Banh Mi is a Vietnamese term for all kinds of bread. The bread most commonly found in Vietnam is a single serving baguette, therefore the term Banh Mi is synonymous with this type of bread. Baguettes, while very much a French invention, are very common in Vietnam.
This dish is also known as the Vietnamese sandwich, and it combines ingredients from French cuisine with native Vietnamese ingredients, such as cilantro, fish sauce, and pickled carrots.
Banh Mi Thit Mguoi, which is the classic Vietnamese sandwich, is made with various Vietnamese cold cuts, including pork-based foods such as sliced pork, pork bellies, pork sausage and head cheese, along with the liver pate and vegetables. Some restaurants specialising in Vietnamese cuisine also offer Banh Mi Chay, a vegetarian option made with tofu. Such a rich combination of foods make Banh Mi an absolute delight.
The delicacy is so versatile that it can also be eaten for breakfast, in the form of scrambled eggs served in a baguette. The version eaten more widely for breakfast in Vietnam is eggs fried sunny-side-up with onions, sprinkled with soy sauce or fish sauce, served on a buttered baguette.
A word of caution to those who do not like spicy food, bird’s eye chillies are usually amply added to savoury Banh Mi, so do check or request they not be added.
If you’re looking for pudding or dessert, Banh Mi is also sold in Vietnam as an ice cream sandwich called Banh Mi Kep Kem. The snack consists of scoops of ice cream stuffed inside a Banh Mi, topped with crushed peanuts.
You’re spoilt for choice in the countries of Southeast Asia, but don’t forget to relish this must-eat in Vietnam – Banh Mi.
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