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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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My life has improved b/c of this Vietnamese sandwich

  • Dec 10, 2008
  • by
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 has to be good crusty French baguette and also really juicy, finely-shredded daikon radishes and carrots. 

The best bahn mi I've ever had was at Banh Mi Saigon Bakery in Chinatown of New York. Their sandwiches features daikon bursting with sweet, vinegar-y juice. The bakery is actually a takeout counter located in the back of a jewelry shop, and every Saturday or Sunday, I'd see old Chinese ladies patiently waiting for their orders in front of the jewelry display cases. 

It's pretty easy to make at home too, but b/c they're generally so cheap (around $2.50 to $3.50 for a huge portion), I'd recommend just picking up a couple next time you see a shop. 

It's a savvy, Recession-conscious meal — You can eat half for lunch, and the other half for dinner. 

banh mi picture from the blog Porkchop Express saigon bakery pic from the blog Porkchop Express

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August 14, 2009
The idea of ordering sandwiches in the back of a jewelry store would make me go there regularly. Very interesting write up, I will have to try one of these sandwiches next time we go to a pho place. Thank you!
August 14, 2009
They are soooo good, Amanda! But we haven't found a place in DFW that we really like as much as the places in Los Angeles. Tell me if you find a good one!!
August 14, 2009
I probably wouldn't know a good one from a bad one at this point. Will have to try several to know what's good! Have you tried any of the Vietnamese places out in Irving (TX)?
April 08, 2009
hey, Ling. Have you been to the Vietnamese sandwich place over at Larkin St.? It's real good (especially the combo one), although these days they don't give you as much meat as they used to probably because of the recession. Oh, you can buy the meat there and make your own sandwich at home! There's also one in Kearney but I haven't tried it yet.
April 09, 2009
Awesome, thank you! I've been on the lookout for my staple bahn mi place in SF, and this is the first recommendation I've gotten. I'm gonna try it!
December 12, 2008
Wow, small world right? I'm still trying to find a banh mi shop that measures up here in San Fran. Anyone got recommendations?
More Bahn Mi Sandwiches reviews
review by . August 14, 2009
posted in Gourmand
Banh Mi Vegetable
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 …
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!
About the reviewer

Ranked #84
I'm a curious foodie, a devout fashion gawker, and an unrepentant print nerd. I work at one of the last mainstream commercial magazines that's still printing.      Other things … 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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