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Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwich)
Serves 4, Ready in 30 minutes
Marianne Moon

Ethnic street food can’t be beat! But if you’re not lucky enough to be in a city with an abundance of exotic sandwiches, here is something to try at home. Spicy meat, minty sweet and sour slaw, and toasty buttered bread… Delicious! Feel free to substitute your favorite meats or seasonal vegetables for those listed in this recipe. One of the best things about cooking is that recipes do not have to be exact, and you can use your creativity to try new combinations of ingredients.

1 cucumber, sliced
1 cup lettuce, shredded
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
1 cup mint leaves
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp sugar

1 lb your choice of turkey or pork or chicken tenderloins, thinly sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 bell pepper, sliced
Sambal (Vietnamese chili sauce, to taste)
1 tbsp canola oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

4 sliced rolls or 8 slices French bread
Butter, to spread
Sambal (optional)

Prepare the slaw. Shred the cucumber and lettuce with a knife and place them in a bowl. Add the mint leaves, vinegar, and sugar. Mix the ingredients and set the bowl aside to allow the slaw to marinate while you prepare the other ingredients.

Prepare the meat. Slice the meat thinly, and place in another bowl. Slice the onion and bell pepper and add to the meat. Add the canola oil. Add Sambal if you want to add spiciness to the meat, and a dash of salt and pepper to taste. Mix the ingredients. In a skillet set on medium heat, grill or sauté the meat mixture until the meat is opaque and cooked through. Turn the meat mixture in the pan periodically.

While the meat is cooking, spread the rolls (or French bread slices) with butter. Then grill or toast them until golden in a toaster oven. Alternatively, if you have a toaster, you can toast the bread first and spread the rolls with butter afterwards.

Fill the toasted rolls (or French bread) with the cooked meat and the marinated slaw. Top with a little more Sambal to taste.

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