A cookbook devoted to the beloved Vietnamese sandwich, with 50 recipes ranging from classic fillings to innovative modern combinations.
Created by Vietnamese street vendors a century or so ago, banh mi is a twist on the French snack of pâté and bread that is as brilliant as it is addictive to eat. Who can resist the combination of crisp baguette, succulent filling, and toppings like tangy daikon and carrot pickles, thin chile slices, refreshing cucumber strips, and pungent cilantro sprigs? You’ll have ample opportunities to customize your sandwich with filling options such as grilled pork, roast chicken, and “the special”—a delectable combination of garlicky pork, liver pâté, and Vietnamese cold-cuts.
Opening a new realm of flavor for anyone tired of standard sandwich fare, The Banh Mi Handbook presents more than fifty recipes and numerous insights for crafting a wide range of sandwiches, from iconic classics to modern innovations, including:
Crispy Drunken Chicken
Shrimp in Caramel Sauce
Grilled Lemongrass Pork
Beef and Curry Sliders
Coconut Curry Tofu
Lettuce Wrap Banh Mi
Respected food writer Andrea Nguyen’s simple, delicious recipes for flavor-packed fillings, punchy homemade condiments, and crunchy, colorful pickled vegetables bring the very best of Vietnamese street food to your kitchen.
Makes 1 generous cup (250 ml) ■ Takes about 5 minutes, plus 30 minutes resting
Part of the banh mi maker’s craft is preparing mayonnaise from scratch. While I do keep a jar of store bought, full-fat mayo in the fridge, when I want the best banh mi possible, I make it. It’s easy in a food processor; see Mayo Notes for a blender method. You’ll need a measuring cup with a spout to pour the oil.
1 large egg, near or
at room temperature
¼ plus ⅛ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup (240 ml) canola oil
Put the egg, salt, mustard, water, and lemon juice in the food processor’s work bowl. Start the processor and after a creamy yellow mixture forms, 5 to 10 seconds, start pouring the oil through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream as thin as angel hair pasta. Midway through, after things thicken, pour a thicker stream, as wide as spaghetti.
After about 2 minutes, all the oil should be incorporated and the mayo should be creamy and spreadable. (If yours is curdled or soupy—broken—see Mayo Notes, opposite.) If needed, adjust with extra salt (savoriness) or lemon juice (tang), pulsing the machine to blend well.
Transfer to an airtight container. Before using, wait for 30 minutes to meld flavors and firm up. Keeps well in the refrigerator for at least a week.
Excerpted from The Banh Mi Handbook by Andrea Nguyen. Copyright © 2014 by Andrea Nguyen. Excerpted by permission of Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Table of Contents
banh mi 101
Banh Mi Pantry ■ Master Banh Mi
■ 13 ■
Bread Buying Guide 14 ■ Homemade Banh Mi Rolls 17
mayonnaise, sauces, and pickles
■ 23 ■
Homemade Mayonnaise 24 ■ Sriracha Aïoli 26 ■
Cilantro Maggi Mayonnaise 27 ■ Eggless Mayonnaise 28 ■ Garlic Yogurt Sauce 29 ■ Mock Maggi Sauce 30 ■
Spicy Hoisin Sauce 31 ■ Daikon and Carrot Pickle 33 ■
Citrusy Red Cabbage Pickle 34 ■ Pickled Shallot 36 ■ Snow Pea and Lemongrass Pickle 37
■ 39 ■
Garlic Pepper Pork Tenderloin 40 ■ Cheater’s Silky Sausage 42 ■ Garlicky Silky Sausage 44 ■ Beef and Dill Sausage 45 ■ Gateway Chicken Liver Pâté 47 ■
Quick Pork Liver Pâté 48 ■ Edamame Pâté 48 ■
Headcheese Terrine 51 ■ Baked Maggi Tofu 53
■ 55 ■
Hanoi Grilled Chicken 57 ■ Classic Chicken 58 ■
Chicken Sausage Patties 59 ■ Chicken Sate 60 ■
