There has recently been a Vietnamese Banh Mi explosion here in London. Not sure if any of you have noticed. Around 8 years ago, the only place that sold Banh Mi was at Greenwich market. It was a Vietnamese lady selling it from a food van. Her nephew went on to open Panda Panda in Deptford where their specialty was Banh Mi. As of now, there must be more than 20 Vietnamese Cafe/Restaurant selling Banh Mi in London.
My first Vietnamese Banh Mi
My first taste of Banh Mi was in Paris. We were in Chinatown in district 13, waiting for my cousin’s wedding banquet to start and we were pretty hungry since we were up from 6am to do all the pre-wedding stuff. So one of my cousin went to get some food and she came back with a bag of banh mi that she bought from the local Vietnamese supermarket.
I know this sounds a bit cheesy but I was hooked from my first initial bite. I wanted more of this stuff. No place in London at that time sold it. So the next day, before I left Paris for London. I went back to the shop and bought a sandwich for the ride home and another one as I was desperate for my mum to try it.
As it happened, my mum used to always eat it back in Vietnam. She also told me something that I never knew before. Apparently my belated father was very skillful in making the baguette for Banh Mi. Well, that was a surprise, never thought of him as a baker.
Funny thing is that even though I have tried almost all of the banh mi from the banh mi shops in London. I still crave the ones that are sold in Paris. I do go to Paris once every so often so that I can get my fix.
When I can’t make it to Paris. I make my own simple version of banh mi. It’s super quick but the only ingredient that takes some time to make is the pickled daikon and carrots. Although, it is very easy to prepare but you need to wait around 2 hours for it to be nice and pickled.
Easy Vietnamese Banh Mi Video
Easy Vietnamese Banh Mi Recipe
- Slices of bloomer bread or any slices of bread you have
- Pork Pate
- Vietnamese pork
- Pickled daikon and carrots
- Chopped red chillies (optional)
- Coriander (optional)
- Toast the bread
- Spread pate over the toast
- Place the Vietnamese pork on top
- Spread mayonnaise over the pork
- Add cucumber slices
- Add picked daikon and carrots
- Garnish with chillies and coriander