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Bahn Mi

A Vietnamese sandwich generally made with French baguettes, daikon radishes and carrots, cilantro, cucumber, jalepeno, and some type of meat

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Vietnamese 101: Bahn Mi Sandwiches

  • Aug 14, 2009
  • by

Have you tried Banh Mi yet?

My greatest lunch obsession right now are these vietnamese sandwiches. The sandwiches are always fresh, super filling, and cheap. It’s the type of lunch that completely fills you up, but does not weigh you down. Basically, the sandwich is made of a small loaf of fresh, crusty French baguette and then stuffed with thin slices of daikon, cucumber, onion, carrot, cilantro, and a tangy Vietnamese mayonnaise like sauce. You can also opt for more fillings, usually pork or chicken, or for vegetarians like me, avocado or tofu (spicy lemongrass tofu YUM.)

Bahn Mi is a good starter for someone who wants to sample some Vietnamese, or for anyone who needs a break from their routine deli. Trying a new type of cuisine can sometimes be intimidating, especially when you have no clue where to go. Even more intimidating when a menu is in another language or you don't know what to order.

Lucky for me, I live in a city with an extensive Vietnamese population, so these sandwich shops are not hard to come by. Withen a mile radius of my office, there are about 5 shops that sell Bahn Mi, and probably more, that I have no discovered yet. If you want to find a good shop in your area to try out your sandwich, I recommend yelp.com and typing in Banh Mi, and looking for a bakery shop in your search results. Vietnamese bakeries are particularly delicious place to go, because you know the french bread will be fresh, and that’s the best part of the sandwich.

Banh Mi Vegetable

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July 22, 2011
Sounds like a veggie delight !
October 11, 2009
Vietnamese sandwiches totally rule! I loved the combo sandwiches with liver wurst. Luckily there are about 2 places near home and 2 from work so I am satisfied! The one in Chinatown also allows you to buy the meat if you prefer to make some at home. nice review!
October 09, 2009
i'm hungry now! - i'll give Bahn Mi Sandwiches a try at PhoQuyen(a Vietnamese restaurant), if they have them. i love avocados (and they love me). thanks!
September 29, 2009
I've tried this too. U can actually buy Vietnamese sausages from those Vietnamese provision shops and make your own sandwiches. They are cheap and easy to make and can come in handy as snacks as well.
August 14, 2009
I love Vietnamese sandwich! I so wish there is a Lee's Sandwich near work. It's strange. There are many Vietnamese restaurants near by in Hawthorne/Lawndale area, but no sandwich shop. I tried searching on yelp, but the closet one that show up are in Alhambra and Westminster. Bummed...
August 14, 2009
I think there is one near the Pho place on Crenshaw and Marine near El Camino. We should investigate. I love these sandwiches too!
August 14, 2009
Mmmmmm, banh mi sandwiches are absolutely the shizzle!  I love how they're usually really cheap, too :)  I recently learned that these sandwiches can be made with sardines and are really good with sriracha sauce.  I've never had it with avocado though, so I'll have to try that.  Great review!
More Bahn Mi Sandwiches reviews
review by . July 29, 2010
Bahn Mi sandwiches are my favorite of all sandwiches, they're very different from any other sandwich, I've never used the word scrumptious for any particular food before, but these are.  I absolutely can't stand cilantro, and have a mild reaction to it, but I brave ahead and eat it on a bahn mi!  I would've never thought I'd eat liverwurst either, or pickled carrot slices, but this is a union of things I can't stand that turned into something I can't live without. …
Quick Tip by . November 30, 2009
I like my bahn mi bursting with cha, pate & Vietnamese mayo!
review by . December 10, 2008
banh mi picture from the blog Porkchop Express
I discovered bahn mi sandwiches in the past year while living in New York. I believe that it's a  dish that originated when the French colonized Vietnam.   There are some French ingredients (crusty French bagette, mayonaise), and some Vietnamese ingredients (cilantro, daikon radish and carrots, various forms of meat stuffing like pate or grilled pork, jalapeno peppers). I can genuinely say that my life has improved b/c of this sandwich.   To me, what really makes this sandwich …
About the reviewer
Aria Juliet Castillo ()
Ranked #44
I'm a graphic designer, originally from Hawaii and now I'm living it up in L.A.   I've been a vegetarian my entire life, but I am still obsessed with fast food, and I love eating … more
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About this food


Bánh mì or bánh mỳ is a Vietnamese baguette made with wheat and rice flour, as well as a type of sandwich traditionally made with this type of baguette. The sandwich is made up of thinly sliced pickled carrots and daikon, onions, cucumbers, cilantro, jalapeño peppers and meat or tofu. Popular bánh mì fillings include roasted or grilled pork, Vietnamese ham, paté, mayonnaise, chicken, and head cheese. Most Banh Mi sandwiches contain a Vietnamese mayonnaise-like spread that is a mixture of egg yolk, cooking oil/butter, and sometimes spices.

Bánh mì is generally served in small shops and at some phở noodle eateries. Bánh mì shops can be found in many countries, especially in areas with a Vietnamese immigrant community. The contrasting flavors and textures of the sandwich — as well as its relatively low cost — make it a popular dish. Bánh mì is referred to as a "Saigon Sub", "Vietnamese Po' boy" in the New Orleans community (USA), a "Vietnamese Hoagie" in other parts of the United States, or a "Vietnamese Sub" in Canada.

The genesis of the bánh mì sandwich stems from the French countryside "salad sandwich" which consists of lettuces, tomatoes and sometimes vegetables as well as dressing served on a baguette. The sandwich is a product of French colonialism in Indochina, combining ingredients from the French ...
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