Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Culinary Rock Star

The Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwich has become a culinary rock star of late. Locals Cookiecrumb and Renate have done blogs recently and LA's nom nom banh mi food truck was runner up in the Great Food Truck Race on Food Network. I've eaten many but have never made one at home. I thought it was about time I did.

My first experience with banh mi was in San Francisco in the early nineties. I was on the 30 Stockton Muni Bus when the driver suddenly stopped in the middle of Stockton St. and bolted out the front door. I thought it must be the call of nature but moments later he jumped back on board holding a bag of sandwiches. I inquired about them and he said they were great sandwiches and very inexpensive. The next day I stopped at Little Paris Coffee Shop (939 Stockton St. San Fran.) and was hooked. My recollection was they were under $2 at that time. It has been a bit since I was there so I expect the price has gone up.

I used the recipe from Viet World Kitchen, an outstanding blog on Vietnamese Food. I made mine on a soft baguette with a swipe of pate, mayo, ham, cucumber and cilantro. I topped it with pickled carrot and daikon radish called do chua. A splash of soy sauce sealed the deal. I tried to source the more traditional Maggi Seasoning but failed. Next time I'm at Ranch 99 I'll pick some up.

The results were wonderful. I have been feeding them to family for two days and they love them. The only deviation from recipe was substituting pickled jalapenos for fresh. I like the less painful mild version. Good food cheap!


cookiecrumb said...

O. M. G.

You did a beautiful job. Pate! Clever you. I didn't even bother pickling my carrots. (Which goes to show you can be a lazy oaf and still make this sandwich.)

Greg said...

Cookiecrumb -Thanks. The pate was the best part.

Picnic Basket said...

This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your posts, I guess I am not the only one having all the leisure here! Keep up the good work.

Greg said...

Picnic Basket- It is all about the leisure ;)