Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bánh Mì (Vietnamese) Sandwiches

I got the inspiration for these from Aarti, yet again. But I didn't do her recipe exactly. Instead, I tried to do a more traditional version of it.

This is really easy and you can throw this together in almost no time. Making the "slaw" takes 2 hours, but you can make that ahead of time. 

Traditionally this is made with pork, but I used chicken because I had some in the freezer I've been meaning to use. I think they turned out great. 

Bánh Mì

2 boneless chicken breasts

1 shallot, chopped coarsely
2 cloves of garlic, chopped coarsely
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 teaspoon chile paste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Splash of sherry

2 large carrots, grated
Most of 1 Daikon radish, grated
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

A few sprigs of cilantro
1 Fresno chile, sliced
1 English cucumber, sliced thinly
Mayonaise (homemade is nice)
Pâté (if you want, I used braunschweiger because I think it's awesome)


I started with the marinade. You can do this all day, or right before you cook the meat. 

Slice up your shallots:


Toss in the rest of the ingredients into a big ziploc bag and mash it up to combine:

I cut my chicken breasts into quarters so the marinade would penetrate a little bit more:

Pop it all in the bag and stash it in the fridge.

Shred your carrots and daikon. I just made the same amount of each. 

Put them in an airtight vessel and add the sugar, salt and vinegar.

Shake to combine and let sit for at least 2 hours.

When you're ready to make the sandwiches, get a grill pan on the highest heat you have and lay out your chicken.

Let it cook for a few minutes and flip:

Check the temp on the thickest pieces and ensure they're 165.

Prep your toppings.

When the chicken is done, let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Assemble the Bánh Mì!

Spread the braunschweiger on the bottom and the mayo on top of a slightly toasted baguette. I made my own this afternoon. 

Layer on the meat:

Finish off with the cucumbers, slaw, chiles and cilantro.

Traditionally some soy sauce and/or fish sauce would be squirted on. Sometimes even a fried egg. 

I kept it a bit more simple.

Overall, the sandwich was really outstanding. The boldness of the chicken with the braunschweiger worked really well against the cool cucumber and the heat from the chile (which was very close to Sriracha in heat). The mayo lubricated and sweetened everything, along with the slaw, which added another layer of awesomeness to the bánh mì.

I made another after my first that was equally great:


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