Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwich) is a popular Vietnamese street food made up of pâté, mayonnaise, protein, pickled and fresh vegetables nestled in a toasted french baguette. This delicious sandwich is packed full of flavour but like any sandwich, is arguably straightforward to make!
First thing’s first, the secret behind a deliciously authentic Banh Mi is making your own pâté, mayonnaise and bread from scratch. This quick version of Banh Mi is my go-to when I’m time poor, using ingredients already in my fridge or readily available at the local supermarket. It’s hardly a recipe – just a sandwich that can be ready in 15 minutes or less.
MAKE PICKLED CARROTS THE NIGHT BEFORE:
If you don’t have a jar of pickled carrots in your fridge already, I highly recommend preparing these SUPER EASY PICKLED CARROTS the night before. And no, you cannot skip this step, it’s a must-have in Banh Mi!
You just need water, white vinegar, sugar, salt, carrot and shallots (red onions are fine if you don’t have shallots). You basically chuck it all into a jar and leave it to pickle for at least 3 hours. For the best result, leave them overnight as this will give time for the shallot flavour to come through. Trust me, it makes a difference!
CAN I SUBSTITUTE THE PROTEIN?
In this recipe, I use Vietnamese cold cuts which can be found in the fridge at your local Asian supermarket. You can substitute this with ANY protein. Pork belly for example is super popular. Tofu is a great meat-free alternative too. I like using fried tofu in Banh Mi as it provides extra crunch.
WHAT PATE SHOULD I BUY AT THE STORE?
As mentioned the best Banh Mi makers create their own, usually mixing pork and/or chicken liver. In terms of the best store-bought substitute, any normal pate is fine. I usually go for ‘ground pepper’ pate or a mushroom-flavoured one, which tends to have extra umami (savouriness).
WHAT TYPE OF SOY SAUCE SHOULD I USE?
I highly recommend the Maggi regular soy sauce (this resonates most with an authentic Banh Mi flavour profile/many vendors actually use this).
Banh Mi Vietnamese Sandwich (UNDER 15 MINUTES)
- Your choice of protein
- Pickled Carrots (see my recipe for Vietnamese Pickled Carrots)
- Spring Onion
- Light Soy Sauce
- Chilli (optional)
- Coriander (optional)
- Mayonnaise (optional)
Prepare the vegetables
- Make my super simple Pickled Carrots. It will need at least 3 hours in the fridge for the flavour to come through. I highly recommend preparing the night before.
- Slice cucumber, spring onions and chilli.
Assemble Banh Mi Sandwich
- Toast baguette in oven at 190°c for 5 minutes or until crunchy. Alternatively you can skip this step & toast in sandwich press at the end!
- Slice baguette open and spread on your butter, pâté and mayonnaise.
- Add your choice of protien + vegetables. Finish off with drizzle of soy sauce. , garnish with chilli. Serve immediately, otherwise the Baguette will get soggy!