Are you looking for banh mi near me?
Bánh mì (to give it the dish its correct tones) is the Vietnamese word for bread! I remember this quite well from when I was learning Vietnamese, as to our class it sounded much more like “bang me”. Sadly this and the word for chicken are the only two words that I can remember…….
In Vietnamese cuisine though banh mi means a short baguette with thin, crisp crust that is split lengthwise and filled with a whole heap of savory goodness. banh mi is the ultimate in fusion cuisine, a French Baguette filled with great Vietnamese ingredients. A Vietnamese sandwich if you will! In Cambodia it is known as num pang.
History of Banh Mi
When the French rolled into Indochina, as it was known at the time they brought along bread. By the early 20th century the humble baguette had become a staple food for the Vietnamese. Say what you want about colonialism, but when you compare the bread culture in Vietnam and China then you will see my point.
In Saigon/HCMC they began to develop their own take on the sandwich and it became a street food staple throughout the nation. Following the Vietnam War the product spread like wild war with the Vietnamese diaspora and it is now one of the most beloved Vietnamese dishes in the world.
Sadly during the early communist period it declined in Vietnam, but thanks to Doi Moi it has now punched its way right back as a Vietnamese street food wonder.
What do you put in a it?
Lets start with the bread! A Vietnamese baguette has a thin crust and white, airy crumb. Unlike its french cousin it may use rice flavor, but other than that its essentially a baguette.
Inside the sandwich usually consists of meat, or meats, vegetables, such as onions, or lettuce. Meat tends to be cold cuts of pork, or liver pate. Yes we mean fois gras, Vietnam is the only places on earth where you can get a freaking fois gras sandwich as street food!
Aside from that its essentially a sandwich, so there are literally hundreds of different varieties from vegetarian to meatballs (one of my favorites).
Banh Mi South-East Asia
Aside from the Vietnamese diaspora Banh Mi is popular in other parts of South-East Asia, such as Laos where it is called Khao jee pâté (Lao: ເຂົ້າຈີ່ປາເຕ)), and Cambodia where it is called Num Pang. I’ll eventually do a blog comparing banh mi to num pang (which I love), but when push comes to shove its all about the banh mi.
Banh Mi Near Me!
Vietnamese food is spreading through the world like wildfire, so wherever you are on god green earth go looking for a Vietnamese restaurant and get ready to have your sandwich world rocked!