Making a classic Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich with Lisa Nguyen
Lisa Nguyen is no stranger to flavorful meals with minimal ingredients. In her journey as a creator, she's known for working on building her spice level tolerance and up-leveling instant ramen to transform it from boring to gourmet. In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Lisa has kindly shared her recipe for a classic Vietnamese Banh Mi — a staple in her native cuisine that may seem intimidating at first blush but comes together sooner than you think.
Give it a try and see what you think!
Vietnamese Grilled Beef Banh Mi (Banh Mi Thit Nuong)
**Makes 12-15 sandwiches
- 4 pounds ribeye, thinly sliced
- 12-15 French baguettes or hoagies (6-8 inches lengthwise)
- 1 tbsp cup fish sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 ¼ cups sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 medium shallot, finely diced
- 2 tbsp fresh lemongrass, smashed and finely chopped (can replace with same amount of lemongrass powder)
- ¼ cup water
- 2 carrots, julienned
- 1 daikon, julienned
- 2 cups white vinegar
- ½ cup hoisin sauce
- ½ cup sriracha
- 2 cucumbers, sliced
- 2 jalapenos
- 2 oz. mushroom pate
- ½ cup Kewpie mayonnaise (can use regular mayonnaise)
- 1 bunch of cilantro
- In a large bowl, mix together the fish sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce, 4 tablespoons sugar, honey, pepper, salt, shallot, lemongrass, and water. Add the sliced beef to the marinade, making sure each piece is coated evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight if possible.
- Combine carrots, daikon, white vinegar, 2 cups of sugar, and a pinch of salt to create pickled carrots and daikon. Let this sit for at least 2 hours, mixing every half an hour.
- Combine hoisin sauce and sriracha and set aside for the dressing.
- Preheat your skillet to medium-high heat. Remove the beef from the marinade and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until cooked through.
- Toast baguettes in a 400 Fahrenheit degree oven until lightly toasted.
- Cut the baguettes in half lengthwise and spread a tablespoon of mayonnaise on one side and ½ tablespoon of mushroom pate on the other. Add a dash of soy sauce.
- To assemble the banh mi, place a few slices of grilled beef on the bottom half of each baguette. Add 1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce and sriracha mixture to the meat.
- Top with sliced cucumber, pickled carrots and daikon, and a sprig of cilantro. Add a couple of jalapeno slices if you would like it to be spicy.
- Add a dash of soy sauce and sriracha on top of veggies. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Vegetarian? No problem. Follow the recipe below for an adjusted version suitable for non-meat eaters.
- Replace meat with 11 oz. fried tofu (if the supplier doesn’t have fried tofu, we can fry firm tofu ahead of time when we prep the marinated meat).
- Replace Kewpie mayonnaise with vegan mayonnaise.
- Cut out step 1 since tofu will not need to be marinated.
- Tofu will be sliced and pan-fried to heat/crisp up.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 16 oz. portabella mushroom, chopped
- ½ tbsp salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 basil leaves with stem
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ½ stick vegan butter
- ½ cup vegetable stock
- Saute vegetable oil in saucepan
- Add chopped onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent.
- Add portabella mushroom, salt, black pepper, basil, and butter. Cook until the mushroom is cooked through.
- Add vegetable stock and soy sauce. Scrape caramelized bits at the bottom of the pan.
- Rest mixture for 5 minutes and then blend in a mixer.