Bahn mi (aka Vietnamese poboys, Mekong subs, or various other names) rank as one of my favorite things to eat. Crisp, feathery-light bread stuffed with robust flavors, the sandwiches’ cost is inversely proportional to their deliciousness–local prices for bahn mi range from $2 to $6, depending on the fillings. At Dong Phuong Bakery (14207 Chef Menteur Hwy, New Orleans, LA), a sandwich, stuffed with pate, homemade rolled ham, cilantro, pickled carrots & diakon radish, lemony mayonnaise, hot peppers, and cucumber will set you back around $3.
So why would I make bahn mi at home, if they’re so inexpensive and abdundant? It is, as usual, the problem of distance. I have to drive at least 15 miles to get one, making the round-trip fuel costs greater than the sandwich’s price (not a very green proposition). Fortunately, bahn mi bread (a light, small baguette, with a texture very much like classic New Orleans style french bread) is available at the aforementioned Dong Phuong, as well as Chez Pierre in Kenner, Hi-Do Bakery on the West Bank, and Hong Kong Supermarket (925 Behrman Hwy, Terrytown, LA).
Once armed with a nice, light loaf, homemade bahn mi are easy–just split the rolls and stuff with your favorite toppings and garnishes. I’m partial to ga nuong (marinated, grilled chicken; see recipe here), but when I’m feeling really lazy, I’ll make sandwiches with the succulent, boneless red-cooked pork sold on weekends at Hong Kong Market. A big batch of pickled carrot and daikon, a tangy and (to me) necessary component of an ideal bahn mi, will keep for a month (click here for Andrea Nguyen’s easy recipe).
Coming soon in part 2: homemade Vietnamese-style baguettes, with rice flour….
These can’t be real bahn mi, I see no mention of mystery meat.
The only mystery is why does it taste so good?
I bet it would be awesome with that duck they have at HKM in the deli section too.
Everything in the BBQ case would be good on a sandwich, no?
Want banh mi NOW! *cue cookie monster grumbles*
forgive typos. I’m not concentrating well today.
Stop thinking bahn mi and start thinking about currywurst, beer, and la dolce vita…
This is the second one of these I’ve seen and wanted this week. Both made me drool!
Here’s the other one http://dembellyfull.com/2010/09/09/the-chino-latino-banh-mi
That Latin-Viet fusion sandwich looks delicious.