Vietnamese-Style Banh Mi Sandwich

vietnamese banh mi

This Vietnamese-style Banh Mi sandwich is one of my all-time favorite things to eat, with its tender braised meat, vibrant pickled vegetables and cucumbers.

If you’ve eaten Banh Mi before, you know that these flavors together are simply irresistible. The basics of the sandwich are always the same, but each restaurant or food stand seems to have their own variations, which makes it fun to try everywhere you go.

Vietnamese style Banh Mi

The best part is that this sandwich is really easy to make at home, so you can have it any time you want. We always have leftover pork (because we make these carnitas on a regular basis), so it’s a no brainer to use it in this sandwich.

The basic ingredients for this dish are easy – just pork, cucumbers, and cilantro. But to really make it authentic, you also need pickled carrots and daikon. I always make my own because it’s nearly impossible to find a jarred version in the store. They only require a quick pickle, so it won’t take much longer than 30 minutes to prepare. Here’s a great recipe and guide for making it.

banh mi sandwich

Add some sliced jalapenos and a soy-sauce mayonnaise to the sandwich, and you’ve got a pretty good substitute for the real thing. I’m not going to pretend that this sandwich is authentic in any way. In fact, true Vietnamese Banh Mi has pate on it, which is very tasty, but makes it a bit harder to make at home. If you’re craving a Banh Mi, this one is very tasty.

Here’s a recipe for pate, if you’d like to try it out.

One consideration you will have to make is what bread to serve it on. Traditionally, you’d use Vietnamese baguette, but that can be really hard to find. At my grocery, I’m able to easily get these Vienna rolls, which are very similar. You can make your own Vietnamese rolls using this recipe, if you want to try your hand at it.

banh mi

French baguettes are sometimes too crunchy/crusty or thin to work well, but if you find a wide French baguette, that will work too.

To top it all off, I always add Yum Yum Sauce or Sriracha Mayo. It adds a lot of flavor and I find it truly irresistible. If you like these Banh Mi sandwiches, you’ll also love our Vietnamese pork bowls. They combine all of the same ingredients as this sandwich with vermicelli noodles in bowl form – no bread.

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banh mi sandwich

Vietnamese-Style Banh Mi

Banh Mi sandwiches are filled with tender pork, the crunch of pickled vegetables, aromatic cilantro, and spicy jalapenos.
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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: Pork, Sandwich
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 sandwiches
Author: Laura

Ingredients

For the pickled vegetables

  • 1 medium carrot cut into matchsticks
  • 1 medium daikon cut into matchsticks
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water

For the sandwiches

  • 4 6-inch baguettes Vietnamese rolls, if possible
  • 2-3 lb pork shoulder slow roasted
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro roughly chopped
  • 1 small cucumber thinly sliced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers ribs and seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce

Instructions

For the pickled vegetables

  • Place the carrot and daikon in a bowl. Pour the salt over the top and massage it into the vegetables to release some water and soften them. Let them sit for about 5 minutes. Rinse the vegetables under cold water to remove the salt.
  • In a bowl, combine the sugar, water, and vinegar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add the vegetables to the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to one hour or overnight before using.

For the sandwiches

  • Heat the rolls in the oven for 5 minutes until just slightly crunchy. Slice lengthwise, but don't cut all the way through the roll, so one edge is still connected. This will keep the ingredients in and make it easier to eat.
  • Mix together the mayonnaise and soy sauce. Spread this dressing on both of the insides of the rolls.
  • Fill each sandwich with a 1/4th of the meat, cucumber and jalapeno, a handful of pickled daikon, and a sprinkling of cilantro.

Notes

  • You can substitute prepared roasted pork or chicken breast instead of making your own pork shoulder.
  • If you can't find Vietnamese rolls, French baguettes will work.
  • If you can’t find diakon, you can use regular radishes cut into pieces.
  • Traditional Vietnamese Banh Mi includes pate slices on the sandwich, but it’s not my preference to add it. Give it a try to see how you like it.
  • The pickled daikon will last for 3-4 days in the refrigerator in the pickling water.

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