SandwichesChickenMainsMeatQuick & Easy

Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwich Recipe

20 mins Cook
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bahn mi

Vietnam rests right next to China, geographically, so flavors have a tendency to be fluid there, ignoring borders.

Here’s the way to make the hottest and most delicious Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwich – fresh, mild, complex and flavorful with masses of umami goodness, made with your preference of tofu, mushrooms, chicken or beef and simple pantry ingredients. Vegan-adaptable.

While a person asks me what is the first-class thing I’ve ever eaten, i will’t assist however keep in mind the Banh Mi Sandwiches, Brian and i had in the metropolis of Hoi An, in Vietnam. It changed into the very same avenue food vendor that Anthony Bourdain raved approximately on one in all his suggests, and of route, we tracked it down.

And fairly the equal female was there, still selling her Banh Mi Sandwiches, for handiest a greenback. We played her the episode on my iPhone, and she got a bit kick out of it. To these days, I think it is one of the fine things i’ve ever eaten.

The bread become fresh, crispy, light. The sandwich had so many layers of flavor-depth, complexity, intrigue with each and every bite. We went again generally that week, blown away each and every time. really an revel in. here’s a hyperlink to his section.

This Banh Mi Recipe comes as near as we are able to get to the ones flavors, without getting overly complicated. The tofu version is each bit as desirable as the bird version- and the secret component here is… a touch of chinese five Spice. 😉 After many repeated visits to Banh Mi stands, I start to notice the hint of 5-spice in the liver pate. It extended!

What is Banh Mi?

Originating in Saigon, Bahn Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich made with crispy, ethereal baguette usually full of savory meats, mayo, a smear of wealthy liver pate, crowned with pickled greens, crunchy cucumbers, highly spiced chilies, and sparkling herbs. fresh and light, however spicy and umami-flavored!

Actually, a symphony of flavors and textures, Banh Mi is a fusion of Vietnamese and French cuisine delivered about in the mid- 1800s, with the aid of the French career in Northern Vietnam.

You could see both influences surely, the French- not only inside the bread, however with the pate and mayo,- and the Vietnamese, who lightened up the french baguette with rice flour, and added all the fresh and highly spiced substances.


  • Fresh Baguette– or Banh Mi bread (made with rice flour)
  • mayo (or aioli, or vegan may0)
  • Sriracha Sauce (or garlic chili paste)
  • Daikon Radish (or sub radishes)
  • Carrot
  • Cucumber
  • Fresh herbs: cilantro, mint, or Thai basil or a combo
  • vinegar: rice wine (or white, or apple cider)
  • Sugar or honey
  • Fresh chili– jalapeno, Serrano
  • Choice of Protein: Tofu, Chicken Thigh, Mushrooms or this Five Spice Pork
  • Salt
  • Chinese Five Spice
  • Olive oil
  • Optional additions: Liver Pate, Microgreens, scallions,

How to Make Banh Mi

Step One: Pickled Veggies

Make the pickled daikon and carrots. Shred them first- this less expensive device may be discovered at most Asian markets.

Another alternative is to thinly slice the daikon or carrots with a knife, stack the slices, then cut into matchsticks. Or buy matchstick carrots!

Toss the daikon and carrots with vinegar, water, sugar and salt, and produce to simmer, then cool without delay.

Place the pickled vegetables in a jar inside the fridge. sure-you may try this beforehand!

Step Two: Spicy Mayo

Using your choice of mayo ( vegan, or now not)- area about ¼ cup in a bowl.

Stir in a teaspoon or of Sriracha. Set aside. depending on the mayo, a pinch of salt can also raise.

You could add a bit soy sauce, or fish sauce to this for extra umami, however, this is not conventional.

Step Three: Prep Veggies and Herbs

Slice the cucumber and any fresh veggies, and get your herbs ready.

Step Four: Cook the Protein

Choose your protein! Tofu, chicken, Mushrooms or this five Spice red meat .

Season the chicken thighs or tofu with salt and 5-spice.

Then pan-sear, getting a pleasing crust.

If the usage of mushrooms, saute in olive oil, then season with salt, pepper and five-spice. you can also grill the mushrooms for even extra umami!

TIP: I genuinely love the use of oyster mushrooms here!

If opting for the 5 Spice red meat, I recommend making this ahead.

If the usage of chicken thighs, after they may be cooked through, shred a bit with forks.

Step Five: Assemble the Banh Mi Sandwich!

Cut open the baguette on one side only, opening it up like a book.

TIP: Because French baguettes are much denser than traditional Banh Mi bread- make sure to use a FRESH one.

It is worth tracking down a fresh bakery. Otherwise, the Banh mi can be too chewy.

The other option is to purchase a few buns from a local Vietnamese restaurant- usually, they are happy to sell a few.
Lather generously with the Spicy Mayo.

Lather generously with the Spicy Mayo.

Then add the crispy tofu or chicken.

Layer with Cucumbers, Pickled Veggies, and fresh herbs.

Use a lot here!

