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Laksa

Banh mi

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The new Momofuku cookbook has recipes for a chicken liver terrine and a ham terrine that they use in their banh mi. It also has a pickled carrot and daikon recipe that takes about 2 days. I have no useful ideas on the bread.

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Andrea has a no-fail recipe for pickled daikon and carrots in her book Into the Vietnamese Kitchen. I've made it many times. She even has some comments about that smell which might develop after a few days and how to get it to go away. I never had a problem with it, and was able to make a couple of large jars that keep for at least a week or more. I never had any left after that, so don't know its limits. It's definitely more than a one-day pickle, though. It looks like a lot more than it is, once you start making sandwiches.

I started making Banh Mi using Andrea's recipe, then branched out with various types of grilled meats. The easiest and tastiest way to obtain the pate was to simply buy a smooth French-style liver pate at my deli, since I'm not ambitious enough to make my own. If someone made me a Momofuku pate I'd be thrilled, I'm sure. I did learn to cook the Char Siu (bbq pork) from Andrea's book, and that was well worth it. However if you want to spare yourself the time and have a convenient Ranch 99 or Chinatown nearby, it's easy enough to buy a variety of grilled pork, sausages, etc. I found that spicy grilled or flash-fried shrimp make a great banh mi without the pate, and so does any simple form of Asian-flavored grilled chicken.

I'm far too lazy to search out Vietnamese bread, so I just use my favorite sweet or rustic baguette. After all, this kind of sandwich thrives on improv. To me, what makes it taste distinctive is a little maggi in the mayo, the daikon-carrot pickle, the fresh cilantro and sliced cukes.


Edited by Katie Meadow (log)

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i use 1:1 sugar:rice vinegar brine with julienned daikon and carrot and it tastes right to me. i use within a day of making it.


"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo

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I found a Mexican Bakery that makes Bolillo that Andrea reccommended, unfortunately it is far enough away that getting fresh rolls is impractical. Would it be OK to freeze the rolls?

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I found a Mexican Bakery that makes Bolillo that Andrea reccommended, unfortunately it is far enough away that getting fresh rolls is impractical. Would it be OK to freeze the rolls?

I've had decent luck in freezing vietnamese style pistolette rolls. Split before freezing and stick inside a zip top bag (press out all the air). Defrost for a couple of hours at room temp for soft rolls, or reheat from frozen at around 250 degrees in a toaster oven for crispy results. I freeze all sorts of homemade bread with great results.

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I found a Mexican Bakery that makes Bolillo that Andrea reccommended, unfortunately it is far enough away that getting fresh rolls is impractical. Would it be OK to freeze the rolls?

I've had decent luck in freezing vietnamese style pistolette rolls. Split before freezing and stick inside a zip top bag (press out all the air). Defrost for a couple of hours at room temp for soft rolls, or reheat from frozen at around 250 degrees in a toaster oven for crispy results. I freeze all sorts of homemade bread with great results.

Is there a reason for splitting? or is it OK to freeze them whole?

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What fillings do you like to use? I've tried the Momofuku liver and ham terrines and they're ok.

I had an excellent bahn mi from Bahn Mi Ba Le in Oakland, California that had a sunny side up egg in it. When you bite into it the yolk oozes all over the sandwich. It was $2. I haven't been to that many bahn mi shops but that place was the best I've had.

Do most good bahn mi shops make their own terrines and pates?

For veggies, there's the carrot and daikon pickles. Most places I've been to stuff a bunch of cilantro in there. I tried it once with arugula instead and thought it was quite interesting, though not authentic at all, but as a few people have mentioned already, bahn mi is one of those things that should be freely adapted.

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