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My Take on a Banh Mi

My Take on a Banh Mi

Inspired by my first visit to The Red Eye Cafe, I decided to do some research into Banh Mi recipes. 

As I found on the Internet...

Banh Mis are a Vietnamese sandwich created in the 17th century due to French influence. With the introduction of the baguette, Banh Mis became local street-food throughout the Vietnamese community.

Banh Mis took hold of foodies in the U.S. when introduced by Vietnamese refugees. Now, restaurants, food trucks, and cafes have their own version of this amazing sandwich.   

A traditional Banh Mi Recipe

What I've found from research is that there are a few key elements that make an authentic Banh Mi sandwich. These ingredients include: 

  • French baguette (a must!)

  • Pickled Veggies (usually carrots, daikon, and cucumber)

  • Cilantro

  • Mayo

  • Soy Sauce

  • Protein (usual pork or a pâté)

Yet from what I ordered at the Red Eye Cafe, their sandwich presented a Scotch egg as their protein. While the spice on the sandwich came from sriracha. 

My take on a Banh Mi

From my experiences at Red Eye, research, and personal preferences, I decided to make my own version of a Banh Mi!

Some of my ingredient choices were influenced by: 

  1. My budget

  2. What I already had at home

  3. What I think would make for a great combination

Ingredients from my fridge

Of the recipes I read, some called for pork tenderloin, ham, chicken, tofu, etc. I happened to have 1/4 pound of sliced honey turkey in the fridge, so I decided to use that.

I also used small carrots, which weren't the easiest to cut. They were better to use then giant stock-carrots because the pickled veggies had to be sliced small.

My Inspiration & Ingredient Choices

I loved Red Eye's use of the scotch egg, so I added a hardboiled egg as extra protein to my recipe.

As a fan of pickled veggies and fresh herbs, I chose ingredients that were authentic to the original dish, but were still ingredients I enjoyed.

Photography by  M.M Studios

Photography by M.M Studios

When I went shopping I couldn't find daikon. The department manager told me to use radishes.

You will see in the video that I peeled the radishes. This wasn't necessary because the pink color would've been beautiful, but I did it to try and mold the ingredient closer to what the daikon would've looked like.  

For my spicy element, I added jalapeno instead of sriracha sauce. This made me nervous because (as you know) I cannot handle spicy/hot food. I decided to include the jalapeno because this was the first test of my recipe. I figured it was worth adding to start, and adjusting the amount in the future if it was too spicy!

Surprisingly enough, the jalapeno provided enough heat to catch your attention, but not enough to murder your taste buds. I put so few on the sandwich, that I didn't get a jalapeno with every bite (which was a good thing). 

The way I cook

I wanted to share that when it comes to cooking savory dishes, I do not follow recipes. This is reflected in my Banh Mi video. 

When I cook, I follow my intuition. I "eye-ball" ingredients and add or subtract based on taste. I may glance at a recipe for the order of ingredients, but I tend to wing it!

The Banh Mi I made was a large sandwich for one person. I selected my ingredient portions with this in mind. 

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The K. Martinelli Banh Mi Recipe

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The final result was a success!

The bread was fresh and delicious. There was a hint of honey from the turkey and a creaminess from the mayo.

The veggies were quickly pickled so they had a light vinegar flavor and crunch. The cucumber was mellow and thin while the jalapeno was a slow heat echoing in the back of your throat. 

My favorite taste was the refreshing lime and cilantro. The sandwich was light and healthy. Salty potato chips and lime-water made this a perfect sandwich on a warm afternoon. 

Here it is, the Kristen Martinelli Banh Mi recipe:

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Thanks for visiting!

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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