Instead of running to the nearest sub shop the next time you get a hankering for a sandwich, head over to BFF Asian Grill and grab a banh mi instead. Banh mi (pronounced bahn me) are Vietnamese sandwiches on a soft baguette split lengthwise and filled with various savory ingredients native to Vietnam.
Banh mi means “bread” and is a culinary fusion of two cultures. Influenced by the French in the 1800s, the sandwich we know today was revolutionized in the 1950s. In 1954, when French rule ended, the Vietnamese people were finally able to impose their own influences on French food. Thus, taking the baguette and filling it with local fare.
The sandwich gained popularity around the world after the Vietnam War. After the Fall of Saigon in 1975 (when Vietnamese refugees found their way to America and Europe), the sandwich became a luxury item. Today, it is considered street food.
This delicious sandwich is typically filled with fresh cucumber slices, pickled carrots and radishes (daikon), cilantro, and meat (typically pork, but chicken and fish are also common). The fresh vegetables give the sandwich a delectable crunch to oppose the soft bread. They can be topped with or dipped in condiments such as chili sauce, fish sauce, peanut sauce, or mayonnaise. Kick it up a notch with fresh mint or jalapeno slices.
The bread is made with rice flour which makes it lighter and fluffier than its French friend the baguette (which bears resemblance). The crust is thin and slightly textured. Because it’s a soft, airy bread, it’s perfect for lunch, however, it was actually intended to be a breakfast sandwich.
Whether you like it spicy or sweet, you’ll find there are many options to creating the perfect banh mi.
BFF offers six different sandwiches that you can choose from chicken, beef, pork, salmon, shrimp, and cheesesteak. Each sandwich has complimentary toppings.