Banh Mi: Visiting Vietnam

by Karen on Sunday, July 18, 2010

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Most dishes today are in some way or another the mutt-results of the domination, occupation and integration of cultures.  No dish tells this story more clearly in its edible form than banh mi, the Vietnamese baguette sandwich.  Long before American GI's were trudging its lush jungles, Vietnam was a trading post for the French as early as the 17th century.  In its most classic form, the French sandwich starts with a crisp-crusted baguette and a very minimal application of mayonnaise and meat or pate– nothing too fussy or overwhelming.  When it arrived in Vietnam, it had a complete make over.  The Vietnamese added rice flour to the baguette recipe to achieve a lighter and airier dough, and stuffed the bread full of fresh local ingredients such as cucumbers, cilantro, picked radish, and hot peppers.  The result?  Brilliant harmony!
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(image from here)



Jeff July 24, 2010 at 3:08 pm

I remember eating Banh Mi with you in Vietnam! I’m gonna try making this for Sunday dinner for old time sake!

Karen July 25, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Let us know how it turns out and good luck!

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