Traditional Vietnamese Baguette (Banh Mi)

  • Preparation: 15 mins
  • Cooking: 15 mins
  • Skill level: Easy
  • Servings: 1

Description Traditional Vietnamese Baguette (Bánh Mì)

There is one sandwich in the Vietnamese recipes and it is a tour de force. Garlicky meats, marinated daikon and carrot, chiles, cucumber, and cilantro tucked into a baguette moistened with mayonnaise and Maggi Seasoning sauce, Traditional Vietnamese Baguette (Bánh Mì) merges European and Asian food traditions. Each mouthful reflects how Vietnamese cooks co-opted French ideas to create new foods.
All Traditional Vietnamese Sandwich use the same basic framework of ingredients, though a minority of makers use margarine or butter instead of mayonnaise. At Vietnamese delis, you make the call on the main protein element. The đặc biệt (special) is basically “the works,” a smear of liver pâté and slices of various cold cuts that show off the art of Vietnamese charcuterie . Follow the custom of Viet deli owners and use your imagination to fill the sandwich. Just make sure it is boldly flavored. Pieces of grilled lemongrass beef , oven-roasted chicken , five-spice pork steaks , or char siu pork (pictured above) are excellent. Seared or grilled firm tofu or leftover roasted lamb or beef will work, too.
The bread doesn’t have to be one of the airy Vietnamese baguettes made with wheat and rice flours. (In the past, the best baguettes in Vietnam were made from wheat flour only and displayed an amazing crumb and crust.) You can use a regular baguette (though neither sourdough nor too crusty) or a Mexican bolillo (torpedo-shaped roll).


  • 1 petite baguette roll or 7-inch section from a regular baguette
  • Mayonnaise, preferably homemade
  • Maggi Seasoning sauce or light (regular) soy sauce
  • Liver pâté, boldly flavored cooked meat, and/ or tofu, sliced and at room temperature
  • 3 or 4 thin, seeded cucumber strips, preferably pickling (Kirby) or English
  • 2 or 3 sprigs cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 3 or 4 thin slices jalapeño chile
  • ¼ cup Everyday Daikon and Carrot Pickle

Method Traditional Vietnamese Baguette (Bánh Mì)

1, Slit the bread lengthwise, leaving it attached on the back side. Using your fingers or a bread knife, hollow out the insides, making a trough in each half. Discard the insides or save for another use, such as bread crumbs. If the bread is soft, crisp it briefly in a toaster oven preheated to 325 ° F, and then let it cool for a minute before proceeding.
2, Generously spread the cut sides of the bread with mayonnaise and then drizzle with Maggi Seasoning sauce. Layer the meat, cucumber, cilantro, chile, and pickle on the bottom half. Close the sandwich, cut in half crosswise for easy eating, and enjoy.

Chef's Note

Traditional Vietnamese Baguette (Bánh Mì) is adapted from the book "Into the Vietnamese Kitchen" by Andrea Nguyen. Copyright © 2006 by Andrea Nguyen.

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