Street snacks, both savoury and sweet, are a must-have when visiting Asian countries. When in Vietnam, you simply cannot miss having banh mi. It has been voted as one of the Top 10 “World’s Best Street Food” by Lonely Planet, crowned World’s Best Sandwich by The Guardian, and captured the hearts of many, including former president of the United States of America, Barack Obama and the late chef and travel documentarian, Anthony Bourdain.
Best of the French and Vietnamese worlds
Literally translated to ‘bread’ in Vietnamese, the origins of banh mi can be traced back to the French colonisation era from 1887 to 1954. When World War I ensued, many European goods were seized in Vietnam, including French baguettes. The locals filled them with homegrown ingredients thus, modifying the classic French sandwich and making it affordable to the masses. Since then, banh mi has been said to originate from modern day Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City and is now a popular option for a quick snack, lunch delivery, or even as an appetiser for sharing when eating in.
The universal appeal of banh mi
So, what makes a great banh mi? It’s honestly hard to pinpoint as it’s a medley of harmonious flavours and textures. You could say that this is a case where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and banh mi comes in many parts.
A classic banh mi would have a mixture of hot and cold elements. It usually consists of a Vietnamese baguette, one or more type of meats, freshly cut vegetables, and a selection of condiments like mayonnaise and Maggi seasoning sauce. As the years go by, many versions of banh mi surfaced as a result of people from different cultures and taste buds pushing the boundaries and exploring what could be done to the simple street sandwich. From gourmet caviar to sweet ice-cream, banh mi has gone worldwide!
What makes our banh mi so awesome
At An Viet, we commit ourselves to create a banh mi experience that everyone can enjoy. Sourcing high-quality ingredients and merging them with skilled cooking techniques, we’ve come up with our own take of the banh mi.
Customers can choose from three unique proteins and two homemade pate options: Meat lovers can enjoy either the lemongrass chicken or pork chop with the pork liver pate, and there is the tofu patty and mushroom pate for our vegetarian friends. All proteins are grilled to order, guaranteeing freshness.
Something crunchy and cool is vital in any banh mi so we tuck in pickles from all-natural ingredients to give that tangy kick as well fresh vegetables such as sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and coriander leaves. We then drizzle all this goodness with our secret house-made sauce and a dash of sriracha to bring a mild spiciness to the palate.
Finally, and most importantly, the house-made baguette. Light with a crispy crust and soft, airy interior, the baguette plays an integral part as it envelops the other ingredients and harmonises all the flavours into one mouthwatering sandwich.
Bon appetit (or an nao, in Vietnamese!)