One of the hottest, tastiest, and often most affordable crazes in sandwiches has to be the Bahn Mi. A Vietnamese sandwich that was once a little-known lunch deal hiding on small business menus has now become a star in itself!
It seems like everyone has their own Bahn Mi now, so staying current with the latest food craze requires a business to “kick it up a notch,” in the words of famed cook Emeril Lagasse.
When you learn a little more about the amazing Bahn Mi, you will discover some interesting takes on this tasty dish. Read on.
Background of the Bahn Mi
It’s pronounced “bun mee.” This humble sandwich dates back to the French colonization of Vietnam. Truly a hybrid, you’re more likely to find this sandwich at a Vietnamese restaurant than in French fine dining, but the flavor blend provides a marriage of distinct flavors.
French baguette provides this sandwich with the traditional crunch on the outside and softer white bread inside. Fillings can vary regionally but typically feature a meat such as pork or chicken (or even tofu in the United States). This meat is flavored by signature herbs and veggies, including cucumbers, carrots, and cilantro.
So what happens when people go off script from the affordable Bahn Mi, elevating this sandwich beyond on Asian-flavored Po Boy? Check out these original ideas–hope you’re hungry.
Duck Bahn Mi
Sometimes a subtle change makes a huge taste difference. This Houston Food Truck called Fork & Truck is known for modern takes with an Asian fusion twist. Staying within the confines of traditional Bahn Mi flavorings, the sandwich features carrots, cucumbers, cilantro, and green onions. Signature special sauce and pickled jalapeno add a kick, which compliments the little-used protein in tender duck breast.
Bahn Mi Burger
Proving that Bahn Mi makes everything taste great, Wahlburgers (of Mark and Donnie Wahlberg fame) chose to combine these exotic flavors with an American classic. The patty is made from ground turkey on a toasted bun with sriracha mayo, country pate, and kimchi. Don’t forget the traditional cucumbers, cukes, and cilantro too.
Bahn Mi Hot Dog
A hot dog is served on a bread roll too, right? Elevate your home cooking by selecting the hot dog of your choice. This writer chose turkey dogs. Mix your mayo with a little sriracha, add peeled cucumber slices and some grated carrots, then top with cilantro. While this example uses traditional hot dog buns, you might prefer a toasted French roll.
Pork Belly Bahn Mi Grilled Cheese
Meltz Extreme Grilled Cheese in Couer d’Alene, Idaho sure knows how to make grilled cheese interesting, and this Pork Belly sandwich is no exception. While you might miss the traditional baguette, you won’t be missing out on taste. Described by the chef as a “flavor bomb,” this sandwich is packed full. Slow roasted pepper bacon brisket tops both sliced and shredded pork. The protein is garnished with pickled jalapenos and daikon, sweet chili sambal and a cucumber cilantro lime aioli. And don’t forget the cheese–a generous helping of provolone and pepper jack tie this gooey goodness together.
Bahn Mi Pate
Bahn Mi pate can be found as an entree in itself or on the traditional bread. Reflecting the French influence more strongly than popular American versions, this dish is easily found overseas. A common recipe creates pate from chicken liver and minced pork, topped with a soft boiled egg. Exotic spices are mixed in, including star anise and cardamom, with a little brandy and fish sauce. The finished pate is then served with standard garnish such as carrots and cilantro.
Bahn Mi Donut
Saving the strangest take on Bahn Mi for last, this savory donut is really something. A collaboration between Astro Donuts and PhoWheels, this savory creation is housed in a split bacon, cheddar and chive donut (don’t worry, no frosting.) The fillings include things like five-spiced maple-glazed pork belly or mushroom-onion tofu, and it’s topped with pickled radish and cucumbers, carrots, cilantro, and a truffle aioli.
So what are you waiting for? This popular creation is usually available for under $10 and provides flavor options for everyone. Join the Bahn Mi craze now.