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David Ross

Cook-Off 60: Banh Mi

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smiley-money-mouth.gif.5e9eb18c6a0cc6dd9smiley-money-mouth.gif.5e9eb18c6a0cc6dd9Im now 3/4's stunned

 

good for all you

 

less of course for me

 

but well

 

they are pretty tasty in BOS chinatown

 

I do no were to go

 

no parking in the vacinity

 

and now, at 3 PM its 20 Big F degrees.

 

maybe Ill motor in on Sunday, in my SnowSuit

 

smiley-money-mouth.gif.5e9eb18c6a0cc6dd9

 

and get 2 or 3

 

 

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 But this topic is about making your own Bahn Mi not about buying them.  So is anybody making them? 


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I wanted to give a background of my particular experiences with banh mi. I did post a pic of one I made, unfortunately couldn't find more of the pictures I was looking for. But I just found some more so here they are! This attempt was made with a Vietnamese "white" kimchi in place of the usual pickled vegetables. I also used a hollowed out French bread, and truffled pork and chicken pâté from fresh market. The meat is picked rotisserie pork ribs from the same.

image.jpeg.ab09f099f3ccbce800cb4d1fad8f4 

image.jpeg.3d5fb7e25345c9288d89354b9aff2image.jpeg.58041538eac1ad910484de601ea47

 

image.jpeg


Edited by tchefunkte Redundant photo (log)
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Kudos!

 After a couple of attempts at the bread from Ngyuens book, I pretty much abandoned any further attempts. Suitable bread seems pretty scarce around here but I see on her site that she is suggesting some more easily found options so I might try again in the near future. If others are making the attempt I would love to hear.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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26 minutes ago, tchefunkte said:

What book are you referencing?

Sorry.  Misspelled her name. Nguyen. The Bahn Mi Handbook. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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6 hours ago, tchefunkte said:

I have loved banh mi since this, my first one, in NYC's Chinatown in 2006:

IMG_0772 (3).JPG

 

Here are some of the offerings of Duong Phong bakery and restaurant in the far east area of New Orleans. The banh mi sandwiches in the lower part of the picture are great, and cheap (sorry, no photos unwrapped). Not only do they have ,in my opinion, the second best banh mi in the NO area, but they also supply the bread to most of the other restaurants in town that have banh mi:

2013-06-08 12.59.54.jpg

 

My favorite banh mi in NO comes from Hong Kong Market on the westbank. They bake their own break as well and are also ridiculously cheap considering the quality of the sandwiches. As seen in the picture, their English isn't quite at the level of their sandwich making!

IMG_7974.JPG

 

Unfortunately, the only picture I have of an actual banh mi I made is one is one of my first attempts a few years back (a solid C-) :

2012-01-05 20.49.15.jpg


In recent years there have been a lot more restaurants offering banh mi, and presenting them with non-traditional fillings. A local food writer dubbed the vegetarian/Indian one at Pagoda Cafe one of the best dishes he had eaten all year:

 

"Indian Banh Mi with Phyllis’ green chutney, honey roasted beets, pickled and raw vegetables and arugula "

Thanks for the post.  I'll be in New Orleans next week and will try Hong Kong Market.  

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Banh Mi has been a favorite in our house ever since I first discovered Andrea Nguyen's Into the Vietnamese Kitchen. I make her carrot and daikon pickle, which is simple and so addictive! I have also made her char siu, as well as other recipes for that staple. I use a little Maggi in mayo for the spread, the usual sliced cukes, sprigs of cilantro and jalapeños to taste. If I don't have any fresh hot peppers I just squirt in some Sriracha.

 

For me, the whole idea of a sandwich is to make life a bit easier, so I don't make my own bread. My favorite bread is simply a good baguette. That's a bit crustier than the traditional roll, but there are such great baguettes here in the Bay Area to me it's a no-brainer. I can't imagine that a good baguette would stop anyone from eating a banh mi. Someone (maybe Andrea?) suggests using the Mexican bolillos, which are fresh and easily available if you have a big Hispanic market near by.