Step Six: Cut the Banh Mi

You could cut this into however many sandwiches you like. A baguette typically serves 4-5.

In our catering enterprise, we would pierce with lovely toothpicks and reduce into small, 1-2-inch “finger sandwiches”- a amusing appetizer.

Step Seven: Serve or Store.

Serve on a platter and wrap up any leftovers and store in the fridge- they are good the next day!

Recipe Tips:

Use the hottest bread you may get- crispy, light baguettes, or visit a Vietnamese restaurant and notice if they’ll permit you to buy some from them.
Don’s bypass out on including the sugar to the pickled vegetables. Banh Mi desires that hint of sweetness to balance the flavors.
Don’t pass the pickled veggies– they make the sandwich.
Stability the flavors- you need all 4- umami, acid, spicy, sweet.
Recollect texture– you need some thing crunchy in there too- that is why I do no longer pickle the cucumbers.
Don’t be terrified of the fresh chilies! Sliced very thinly, a fresh, mild jalapeno provides so much to the sandwich. Of route you may use spicier chilies.
Use fresh Herbs! cilantro, mint, Thai basil, normal basil or a mix is fine too!
Stability the “fat” and the fresh additives. A conventional Banh Mi has a deep umami richness ( from the a smear of liver pate, mayo, or from the Beef- often red meat, but is balanced out by means of all the fresh substances and pickled veggies.
Elevate with 5-spice. It took me a while to discern out what made the Banh Mi in Vietnam flavor so awesome. It turns our there was 5 Spice within the Liver Pate. It became subtle, however truly extended the sandwich- and i fell in love with the taste. I’m assuming most of you received’t be making liver pate -so right here we brought 5-spice to the tofu (or chicken) however you can as a substitute stir a bit into the mayo.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is traditionally on a Vietnamese banh mi? A crispy light Bahn Mi bun, similar to a French baguette but much lighter and airier- made with rice flour. Typically some variation of grilled pork or chicken, liver pate (made of chicken, beef or pork), pickled veggies, cucumber, fresh herbs and fresh chilies.
  • What is banh mi sauce made of? Banh Mi Sauce is very similar Mayo– made with oil, egg, lemon, and salt. In Vietnam, sometimes they will mix this with butter- for an even richer spread.
  • What meats are in banh mi? In Vietnam, typically they are served with some variation of grilled pork, chicken, liver pate ( made of chicken, beef or pork), thinly sliced ham and cold cuts, fried eggs, or sometimes sardines. For a vegetarian option, some will offer fried tofu.
Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwich Recipe

Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwich Recipe

Here’s the way to make the hottest and most delicious Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwich – fresh, mild, complex and flavorful with masses of umami goodness, made with your preference of tofu, mushrooms, chicken or beef and simple pantry ingredients. Vegan-adaptable.
prep time
20 mins
cooking time
20 mins
total time
40 mins



  • 1 small daikon radish (3/4 cup matchstick or grated)

  • 1 medium carrot (3/4 cup, matchstick, or grated)

  • 1/2 cup vinegar (white, rice, apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons sugar, or sugar alternative

  • 16 ounces firm tofu or chicken thighs

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, more to taste

  • 3/4 Chinese Five Spice, or to taste

  • olive oil for searing

  • 2 Turkish cucumbers

  • 1 cup of cilantro leaves

  • 1 jalapeno, (or serrano) very finely sliced

  • 1/3 cup mayo, vegan mayo, or aioli

  • 1–3 teaspoons Sriracha Hot sauce



Make the Pickled Veggies

Peel the daikon and carrot, then cut into matchsticks (thinly slice, stack, then reduce into skinny strips). place in a small pot with water, vinegar, salt and sugar. sense unfastened to add slices of jalapeno, saving some fresh slices. bring to a simmer, then cool immediately, placing within the fridge. you can do this an afternoon before.

Pan Sear Tofu/or Chicken

Blot the tofu lightly with paper towels, reduce into 1/three inch-thick squares or rectangles. Season each facets generously with salt, and sprinkle lightly with chinese five Spice. Pan sear in oil, until each facets are crisp and golden. If the use of chicken, season both aspects generously with salt and lightly with five-spice. Pan-sear till deeply golden. both decrease the heat and cook via or end cooking the chicken in a 350F oven, then shred it a chunk with forks. flavor and adjust salt and five-Spice, including more to taste.

Sriracha “Mayo”

Mix the mayo and sriracha together, adding more to taste. Sriracha has both acidity and sweetness- keep this in mind if using something else and adjust accordingly.

Assemble the Banh Mi

Slit one side of the baguette down the whole length of it, leaving the other side intact- so it hinges open, like a book. Lather both sides with Sriacha Mayo. Layer in the protein, add the cucumber slices, and pickled Carrot/Daikon mix. Top with fresh cilantro and fresh jalapeno.


Mushrooms: Mushrooms can be sauteed in olive (and seasoned with salt and five-spice) or tossed in olive oil then roasted or grilled. Oyster mushrooms are a great option here! Here is the Five Spice Pork Recipe-which I would make ahead.
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