar to coat well. Let sit for 15-20 minutes, or until the veggies get slightly limp. Drain and use, or refrigerate. If using regular vinegar, add a pinch of salt and sugar.


Italy Lover said...

This looks like a fantastic sandwich. Will be making it.

Request: How about doing a video showing us how to make pate?

Unknown said...

Why is it so important to NOT cut the roll entirely in half?

Unknown said...

i have been guiltily following you for years without responding, but since I am now making my 4th meal of the week from your website, using your banh mi recipe, I have to acknowledge your absolute presence in my life! Looove your recipes soo much! Anticipation of this recipe caused me to run to the grocery for ingredients I suspected might be included. YUM! Thanks so much for making cooking fun!

Clara said...

Dear Chef John,

Fun fact! The sauce that they usually use in banh mi is called butter mayo. And its exactly what it sounds like, a creamy mixture of salted! butter and mayo with a dash of fish sauce

And to address your question Jim,
if you cut it all the way through, the ingredients would fall out everywhere since they're relatively small pieces compared to western sandwich fixins

Dr. P said...

I would love, just once, to taste what people that like cilantro taste; to me it tastes like soap. Think I will try this with traditional spring roll salad mix: red leaf lettuce, Thai basil and mint.

George said...

Chef John you are the banh mi of your hoagie

Unknown said...

Chef, did you use duck or pork pate?

Unknown said...

WOW...It looks delicious...Gotta try to make one...

Unknown said...

Hello Chef John,

Couldn't wait for the french sandwich rolls video so I'm making the sandwiches with beer bread rolls... Keep the recipes coming, my family and I are big fans... Thanks!

arwiv said...

Ive read that there are people, for whatever reason, who cannot stand the taste (or smell) of cilantro. I love it so I dont get it...but obviously there is some reason why those who cannot deal with it can't. Weird.

seven said...

Thank you Chef John!! This video is perfectly on time!! I just attempted to make banh mi from scratch including the bread.
...With disastrous results! Over salted meat, one too many strange flavors and hard thick french which looked but did not taste like a baguette.

Thank you immensely! I'm sure this will be excellent when I make it this weekend. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

[deleted] said...

This was sooooo good. Every step of the way I was like "this is going to be a disaster". When it came time to assemble the sandwich, I was repulsed and quite depressed. The pork loin smelled like, uh, urine... the hoi sin/siracha/mayo sauce was nasty. I didn't have rice vinegar so I made my pickled carrots/daikon with a sugar/vinegar/water mixture and they were quite awful. The pate and cucumber were the only things I knew might be decent. When I took my first bite of that sandwich I felt like crying. I was so relieved- it was delicious! Even the sauce and the icky pickled veg! It just all works. And you're right, the pate is essential. So glad I made a run to the grocery store to pick some up. This was so yummy. For real. You're a beast.

Unknown said...

Speaking of insane sandwiches. I see your Bahn Mi and raise you the Francesinha - an insanity/obscenity of a sandwich I recently had in Porto:

4 kinds of meat, between 2 slices of bread, melted cheese on top and bottom, fried egg on top, in a deep dish, smothered in a secret sauce, in which you dump fries..

Generally, Portugal taught me that its cuisine is very underrated. Google Moelas!


Uncle Ebeneezer said...

This recipe is fantastic. It's the closest thing I've found to the amazing Banh Mi that we had over in Hoi An back in February. The special sauce, marinade and pate, makes all the difference, imo. Also, I use red chili peppers instead of jalapenos. Over in Vietnam (at least in Hoi An) they didn't use jalapenos much. red chilis are more subtle and don't take over the flavor quite the way jalapenos do. Thanks for this wonderful recipe. My wife swears (and I agree) that this recipe makes a better Banh Mi than anything we've found at the numerous Vietnamese restaurants here in Los Angeles.

philogaia said...

Banh Mi means wheat bread. LOL. Okay fine. I now plan to make this with two important exceptions. First no bread. I am going to try this as a lettuce wrap since I can't eat bread. And of course I will be omitting the evilly tasting cilantro. So at this point despite the sauce, the pork loin (which I will be using your recipe for) the pate, the pickled veg and the jalapenos it appears I won't be making a Banh Mi. Ah well. I suspect it will taste great anyway.

philogaia said...

Dr P. - Basil, parsley and mint or some combo thereof is my goto replacement for the cilantro I also cannot abide. I learned to make salad rolls because they looked so good but are all premade in a restaurant and all contain cilantro (about a pound per roll usually.) The three herbs taste fantastic in it.)

Unknown said...

Chef John, could we have two recipes please, Chicken Liver pate, and a dish using chicken livers.



Unknown said...

Chef John, first off thank you very much for this wonderful recipe together with that For pork loin. Just got back from Vietnam and had so much Banh Mi there that I had to try making one. One feedback, they mostly used a chicken liver heavy pâté with some spices. I found a recipe (putting link below that comes very close). I actually ate at Banh Mi 25 (among many other Banh Mi places around the country) but some use a sweet and spicy sauce which likely is a combination of honey sriracha rice vinegar and soy sauce (it looks brown in color and I found some info online on it too).

With these modifications on pâté and the honey sriracha sauce, personally for me the sandwich became even better. Anyway, thank you again for all of these wonderful tips.

Stormshadow said...

Def need a pate recipe

Unknown said...

I’ve made this sandwich a couple times, always using the 5 spice pork loin as my protein. It’s the bomb. Although tonight I almost switched it up by substituting chicken in place of the pork loin. I love spicy food, but I prefer to throw my sliced jalapeños into the quick pickled carrot/daikon mixture. Raw jalapeños are too spicy for me. But if the cut depth on my mandolin was adjustable, I suppose very thinly sliced peppers would be fine.