Banh mi means bread in Vietnamese. This sandwich is a perfect example of how well two cuisines can blend together and bring the best of both worlds. The delicious marinated meat of South-East Asia and a great fluffy inside-crusty outside French baguette offer an explosion of flavors that you cannot expect when you take your first bite.
I got my recipe from my mother who makes a xa xiu, pork meat, like nobody else. There is nothing like a mom's recipe to make you feel at home even though she cannot be there to cook for you.
Most of my friends who never tried it before force me to make that sandwich for them every month. They were skeptical on how the taste of the multiple ingredients would blend together at first, only to realize the deliciousness of the sandwich after the first bite.
- 1 French baguette
- Maggi sauce
- 1 shredded carrot
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 2 tbspn sugar
- half cucumber
- optional : cháº£ lá»¥a
For the marinated meat
- 10 cm long tenderloin pork or two chicken legs
- half an onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 5-spices powder
- 2 tbspn vinegar
- 1 tbspn fish sauce
- 1 tbspn oil
- 2 drops of red food coloring
Preparation of the meat
A bit of preparation is necessary to achieve the perfect taste of the meat. In a plastic container, mix together the salt, pepper and then add the oil, vinegar, fish sauce. Chop the onion and the garlic and put them in the box with the rest of the marinade.
To get the red color of xa xiu, add a few drops of red food coloring to the mixture. This step is optional because it does not change the taste of the Vietnamese sandwich but will give you the authentic color of the xa xiu meat.
Put the meat in the box and use a spoon to put the marinade on it. It does not have to be submerged with liquid the whole time but it would be better to turn the pork or chicken around after 2 hours. Let it marinade for 2 more hours in the refrigerator.
You can also leave your meat a whole night but not more than that.
Preparation of the carrot
Shred the carrot using a carrot shredder. In a container, mix 2 tablespoons of sugar with 1/4 cup of vinegar until the sugar crystals have melted with the vinegar. Then put the carrot in the box and cover it with that mixture. Store the box in the refrigerator.
Cooking the meat
Preheat the oven at 200°C (400°F). Oil a pan and put the meat on it. Put it in the oven for 15 min then turn the meat around and wait for another 15 min.
Making the sandwich
Slice the meat and the cucumber. Cut the French baguette on one side. Spread the mayonnaise and add some Maggi sauce. Add a layer of meat, shredded carrots, sliced cucumber and coriander. Enjoy !
You can pair the sandwich with a pear almond cake to finish with a sweet taste. To make it even more authentic, you can also add a few slices of cháº£ lá»¥a. It is a Vietnamese ham that can usually be found in an Asian market.