 

For the pate I rely on a very standard rather smooth chicken liver pate from my local fine foods market. Just not gonna make my own pate. I've used all kinds of meat besides char siu: grilled shrimp, bbq chicken, roast duck purchased in Chinatown. Once I made it with spicy Asian flavored pork butt, really pulled pork. All good! Most recently I used left over home made meatloaf and no pate and it was great. I have also used a coarse country-style pork pate and no other pate or meat, and that works too. The terrific thing about banh mi sandwiches is how versatile they are. If I could only take one kind of sandwich to a desert island, this would be it.


Edited by Katie Meadow (log)
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The pate! It's essential to me, but I was less impressed the fancier they were. I think we had a banh mi from HK Market and put half of it in a backpack for a long leisurely Lundi Gras trek around the city. It actually improved with age, and I'm pretty sure it was the earthy funk of the pate that helped segue us so effortlessly into the evening. And at those prices, they certainly ain't shmearing anything fancy on the sandwiches!

 

As a side note, a kitchen friend of a friend at La Provence in Lacombe gave us a tub of house made pate that tasted like pure meat butter, so delicious I couldn't put it down. Well actually I put quite a bit of it down, no banh mi substrate needed :D

 

The vietnamese pistolettes I'm familiar with are similar in consistency to NO style "french bread" like from Leidenheimers bakery. I would use that in a pinch over the denser ones I used in my experiments. Too heavy even with the guts pulled out. 

 

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I am currently cheffing at a vegan restaurant. I have made vegan bahn mi pizza, as well as full length sandwiches, and currently on the menu are bahn mi sliders. 

I love bahn mi. I think that the best place for bahn mi in Spokane, WA, where I currently reside is at Vien Dong on sprague. $2.75 gets you a choice of 1 out of 5 bahn mi. 

 

Back to my vegan bahn mi, and why I think that it rivals not only all other vegan bahn mi out there, but also many of the non vegan versions as well, and Ive tried just about every bahn mi place in the state, as they are my favorite sandwiches. 

 

Here is my procedure for any interested parties:

 

* Everything is made from scratch, which makes it a lot easier to control the variables in your favor *

 

Bread: I make my own bread which gets made to order per sandwich from refrigerated dough. The bread is roughly a 32 hour cold ferment sourdough which weighs 3.5-4oz. Baked at 500 degrees in a stone oven for roughly 4 minutes with a few sprays from the mister through out the first few minutes of baking for the perfect rise/ crust combination. 

 

"Pate" and Sauce: Light coat of spicy peanut sauce covered with light coat of garlic chili paste mayo. 

 

"Meat": chefs choice vegan roast (I prefer doing ham takes), sliced into medallions and well smoked over an apple wood/ cherry wood smoke. Afterwards marinated in a vietnamese flavored marinade with sesame seeds which will stick to medallions when retrieved from marinade before placement on sandwich. 

 

Veggie fillings: Julienned rainbow carrots, korean cole slaw, fresh cucumber, cilantro, random pickled vegetables. 

 

Its good. Its really good. The mouth feel of the bread is spot on. It has the crust and the crunch, and is very moist and chewy on the inside -although not so much the flake of a baguette-ish bread. Nearly impossible to explain the wild taste of the peanut sauce, but what I use it for is to replace that sticky, butteryness of a pate, aside from the fact that peanut anythings lends itself to many Asian inspired dishes, the sauce is also vinegary, spicy, and sweet. The mayo is a basic riff off of sriracha mayo, which still gives the user an option to add sriracha later on in the program. The meat component is superbly delicious, as just about anything which has been marinated, smoked, and then marinated further. Being a pickling freak, there always seems to be an overabundance of pickled things in every fridge around me. The cole slaw is a basic mayo based coleslaw with lime, soy sauce, and rice vinegar instead of the traditional good ol boy version. Fresh veggies bring it all together for that "AWWWW" comfy refreshing feeling inside.

 

Live well! Eat bahn mi. 

 

 

 

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mise en plase

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Is Banh Mi still Banh Mi without the pate? Because I've never eaten Banh Mi and would like to remedy that but anything involving liver isn't going to happen with me. For those tempted to tell me I can't really taste the liver among all those other flavors, I can almost guarantee you that I can. It's one of my very few food kryptonites and I've never found a form that could sneak by my taste buds.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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2 hours ago, Tri2Cook said:

Is Banh Mi still Banh Mi without the pate? Because I've never eaten Banh Mi and would like to remedy that but anything involving liver isn't going to happen with me. For those tempted to tell me I can't really taste the liver among all those other flavors, I can almost guarantee you that I can. It's one of my very few food kryptonites and I've never found a form that could sneak by my taste buds.

