I really do love the Vietnamese Banh Mi. After I struggled to find one in my local area, I’m attempting to recreate the delicious sandwich at home. It seems like the most challenging aspect is the baguette itself, so I figured I might as well start with trying to get the bread right.
The Vietnamese baguette
This is no ordinary baguette – not that I’ve ever tried to make those either! The texture is unique so this was always going to require some trial and error. After some research, I settled on a recipe from Danang Cuisine. The good news was that it was easy to follow with a handy video and used standard, easy to get hold of ingredients. So far so good.
On the downside, I am a baking novice, so perhaps shouldn’t have made the Banh Mi baguette my first bread attempt – c’est la vie!
It actually went pretty well and I ended up with edible bread, a big pat on the back for me. However, it did end up like a more traditional French baguette, it was more dense and doughy, rather than the light and flaky baguette that I was after. I would like to point out that in no way is this a reflection on the recipe. There were a few things that I did/didn’t do which I think are to blame!
- I didn’t have a spray bottle for water so I had to sprinkle water (for sprinkle read wildly fling with my hands) on the bread and inside the oven
- The dough was originally very ‘wet’ so I added more flour
- I also didn’t have a sharp enough blade for the slashes
The crunchy tang of the pickled veg
Typically when it comes to a sandwich I would say that the filling is the main event, but the Banh Mi might be the exception to the rule. Eventually, I’m aiming to get to the stage where I make every element of the Banh Mi at home, but I didn’t want to go crazy with attempt one, baby steps and all that. So, basically for the filling, I cheated. I bought pâté and some marinated pork to add in.
All in all, I was pretty happy with my first attempt. It was by no means perfect but it did taste pretty good and looked quite appetising too, even if I do say so myself.
What’s your suggested filling for the homemade Banh Mi?