Close-up photo of a delicious Banh Mi Pate sandwich. The sandwich features a crusty baguette filled with layers of savory pate, fresh vegetables, cilantro, and pickled carrots.

Vietnamese Bánh Mì Sandwich Recipe (From A To Z)

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The Bánh Mì Sandwich is a Vietnamese-French influenced dish that introduces Vietnamese culture and cuisine to the world. In 2022, just as “pho” did back in 2014, the term “Banh Mi” earned its official spot in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

In this blog post, I will guide you on where you can enjoy Bánh Mì in Vietnam and how to prepare an authentic Bánh Mì Sandwich at home, just like a Vietnamese.

Close-up photo of a delicious Banh Mi Pate sandwich. The sandwich features a crusty baguette filled with layers of savory pate, fresh vegetables, cilantro, and pickled carrots.

🙋‍♀️ What is Banh Mi?

“Bánh Mì” literally means bread in Vietnamese, much like “Naan” in Persian.

While “Banh Mi Bread” or “Banh Mi Sandwich” may seem somewhat redundant, in the West, they refer specifically to the Vietnamese-style baguette filled with various ingredients.

Bánh Mì has its roots in the late 1800s during the French colonial period in Vietnam. The French brought the baguette to Vietnam, and the Vietnamese started stuffing it with locally adapted ingredients, giving rise to the Bánh Mì we love today.

Vietnamese dishes with French influence you should try:

🌟 The locally loved Banh Mi in Vietnam

I mean, any Vietnamese would likely have their favorite Bánh Mì food stall conveniently nearby their home or workplace.

Now, Banh Mi and Coffee (the best Vietnamese coffee brands you should buy during your trip in Vietnam) have become a cultural phenomenon in Vietnam, especially among young people, as they symbolize the fast-paced lifestyle.

A trending song dedicated to Banh Mi.

Let me introduce you to some Bánh Mì options you should try when planning a trip to Vietnam:

Bánh Mì Thịt Nguội or Bánh Mì Thập Cẩm is the most popular type of Bánh Mì, typically filled with Vietnamese-styled cold cuts like Liver Pâté, Ham (Chả Lụa), Red Pork Belly (Thịt Đỏ), or Head Cheese (Chả Thủ).

Bánh Mì Heo Quay features crispy pork belly (my personal favorite).

banh mi heo quay
Bánh Mì Heo Quay (Banh Mi with Roasted Pork Belly) at my home in Nha Trang

Bánh Mì Xíu Mại: Banh mi with Vietnamese meatballs, a specialty from Da Lat.

Bánh Mì Thịt Nướng or Nem Nướng is filled with pork skewers or Vietnamese sausage skewers.

Bánh Mì Thịt Xíu highlights 5-spice pork, a specialty from Hoi An.

Bánh Mì Chả Cá includes fried fish cake, a specialty from Nha Trang (my hometown)

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/830210512555730759/

Bánh Mì Chảo: a Vietnamese-styled full breakfast in which banh mi served with a hot pan of various ingredients such as eggs, sausages, Vietnamese pâté and Vietnamese meat balls. There is a similar dish call Bò Né (Vietnamese steak & eggs).

Bánh Mì Chay: a Bánh Mì filled with vegan ingredients such as tofu, seitan, or mushrooms.

We also enjoy Bánh Mì in other simple ways like:

  • Dipping it in sweetened condensed milk: the combination of warm and crispy Bánh Mì with condensed milk may sound weird, but it’s an amazing combo.
  • Filling it with sunny side up eggs and nước chấm (dipping fish sauce), a classic choice that never gets old.
  • Pairing it with egg coffee.

Where to eat:

Saigon:

Nha Trang:

Hoi An:

Hanoi:

  • Bánh Mì 25
  • Bánh Mì Chảo Cột Điện Quán (71 Đặng Văn Ngữ str, Đống Đa district, Hanoi)

📝 Prepare Banh Mi at home

Of course, you don’t need to travel to Vietnam right now to grab a Banh Mi. Even if there are no Banh Mi stalls nearby, you can still make your own Bánh Mì at home with just a few of my tips.

Bread for Banh Mi

The Vietnamese-style baguette stands out with its ultra-thin and crispy crust. It’s also quite airy with less crumb, providing more room for the filling.

The Vietnamese bread may not be the best to enjoy on its own because it’s rather bland and lacks the deep, rich flavors found in artisan or sourdough bread. (Well, artisan bread in Germany is just so good!!)

Avoid any bread with a dense crumb. It’s ideal if you can either make your own Bánh Mì baguette or purchase one from a Vietnamese bakery. Alternatively, any very crusty baguette, such as a French baguette, will also work fine.

What is inside Banh Mi

Inside a Banh Mi, there are typically several ingredients, including:

Vietnamese Pâté: Vietnamese liver pâté typically made from pork or chicken livers. You can use my recipe or your preferred liver paté.