Most of the Vietnamese restaurants down here have pate free versions.

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4 hours ago, Tri2Cook said:

Is Banh Mi still Banh Mi without the pate? Because I've never eaten Banh Mi and would like to remedy that but anything involving liver isn't going to happen with me. For those tempted to tell me I can't really taste the liver among all those other flavors, I can almost guarantee you that I can. It's one of my very few food kryptonites and I've never found a form that could sneak by my taste buds.

Another way to look at that comment is that if you can't taste the liver, then what's the harm in leaving it out? Life is short. Make a banh mi with foods you love. Traditional foods originated by way of what was available. Liver isn't available to you. I was far too lazy to get any pate for my meatloaf banh mi and it was delicious and was not missed.

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the comments on liver vs pate are interesting.

 

I can't stand liver, i.e. saute, w bacon and onions etc  [ed.: there is a reason bacon and onions are usually added]

 

and I can't stand CkLivers and Schmnaltz.  Yuk +

 

however, pate, liverwurst ( elemental pate ) I love

 

I even used to make some tasty terrines myself back when.

 

I ususally saki for extra pate, which in my area is spread on.

 

go figure

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I make Banh Mi with grilled pork tenderloin.  We grew up on Banh Mi's in Northern Virginia (DC) where many Vietnamese settled after the fall of Saigon. They opened eateries, but the best Banh Mi's were the ones sold at counters in convenience stores owned by Vietnamese. When we retired and moved to AZ, there were none to be found in our isolated town, 100 miles south of Tucson on the MXN border.  I researched a lot of recipes and came up with this one which suits us.  

 

We have a home in FL where we have a number of Vietnamese eateries.  The best Banh Mi for us is the one at a French-Viet bistro, Alesias in St. Pete.  Her grilled pork is a very coarsely ground pork shoulder, made in-house.  I tried using ground pork but could not find a coarse texture, so I still used grilled tenderloin.  

 

Now we are living primarily in Central Mexico so it's up to me to make them again.  I usually set it up as a Banh Mi bar so everyone can assemble their own.  This recipe makes 8 sandwiches.

 

2# pork tenderloin

5 tbl. fish sauce
6 tbl. brown sugar
3 tbl. soy sauce
1 tbl. sesame oil
6 garlic cloves
2" ginger minced/grated
6 green onions, sliced thin
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 tbl veg oil
 
2 loaves French baguettes (each cut into 4 pieces) or 8 mini baguette rolls.  
2 seedless cukes, peeled and sliced very thin lenghtwise
pickled carrots (see below)
sliced fresh jalapenos or serranos
2 bunches cilantro
Pate (opt. but recommended).  Use a spreadable chicken liver or duck liver pate.
Red chile mayonnaise (chili garlic sauce mixed with mayo to your desired spice level)
 
Cut tenderloin across grain into thin 3 or 4 inch long pieces (big enough not to fall through grill).  
Mix ingredients from fish sauce to veg oil.  Add meat and marinate at room temperature at least 3 hours and up to 5, but no more than 5 as the pork will start to disintegrate. 
 
Grill pork over hot charcoal or gas grill. Let rest while you assemble sandwiches.
 
Assemble sandwiches: 
Slice baguettes and generously spread chili-mayo on one side, pate on the other.  Add cukes, meat, pickled carrots (see below), cilantro and peppers.  
 
Pickled carrots (or equal amounts carrots and daikon)...make a day ahead at least.
1/2 # carrots shredded
1/2 c water
1 c cider vinegar
1 tbl salt
2 tbl sugar
Mix and let sit overnight (or at least 4 hours). 

 


Edited by gulfporter (log)
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Bringing back this Cook-Off this morning.  I've been looking through the Cook-Off index and we have lots of great dishes and discussions to go back and reference.  While I like a Banh Mi sandwich any time of year, I've had a hankering to make one as the weather improves into spring and summer.

Pork belly banh mi.jpg

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