Cooking Eating Dining Sharing

Friday, May 27, 2011


Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
I have been wanting to write this post for sometime, but my life has been somewhat topsy turvy.  Here it is finally!  Enjoy!  The perfect solution to an afternoon snack.



Banh Mi (pronounced "bonne me") sandwiches are a delicious combination of French and Vietnamese.  The baguette and the aioli are french.  The pickled daikon and carrots, grilled meat or seared meatballs with Asian flavors makes it a winning combination. 

This sandwich was inspired by an article in the SF chronicle just a few weeks ago.  I showed my son the enticing pictures and he convinced me to make it, but insisted on educating me about exactly what this Bahn Mi sandwich was about.  He had a few favorite places in Manhattan and Brooklyn, where he went to college,  in mind, and he walked me through the process helping me create these delicious sandwiches. 
Start with a great baguette (soft and doughy, with a crisp outer edge is good). Please make your own aioli (see recipe below).  It only takes minutes and well worth the quality.  I made mine with vegetable oil, rice wine vinegar and salt, but a little garlic and ginger thrown in wouldn't hurt.   Pickling the daikon and carrots took no time and they were better the next day when we had leftovers, so you could make them ahead a day.  Marinate the chicken a couple of hours ahead, then grill for best flavor.  Chopped green onions, cilantro, mint or Thai basil and leafy greens add to the crunchy nature of this delicious sandwich-salad. 
Happy Cooking!  Nấu ăn vui vẻ!

How to make a Bohn Mi Sandwich:

Chicken Marinade

6 boneless chicken thighs, butterflied
2 TBS minced garlic
2 TBS minced ginger
2 TBS sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 tsp 5 spice powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
Mince the garlic and ginger, then add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix.  Add the thighs and let marinate for about 2-3 hours or make the day before and marinate overnight.  When ready to cook, heat a griddle or grill to high heat and sear, cook until meat is firm.
Remove and set aside.

Pickling Daikon and Carrots

1/2 pound carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1/2 pound daikon, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 tsp salt
1 tsp and 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup hot water

Place the cut carrots and daikons in a large mixing bowl, sprinkle with the salt and 1 tsp sugar.  Toss and let sit for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables begin to give.  Rinse and drain the vegetables in a colander, then place them ina 1-Qt jar.  

Combine the sugar, vinegar, and water in a medium-size mixing bowl, stir to dissolve.  Pour the brine over the vegetables, fully submerging them.  Store in the refrigerator.  They are at their best after a couple of days brining.

Basic Aioli
2 whole eggs
1 TBS rice wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
pinch of ground pepper
2 cups vegetable or canola oil

Using a cuisinart or by hand, add the eggs, salt, and then rice wine vinegar, then pulse.  Next slowly drizzle the oil and wait until it starts to change its consistency.  It should slowly get thicker.  Taste for balance and season accordingly.  You might try adding ginger or garlic to it for more of a bite! 

Assembling the sandwich:
Start with a delicious French baguette, aioli, pickled vegetables, meat, then the toppings of cilantro, mint, green onions, salad greens and fresh Thai basil.

Happy Cooking!!  Nấu ăn vui vẻ!  Tricia O'Brien
All Recipes are from the Chronicle 5/19/2011

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