A captivating photo showcasing a Vietnamese pate, exuding a creamy texture and rich flavor. The pate is beautifully presented with garnishes, reflecting the authentic Vietnamese culinary tradition. Its smooth consistency and decadent appearance make it an enticing choice for any food enthusiast.
Vietnamese Liver Pâté for Banh Mi

Vietnamese Mayo: This mayo is thicker than regular mayo. You can use my recipe or your everyday mayo.

A close-up photo of homemade Vietnamese Mayo, a creamy and rich sauce used in Vietnamese cuisine. It has a smooth and velvety texture, perfect for enhancing the flavor of Banh Mi sandwiches and other Vietnamese dishes.
Vietnamese Mayo for Banh Mi

Pickled carrot & daikon (Don’t skip this!): Đồ Chua is thinly sliced carrots and daikon radish pickled in a brine of vinegar, water, and sugar. They add a fresh flavor and crunchy texture to your Banh Mi.

Do chua (vietnamese pickled carrot and daikon) in a jar.
Đồ Chua (Vietnamese Pickled Carrot & Daikon)

Sliced cucumber, green onion, cilantro and chili: These ingredients provide freshness and a spicy kick to your Banh Mi.

Maggi seasoning sauce: small drizzle of Maggi soy sauce can enhance the flavor of your Banh Mi. Alternatively, you can use your regular soy sauce.

Protein choices are versatile. You can fill your Banh Mi with various options, whether store-bought or homemade.

  • Sunny-side-up eggs & nước chấm: Simple yet incredibly tasty. This was my favorite breakfast at the high school’s canteen.
  • Chả Lụa (Vietnamese Ham): You can easily find this at Asian supermarkets.
  • Gà Nướng Xả (Vietnamese Grilled Lemongrass Chicken)
An image of Air Fryer Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken served on a plate. The chicken is marinated in a blend of lemongrass, garlic, scallions, and other spices. It is garnished with green onion oil and herbs and served with rice.
Air Fryer Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken

Substitutes and Fusions:

Close-up photo of mouthwatering teriyaki chicken, showcasing golden-brown glazed chicken pieces
20-minute Teriyaki Chicken
An enticing image of Air Fryer Gochujang Chicken Thighs, showcasing golden-brown, crispy chicken thighs coated in a delicious gochujang marinade. The dish is served with a garnish of sesame seeds.
30-minute Gochujang Chicken
A plate of Com Ga Roti, featuring perfectly cooked chicken thighs glazed in a savory sauce, served with steamed rice. A delicious Vietnamese culinary delight."
Gà Roti (Vietnamese Rotisserie Chicken)

Assemble the Bánh Mì

Bánh Mì might initially appear challenging to prepare at home due to its numerous ingredients. However, if you have all the necessary ingredients ready (many of which are store-bought), you can actually whip it up in just 10 minutes.

  • Heat the baguette bread.
  • Split the roll down the top middle, but leave the back part uncut.
Slice the roll down the top middle.
Spread pâté on both sides of the roll.
Spread mayo on both sides of the roll.
  • Layer in the protein, cucumber strips, đồ chua, green onion, and finally, cilantro.
Fill the bread with protein, cucumber strips, đồ chua, green onion, and cilantro.
  • Finish by adding a few slices of chili and a drizzle of Maggi Seasoning (or Soy Sauce).

🍞 How to enjoy Banh Mi Sandwich

Banh Mi sandwich is an affordable, delectable, and convenient street food that almost Vietnamese love. Vietnamese people can enjoy Banh Mi all seven days of the week because we have a wide variety of filling choices for Banh Mi

Try other Vietnamese street food:

You can even have Banh Mi for any meals of the day, but it’s particularly well-suited for a quick breakfast (even though people still love having Phở or Cơm Tấm for breakfast). A combination of Banh Mi and Vietnamese coffee (cà phê sữa đá) is a must for breakfast when you travel to Vietnam.

Banh Mi is also an excellent choice for a picnic or camping trip. You can either assemble Banh Mi at home or bring all the ingredients and put it together at your campsite.

Did you find this recipe helpful?

Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below! Your support means the world to me! It would greatly inspire me to create more valuable content about Vietnamese and Asian cuisines. Thank you and have a nice day!! Don’t forget to stay in touch with me on Instagram, FacebookPinterestYouTube 🥰.

Close-up photo of a delicious Banh Mi Pate sandwich. The sandwich features a crusty baguette filled with layers of savory pate, fresh vegetables, cilantro, and pickled carrots.

