Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bánh mì

The Vietnamese sandwich known as bánh mì is a highly individual entity. Practically anything can go into it. However, if you plan to make it with velveeta and bologna I suggest you call it something else. With leftover roast pork on hand and some slaw and cilantro it was easy for us to put together our own version.

Our wonderful neighborhood bakery, Denver Bread Company, is on Peter’s daily walk route and be brought home a baguette, the traditional bread for this sandwich. It was a long baguette and sufficed to make sandwiches for lunch two days in a row. Today’s version was the best and is worth sharing.

In order to save time and dish washing, I microwaved the eggs. Put them in two separate containers that you’ve lubricated with cooking spray. Start with 40 seconds, stir the eggs and rotate the dishes. Continue with 20 seconds, repeat the stir and turn, and finish with 15-second burst until the eggs are set.

Bánh mì
1 baguette, cut into 2 eight-inch sections
2 eggs, scrambled
Chinese 5-spice powder
leftover pork, chicken, shrimp or beef, sliced to an appropriate size
chicken broth
soy sauce
fish sauce
Chinese cooking wine

Slice the bread in half lengthwise. If you wish (as we do), tear out some of the soft insides to reduce the amount of starch.

Season the eggs with 5-spice powder and cook in a non-stick pan or in the microwave as above.

Put about ¼ cup of broth in a skillet and add about 1 tbsp each of soy, fish sauce and vinegar. Add the pork slices and heat gently turning once.

Assemble the sandwiches: start with scrambled egg; top that with the meat; then add slaw; lay several stalks of cilantro over the slaw; fasten with a toothpick or two to hold it all together.


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