Succulent pork belly, zingy pickled daikon radish, fiery blasts of chilli and fresh, fragrant coriander. All of this cradled in a whisper-light, crusty baguette. If you're not already a fan of the vibrant and addictive Vietnamese sandwich, banh mi, prepare to be converted.
Banh mi? Oui, oui, oui
Hang on – what's this about baguettes from Vietnam? Like much of the Vietnamese cuisine, the banh mi is an example of fusion food, mixing Vietnamese tradition with French influences. Baguettes arrived with French colonialists, who adapted their trademark bread to the local climate by adding rice flour. This gives the roll its distinctive airiness and crunch that makes a banh mi so special.
A typical banh mi sandwich is filled with savoury meat like pork belly or chicken, fresh and pickled vegetables, coriander leaves and zesty condiments like mayonnaise, chilli sauce or slivers of bright red chillis. But really, anything's fair game in a banh mi — just as long as it's fresh and delicious.
Twists on traditional banh mi
If you're not a massive carnivore, mackerel is a popular alternative.. Vegetarians can swap out the meat for hearty smoked aubergine, or crispy grilled tofu, marinated in a bright mix of lemongrass and coriander.
Or go for a Vietnamese take on the classic New York meatball sub, with a banh mi stuffed with juicy and aromatic meatballs.
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Whereas Banh Mi Town keep it traditional, Kêu!'s roast duck with hoisin sauce banh mi is a luxurious twist that pairs well with fresh cucumber and pickled daikon radish. Newcastle's Time Banhmi offer up caramel ginger chicken and crackling belly pork options too, giving you something to sink your teeth into.
The banh mi is a perfect al desko lunch – quick, filling and satisfying without leaving you in a carb coma. And ordering in a variety of banh mi sandwiches for your next gathering would provide a fragrant twist on the usual sandwich platter. Once you go banh mi, there's no going back.
Tempted by the call of Vietnamese French fusion? Order your new favourite sandwich here on Deliveroo.