Sri Lankan Black Curry Chicken 63 ■ Rotisserie Chicken and Cracklings 65 ■ Crispy Drunken Chicken 66 ■
Oven-Fried Chicken Katsu 68
■ 71 ■
Shrimp in Caramel Sauce 73 ■ Viet Oyster Po’ Boy 74 ■ Panko-Crusted Tilapia 75 ■ Sardine and Tomato Sauce 76 ■ Herbed Salmon Cakes 79 ■ Spicy Wok-Seared Shrimp 81
pork and beef
■ 83 ■
Grilled Lemongrass Pork 84 ■ Meatballs in Tomato
Sauce 87 ■ Chinese Barbecued Pork 89 ■
Caramel Sauce Pulled Pork 90 ■ Crispy Roast Pork 93 ■ Viet Home-Style Doner Kebab 95 ■ Beef and Curry
Sliders 96 ■ Star Anise and Lemongrass Sloppy Joe 97 ■
Korean Beef and Kimchi 99 ■ Maggi Steaks 101
■ 103 ■
Peppery Portobello 105 ■ Gingery Tofu Sliders 106 ■
Egg and Tofu Pancakes 107 ■ Coconut Curry Tofu 108 ■ Thai Fried Omelet 111 ■ Lemongrass Sriracha Tempeh 112
alternative banh mi
■ 115 ■
Banh Mi Buns 117 ■ Lettuce Wrap Banh Mi 120 ■
Banh Mi Salad 121
Acknowledgments ■ 122
Index ■ 123
About Andrea Nguyen
Andrea Nguyen is one of the country’s leading voices on Asian cuisine and the author of the acclaimed Asian Dumplings and the James Beard– and IACP-nominated Into the Vietnamese Kitchen. She has written for Saveur magazine, where she is also a contributing editor, the Los Angeles Times, and many more publications. She is also the creator of the Asian Market Shopper app. Her engaging and knowledgeable writing on cuisine and culture has attracted a loyal and well-deserved readership that actively follows her blog, www.vietworldkitchen.com. Andrea lives in Santa Cruz, California.
“ Who better than Andrea Nguyen to unravel the mysteries of one of the great sandwiches of the world? Her book is deceptively simple on the outside but bursting with layers of flavor and complexity within—just like the best banh mi. As always, Andrea puts mastery within the reach of any curious cook smart enough to take her advice.”
—Joe Yonan, author of Eat Your Vegetables
“ Brimming with information, inspiration, and smart advice, this is much more than a sandwich book. Andrea Nguyen once again demonstrates her commendable talent for writing recipes that deliver great tasting food and teach you to become a better cook.”
—Molly Stevens, author of All About Roasting
“ Andrea perfectly tells the story of how Vietnamese food culture was influenced by French colonials. Her simple recipes elevate very humble ingredients to heights you would not expect. I can’t wait to incorporate some of these ideas into our sandwich menu.”
—Sam Mogannam, owner of Bi-Rite Market
“Through these recipes, Andrea tells her life story. From childhood lunches of silky sausage on toasted baguettes to postmodern banh mi smeared with curried edamame pâté, she sketches the transformation of a sandwich, born of French and Chinese colonization and Vietnamese ingenuity, into a global culinary phenomenon.”
—John T. Edge, author of The Truck Food Cookbook
"Lots of tasty riffs on the meaty, pickly, crunchy, saucy, spicy Vietnamese sandwich."
—Cooking Light, July 2014
"The banh mi sandwich is itself the product of many miles traveled: the crusty bread brought to Vietnam by French colonists, filled with all the bright, hot, fresh, meaty, intensely tasty elements of the local cuisine. This delicious cultural collision is the subject of "The Banh Mi Handbook: Recipes for Crazy-Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches" by Andrea Nguyen. . . . it's a master course in banh mi construction, from the bread to the pickles and condiments to every imaginable filling, whether it's pork meatballs or fried oysters or a lipsmacking citrus-marinated grilled chicken you're hankering for."
—Wall Street Journal, June 2014