Vietnamese street food - new icon

“In 2018, H’Hen Nie represented Vietnam wearing a food-inspired outfit inspired by bread. She finally made it to the top 5 Miss Universe 2018.” – kenh14.vn

Banh-mi baguettes Vietnamese Street food

“You will find sandwiches (bread) all around the world, Rome, Copenhagen, New York City, but “A little-known secret is the world’s best sandwich is to be found on the streets of Vietnam. It starts with a light baguette grilled over charcoal. After a bit of mayonnaise and a thin layer of pâté, the crust is filled with meat, crispy pickled vegetables and fresh vegetables then it is often spiced with a few drops of soy sauce and spicy chili spice.” This simply delicious Banh Mi, Baguette, (sandwich) was featured in the World’s best street food article in The Guardian in December 2012.
Hi! i am Thi - local guide in Vietnam. Please, keep in touch with Sagomeko & make your trip better with local tour-guides'advises. Cheers !

INSIDE OF THIS POST

Vietnamese strreet food

About Vietnamese Baguette – Banh Mi

Vietnam is known as a country that grows wet rice, not wheat, so how can it be famous for its bread? Along with the flow of history, when the French exploited the colony in Vietnam, they brought French cuisine to Saigon – the pearl of the Far East. It was then that Banh Mi were first created, just over 150 years ago, and this also explains how it is a cross between Western cuisine and Vietnamese street food.
International politicians enjoy Vietnamese baguette

A “Banh Mi” is a fusion of natural meats and vegetables like baloney, coriander, cucumber, pickled carrots, and white radish paired with spices from French dishes like pâté, chilli and mayonnaise. However, many common types of fillings are used, from meat-balls to cheese. In Vietnam, the baguette is often eaten at breakfast or as a snack for the whole day. This dish is sold from the shoulders of street vendors to fine restaurants and enjoyed by everyone from students to international politicians.

Vietnamese street food - Why?

About Vietnamese Baguette?

When I introduce international tourists and friends to Banh Mi-Vietnamese street food, they often say, “Why do they want to eat bread when they are in Saigon? What’s so special about this particular sandwich?
Plain-bread (outside): Wheat of course, which was imported from the French colonial period, but is customized according to local taste. The ratio of 60% of wheat powder, rice powder, baking powder, yeast, cooking oil, butter, chicken eggs, salt … With this ratio, the finished bread will have a yellow, thin, crispy crust. The inside of the bread is spongy, with many air holes in it and the outside is crispy with a cracked outer shell. The bread will cool down to be less crunchy, but not dry. Eat your Banh Mi warm and it almost melts in your mouth.
Fillings (Salad & meat): If the outside of the bread is soft, crunchy; the inner fillings layer is very diverse. The warm Banh Mi (baguette) is sliced along it’s length and then can be filled with different fillings, pork, meat, grilled chopped fish, mackerel, eggs, shredded meat. Depending on the type of meat, Banh Mi will be named differently.
Salad: Served with coriander, cilantro, pickles, tomatoes, shredded cucumbers and onions. This creates a freshness for the dish, bringing out the flavours of the meat or fish.
Meat sauce, soy sauce are sprinkled on the meat and vegetables. Then, chilli sauce and pepper for people who like their food spicy. The sauces enhance the palate, blending the aroma’s and flavours beautifully.
Banh mi - Vietnamese street food
The baguettes are ready cooked and kept warm, everything is prepared and waiting for customers to come. From the time you order, in just 30 seconds, you will have a loaf of fresh and hot baguette with your chosen filling. Therefore, the Banh Mi rapidly became and continues to be one of the fasted, diverse, and extremely cheap Vietnamese street food, only available in our country.

Vietnamese street food - types

Types of Vietnamese Banh Mi

As mentioned above, depending on the filling, Banh Mi’s have different names. From North to South Vietnam, there are popular on the go meals for you and some local variations ones that may be very different to western tastes. Here’s a list of some of the most popular….
Banh mi with pâté & baloney: you can find it everywhere, priced from 1-2 dollars. The filling is a type of pate made from pork liver, mayonnaise, slices of meat, local sausage, ham, cucumber, tomatoes, pickles, chilli…

a loaf of Banh mi - Baguette

Banh mi with fried chopped fish: Fried mackerel is used instead of meat, the pickles will be mix with shredded scallions, chilli fish-sauce to make it salty and slightly fishy, but quite easy to eat.
Banh Mi with grilled beef: minced beef wrapped in “lá lốt” leaves (chilli-pepper leaves), skewered on charcoal. Beef with local leaves is very special, so it is only served with hoisin sauce.

Banh mi for breakfast

Banh Mi with mackerel: mackerel in a hot tomato sauce, served with cucumber, fresh tomatoes, sprinkled with pepper-salt and soy sauce that will also satisfy your stomach.
Banh Mi with roasted-pork: roasted-pork with crunchy skin “crackling”, sprinkle with a little concentrated roast gravy, sprinkle with a little pepper, pickles and scallions. Crunchy and tender bread, mixed with the crunchy roast pork and sauce. Suitable for most tastes.

roasted-pork-baguette

Vegetarian Banh Mi: you can order bread with eggs, bread with cheese, margarine. Some Vietnamese are vegan, they usually eat bread with fried tofu with salads like those types of bread. There are not many stores that sell this vegan bread, Sagomeko only gives you a tip when ordering ask for; bread, cucumber, tomatoes, pickles, soy sauce. Just that is enough to power you to explore Vietnam.

vietnamese street food tips

A tip from Sagomeko

In the past, wheat flour was expensive and rare, so the bakery shop often added baking powder and rice flour, making a difference in the crunchiness on the outside and the soft inside. Therefore, Vietnamese bread is only used during the day. Bread is also served with other dishes such as Vietnamese curry, fried snails with garlic butter, and braised beef with bread…
Along with bread, do not forget to try a cup of Vietnamese coffee! They’re like the perfect couple Vietnamese street food for starting a new day across our country.
Perhaps during this time, your country, as well as Vietnam are fighting hard with the global pandemic Covid-19. Please stay healthy, wash your hands and keep a social distance. Spend time with your family, maybe plan your future holidays. Meanwhile Sagomeko will update you with useful and all the latest information about Vietnam.
Keep Calm – Get Healthy – Think Optimistic.

 

some references

A few travel agents you refer about Vietnamese street food
Vietnam determined to prevent covid-19

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