Banh mi Vietnam (Vietnamese sandwich)

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The iconic Vietnamese sandwich (Banh mi) has been consistently ranked as one of the best sandwiches in the world.

Bread is made with wheat and rice flour. This can be seen as a combination of sandwich and baguette. Thinly sliced carrots, pickles, cucumbers, liver pâté, mayonnaise and various meats are put into bread and covered by a little soy or fish sauce. 

>> Spring roll (Chả giò)

History

Vietnam has a long history as an agriculture country with rice being the main staple. Not until 1859 when the French colonials entered Southern Vietnam did bread appear widely throughout the country.

An imported food, bread speedily became popular and assimilated in Vietnam. The most apparent evidence is the shape of the bread, which is typically small and long. Vietnamese bread originally came from the bread made à-la- Françe!, the kingdom of bread, yet Banh mi in Vietnam was first made for the working class such as drivers, porters, blue-collar workers. That accounts for the reason why “banh mi Viet Nam” had the shape of a baguette instead of a bun or roll. With the shape of a baguette, it would be much easier for people to hold it by one hand and eat while working. Through times, the plain French baguette has adapted in various ways to become the present “Banh mi Viet Nam”.

Where to buy

People usually sell bread in small stalls on the street-side.

A roadside stall via Mytour
Banh mi can be purchased right at the roadside stalls or from the street vendors, in many the alleys of the city or even in the bus terminals and train station. Small freshly hot baguettes are kept warm in the red hot coal brazier; or inside the bamboo basket fully covered with a woolen blanket.

Special features

Depending on customer’s needs, the seller will offer lots of types. Common varieties are chicken bread, omelet bread, shredded pork skin bread, grilledpork bread, juicy crushed pork meatballs bread. If you are vegetarian, you can enjoy it with vegetable, egg and cheese.

Any time, they can eat Banh Mi: breakfast, lunch or dinner; when walking, doing something and don’t feel bored because there are many flavors to change.

Banh mi via Banh mi Trieu Han

Banh mi is also special for its diverse tastes. Those who have taken a bite of Vietnamese baguette will never forget the crunchiness of the crust since it is very light, airy and crispy. Bakers making Vietnamese-style baguette does not add butter, shortening or chicken fat. The dough contains only wheat, rice flour and quick-rise yeast.

Banh mi has a pretty low price, only VND2000-VND3000 per loaf, which answers the question why Vietnamese rarely bake their own bread at home.

Some flavors of Banh mi in Vietnam: Chicken Bread (Bánh mì gà), Omelet Bread (Bánh mì trứng), Shredded pork skin bread (Bánh mì bì), Grilled pork bread ( Bánh mì thịt nướng), Juicy crushed pork meatballs bread (Bánh mì xíu mại), Vegetarian bread ( Bánh mì chay)

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