Take a bite. There’s a shatter-crunch of French bread, the deep unctuous flavors of ham + pâté, a sweet + sour pickled vegetable brightness, and then that pleasantly stinging, lingering heat.
There’s nothing simple about the banh mi – known by many simply as a Vietnamese Sandwich – from it’s complex flavors to its history as a byproduct of French colonialism in southeast Asia.
But this easy banh mi by Stephanie Le of I am a Food Blog proves that anyone can create their own version of this picnic-perfect sandwich!
Read on for Stephanie’s recipe and click here to see the rest of her summer picnic spread.
“You can easily buy Vietnamese head cheese and ham at your local Asian grocery store, but if you don’t have one close by, most delis will at least have uncured ham, which works wonderfully. A lot of the banh mi flavors come from the pâté and pickled carrots and daikon, so don’t skip out on those!” – Stephanie Le
What You Need
Fresh baguette, cut into 4 equal pieces
Pork pâté, to taste
Mayonnaise, Kewpie mayo if possible, to taste
8-12 thin slices of head cheese
8-12 thin slices of ham
Quick-pickled daikon and carrots (see below)
Fresh cilantro sprigs
Sliced jalapeños (optional)
Quick-Pickled Daikon and Carrots
1 large carrot, julienned
2” piece of daikon, julienned
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon sugar
What You Do
1. Make the quick pickles. Put the carrots and daikon into a bowl and sprinkle on the salt and sugar. After 15 minutes, rinse off the pickles, drain well and place in the fridge until ready to assemble your banh mi.
2. Slice the baguette lengthwise, but not all the way through. Spread a thin layer of pâté on the bottom and a thin layer of mayo on the top. Layer on slices of head cheese, then ham. Top with pickled daikon and carrot, cilantro and sliced jalapeños, if using. Enjoy!
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Stephanie Le blogs at I am a Food Blog, where she cooks and photographs up a storm. She recently won Saveur Magazine’s Editors’ Choice for Best Cooking Blog and her first cookbook, Easy Gourmet (available for preorder here), will be released in September. You can follow Stephanie on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.