Vietnamese Bánh Mì Sandwich Recipe (From A To Z)

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The Bánh Mì Sandwich is a global ambassador for Vietnamese culture and cuisine these days. With my helpful tips, preparing an authentic Banh Mi at home becomes a breeze.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

Protein Choices (according to your preferences, should total 1 lb / 500g)

Instructions
 

  • Warm the baguette bread.
  • Slice the roll down the top middle, leaving the back part uncut.
  • Spread mayo and pâté on both sides of the roll.
  • Fill the bread with protein, cucumber strips, đồ chua, green onion, and cilantro.
  • Top it off with a few chili slices and a drizzle of Maggi Seasoning (or Soy Sauce).

Notes

  • Vietnamese baguettes work best for Banh Mi, but you can also opt for any very crusty bread, like French baguettes.
  • As for the filling, you can stick with traditional options like Chả Lụa (Vietnamese Ham), Thịt Heo Quay (roasted pork belly), or Thịt Đỏ (Red Pork Belly). Alternatively, feel free to use your favorite protein (no need to limit yourself).
  • Liver Paté and Mayo are a must (the Vietnamese ones work best).
  • Đồ Chua (Pickled Carrot & Daikon) and Maggi Seasoning Sauce (or Soy Sauce) are irreplaceable.
 
 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
5/5 - (42 votes)

8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Dear Cielle, Thank you for the recipes. I made Banh Mi following your blog. Bought baguette from a local vietnamese resto that bakes them. My hubby said he loves my Banh Mi, tastes so authentic with pickled radish & carrots, fresh cucumber strips & coriander, no Pate bec hubby does not like. I dare say my Banh Mi is almost as good as street vendors in vietnam. Better than some chain store in Singapore. For Protein filling I made lemon grass chicken but with leftover fillets of turkey breast. Run out of fish sauce so I used another tbsp soya sauce & added salt. Grilled it on a teflon pan & it came out super tender & moist. I will def be making more banh mi & more lemonngrass marinates. Planning to try it on Halibut fillets next time.

    • If you live in Singapore, I guess you could easily get roasted pork belly?? Try it with your banh mi, add some cucumber strips, cilantro, then splash on a bit of dipping fish sauce (the recipe is on my blog). It was my favorite Bánh Mì when I was still in Saigon ^^.

      • Thanks! Actually that’s my plan, get some cooked pork belly from supermarket for protein in my banh mi. I am on a Banh Mi adventure, trying different proteins. Just bought bratwurst from Swiss butcher today and planning to grill it to make Banh Mi. Have you tried? How do I get lemongrass flavour in? Can I marinate it like in your chicken recipe?

        • Hello, Ong KC. Sorry for replying late. I haven’t tried Bratwurst with Banh Mi yet. In Germany, where I live, the Bratwurst is a bit saltier than my Vietnamese flavor, but I’m not sure about the Bratwurst in Singapore. I think if I wanted to make lemongrass-infused Bratwurst, I would try marinating the sausages with some lemongrass and green onion juice (blend the lemongrass and the white part of the green onion with a bit of water, then strain through a sieve to get the juice). The juice can impart a better flavor to your protein than minced lemongrass, and when grilling, the lemongrass will not get burnt (it’s our Vietnamese tip).

          Then, you could use the juice with some sugar, MSG and maybe just a very small amount of fish sauce to marinate your Bratwurst for a few hours or overnight.

          I hope that it could work. If you try to make lemongrass-infused Bratwurst, let me know the result. I’m very excited to hear about it.

          • 5 stars
            Thank you for the tips. I really appreciate it. Decided not to do lemongrass infused bratwurst with sauerkraut (added like pickled vegs), as I worry the flavour may be too far off to match banh mi, I will stick to authentic Vietnamese flavours. I have done another banh mi with pork liver pate bought from Swiss deli. Protein was grilled lemongrass turkey breast, this time I have replenished my fish sauce. Also I did not forget scallions and scallion oil. I did not so much taste the difference. It was the sriracha mayo that carried the taste for me. The crunchy airy bread smeared with sriracha mayo, liver pate, then stuffed with pan grilled lemongrass turkey breast, padded with pickled carrots & radish, coriander & scallion, drenched in scallion oil. Super delicious.
            Next I plan to do Vietnamese meatballs banh mi.

          • I’m glad that you love our Bánh Mì. In Vietnam, the meatballs for Bánh Mì is called “Xíu Mại”, it’s kind of meatballs with tomato sauce. Or you could make some grilled lemongrass meatballs, they would be awesome also. Hope you will love it ^^.

  2. 5 stars
    I used sriracha mayo to line the inside of the halved baguette before layering the fillings. Forgot scallions but it seems not noticeable. Also no chili for me. Next time I will make pate banh mi, we had it while on vacation in Hanoi early 2023, from a chain cafe that sells plain banh mi with only pate fillings. For me that was the best.

    • Yes, this pâté is very good, even if you just eat it alone with banh mi. (Sticky rice or crackers are also great side dishes 😉 !)

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