Friday, July 3, 2009

"Banh mi thit" or Vietnamese Sandwich

May I introduce you to my favorite Vietnamese fastfood?

"Banh mi thit" means bread stuffed with meat in Vietnamese. This dish is an excellent example of French-Vietnamese cuisine fusion. For instance, the bread alone is basically a baguette made with wheat AND rice flour (to make it crispier), and the sandwich as a whole combines French ingredients (baguettes, pate and mayonnaise) with Vietnamese ones like cilantro, hot pepper, fish sauce and pickled carrots. The mayonnaise in "banh mi thit" also has a Vietnamese twist; it is a spread that is a mixture of egg yolk, cooking oil/butter, and sometimes spices.

Popular "banh mi thit" fillings include roasted or grilled pork, Vietnamese ham, pate, mayonnaise, chicken and head cheese.

The contrasting flavors and textures of the sandwich — as well as its relatively low cost — make it a popular dish. You can see a "banh mi thit" stall like this one in almost every street corner in Vietnam.

If there's a good-sized group of Vietnamese immigrants where you live, it's very likely that you'll be able to find some yummy "banh mi thit" in town. So, the next time you see it, muster all your courage and give it a try! :)

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