Vietnamese Pork Roll / Banh Mi

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Banh mi is Vietnamese for bread. Specifically, these little individual baguettes made of rice flour. This makes them lighter and crispier than French baguettes . They're filled with a different range of things - pork belly, grilled chicken, Vietnamese sausage, meatballs and tofu, and vegetables like cucumber, pickled carrot and daikon and coriander. 

There is a little Vietnamese bakery at the train station 2 minutes away from us that sell these for $5, filled with delicious pâté and two cold cuts of Vietnamese pork. But I wanted to make them at home. So we bought the baguettes there for 90 cents (:

I didn't know where to get/what exactly the cold cuts... So I used proscuitto and salami (: But it was still delicious! I had mint, coriander and scallions growing in my herb garden (which I must write about soon), so quickly made up some pickled carrots. Milo couldn't find any daikon (white radish) at the fruit store at the station... Although he is a boy and when I asked if he asked the man he said no... So maybe there was some there! 
Also, that book in the above picture is by the owner of my favorite restaurant ever in Hoi An called Morning Glory. I did a cooking class there, and I am in love with all the food and have read the cookbook cover to cover so many times that Milo thinks it's a storybook. Get it here.

This is the pâté I used. It's deliciously peppery and also has little mushroom slivers in it. Mm.
Anyway here's how I made the pickled carrots: I shaved them thinly with the veggie peeler then put them in a bowl with a tbsp each of salt and sugar. After about two minutes the carrot liquid will pool at the bottom of the bowl, so squeeze them to get as much liquid out. They'll be soft and bendy. Then put it into a sealable container with 2 tbsp vinegar, 1/2 cup warm water and 1 tbsp sugar. Let it sit for 15 minutes and your pickled carrots are ready! Use however much you like and keep the rest in the fridge for about 3 weeks. Easy peasy.

Cut your baguette in half and either tear out some of the middle filling or smush it down with your fingers (like I did). This is to make room for your filling. Then I smeared one side with the pâté, and one side with Kewpie mayonaise. Then added the fillings in the order I like: proscuitto, salami, carrot, mint, coriander, scallion curls (slice thinly then soak in iced water for a few minutes and they curl up), salt and pepper, and then drizzled the sauce on top. (1 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp fish sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp chili sauce)

Look how deliciously crisp they look! And all the fresh herbs. Mm. Can I just say that Vietnamese food is one of my favorite cuisines in the world? My favorite place in Vietnam is Hoi An (in the middle), and we ate about a billion banh mis while we were there. I love them so much.

xx gee


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