We’re starting this fall with a continuation of our wonderful series “Around the World in 12 Dishes.” Every month our group chooses a new country, and we learn a bit about the culture and make a typical dish. This month, we’re making Bánh Mì and learning about Vietnam!
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For over a thousand years, Vietnam was part of Imperial China. When they achieved independence, Vietnam had several royal dynasties. The French colonized the Indochina Peninsula in the mid-19th century, including what is now Vietnam, Cambodia, and later Laos. Eventually France was expelled (in 1954), but their food habits remained within Vietnamese culinary culture. Vietnam has a unique combination of flavors that make its cuisine especially delicious!
A have a friend from Vietnam who says their cuisine is the healthiest in the world because it uses fresh ingredients with lots of vegetables and herbs. Not only is it healthy, it is SO tasty!!! The most common ingredients are:
* lemongrass, ginger, mint, cilantro, basil
* fish sauce and shrimp paste
* soy sauce
We decided to make sandwiches called bánh mì- they use traditional flavors, with a French baguette, and are very kid-friendly (who doesn’t like a good sandwich?). This recipe is very loosely put together, because my friend says she doesn’t use exact measurements, and has adjusted the recipe for ingredients she has here in the US.
Ingredients for Bánh Mì
- chicken breasts
- 5 spice seasoning: star anise, cloves, cinnamon, fennel, black pepper
- rice wine vinegar
- soy sauce
- french baguettes
1. Slice the baguettes.
2. Slice up the chicken and put it in a bowl. Marinate the chicken in soy sauce, a bit of oil (I only had EVOO home), and the 5 spice seasoning; cover with plastic and put in the fridge. After 4-6 hours, I sautéed the chicken.
3. When you put the chicken to marinate, grate the carrots and place in a bowl with vinegar and sugar. This is the easy way to pickle raw veggies. My kids prefer some water mixed with the vinegar so it’s not as strong. Leave them to marinate for 4-6 hours until you’re ready to make the sandwiches, and then drain.
4. Chop the cilantro, chiles, and slice the cucumbers. Assemble the sandwiches, adding more soy sauce to the sandwich if desired.
It was so delicious! Tangy, salty, the cilantro, the crusty bread- so yummy.
If you’d like to do soup and a sandwich, try this Vietnamese Pho Recipe! The aroma alone is heaven: