Banh m is a sandwich that originated in Vietnam and literally translates to "bread." Today, bánh m refers to a popular type of Vietnamese street food. During the period of French colonialism in Vietnam, French cuisine had a significant impact on Vietnamese food culture, which is when the banh mi sandwich as we know it today originated.
After the French were defeated, Vietnamese cooks adapted a popular French sandwich made with cold cuts, butter, and cheese into what is now known as banh mi. This sandwich was originally made in France. They used rice flour in the baguette recipe, which resulted in the baguette having a lighter interior and a crust that was as thin as paper. Mayonnaise was used in place of butter and vegetables, and paté was consumed in place of pricey cold cuts.
Why do people like Banh mi
The Vietnamese sandwich known as the banh mi features an unusual sounding assortment of components, including crusty bread rolls smeared with pate and mayonnaise, what appears to be Asian ham, pickled vegetables, green onion, coriander or cilantro, a mighty whack of fresh chillies, and a drizzle of seasoning.
It has the flavour of a decadent ham sandwich with a hint of the crispness that comes from Asia. It's a sensation of flavours and textures that's garnered a cult following all over the world. It's like nothing else out there. There are lengthy lines forming at the most popular banh mi vendors as early as the morning break, both in this country and in Vietnam.
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Ingredients that go into Banh mi
- 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 c. granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 tbsp. neutral oil, such as canola or vegetable
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. dried lemongrass
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 lb. boneless pork shoulder or roast, cut into 1/4"-thick strips against the grain
- 1 1/2 medium carrots (about 8 oz.), grated
- 1/2 daikon radish (about 8 oz.), grated
- 1/2 c. plus 2 tsp. granulated sugar, divided
- Kosher salt
- 1 c. distilled white vinegar
- 1 c. water
- 1/4 c. mayonnaise (preferably Kewpie)
- 4 Vietnamese baguettes or 2 French breads or baguettes, cut into 4 (9") loaves, cut lengthwise, leaving hinge intact
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/2"-thick spears
- 1 jalapeño, sliced diagonally 1/4" thick
- 12 fresh cilantro sprigs
- Maggi seasoning or soy sauce, for serving
How to cook Banh mi
Shallot, garlic, granulated sugar, fish sauce, neutral oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, lemongrass, and two teaspoons of pepper should be mixed together in a large bowl using a whisk. Toss the pork in the sauce after adding it.
Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour and up to twelve.
- Place a strainer with a fine mesh over a medium-sized heatproof bowl. Put the carrot and daikon in the strainer, and then sprinkle them with 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar. Toss and massage vegetables, squeezing out excess liquid as you go, about 2 minutes. After the liquid has been drained, place the vegetables in a bowl and set them aside.
- In a small pot set over medium-high heat, bring the remaining half cup of granulated sugar, the vinegar, and the mixture to a boil. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for approximately 2 minutes, or until the sugar is completely dissolved and the liquid is steaming.
- Pour hot pickling liquid over vegetables. Wrap it up and let it sit for at least an hour.
- Prepare Ahead: You can make pickles up to two weeks in advance. Place the vegetables in a container that can seal tightly, add the brine, and then place the container in the refrigerator.
- Put the racks in the middle and the upper third of the oven, then preheat it to 375 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or aluminium foil and placing a wire rack on top of that. After removing it from the marinade, place the pork in a single layer on the rack.
- 14 to 16 minutes, depending on the accuracy of your instant-read thermometer, should be spent baking pork on the centre rack until it reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees. Make sure the broiler is on, and then move the baking sheet to the top rack. 5 to 7 minutes under the broiler, turning the pork over once during cooking, until charred on both sides.
- On the bottom of each baguette, spread one tablespoon of mayonnaise, and then layer each with pork, pickled vegetables, a cucumber spear, jalapeno slices, and cilantro. Maggi or soy sauce should be added in a few quick spurts.
- Prepared Ahead: Pork can be grilled up to two days in advance. Refrigerate after storing in a container that can seal out air.
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What can Banh mi be served together with
You can start preparing the components several days in advance to make the assembly process extremely simple. It is possible to slice the pork, marinate it, and then broil it up to two days in advance. To preserve freshness, place in the refrigerator and seal the container tightly. To reheat, place the covered dish in the microwave for 90 seconds, or air fry it at 375 degrees until it is warm, which should take about 3 minutes.
Other popular Vietnamese food
Besides Banh mi, there are other vietnamese food dishes that are highly popular in Singapore and around the world. Below is a list of some of the most mentioned ones:
Pho, Cha Ca, Banh Xeo, Cao Lau, Rau Muong, Nem Ran Cha Gio, Goi Cuon, Bun Bo Hue, Banh Khot, Ga Tan, Nom Hoa Chuoi, Hoa Qua Dam, Pho Cuon, Ga Nuong, Pho Xao, Ca Phe Trung, Bo La Lot, Xoi, Banh Cuon, Ca Tim Kho To, Bot Chien, Bun Dau Mam Tom, Banh Goi, Com Suon Nuong, Chao, Bo Luc Lac, Hat De Nong, Banh Uot thit nuong, Bun Cha, Banh Mi, Lau, Banh Bao, Com rang, Bo Bit Tet, Com Chay, Che, My Xao Bo, Dau Phu Sot Ca Chua, Canh Bun
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