THEBANHMIHANDBOOK

contents
Introduction ■

1

cold cuts

banh mi 101

5 ■

Banh Mi Pantry 7 ■ Master Banh Mi 9

bread

13 ■

Bread Buying Guide 14 ■ Homemade Banh Mi Rolls 17

mayonnaise, sauces, and pickles

23 ■

Homemade Mayonnaise 24 ■ Sriracha Aïoli 26 ■
Cilantro Maggi Mayonnaise 27 ■ Eggless Mayonnaise 28 ■
Garlic Yogurt Sauce 29 ■ Mock Maggi Sauce 30 ■
Spicy Hoisin Sauce 31 ■ Daikon and Carrot Pickle 33 ■
Citrusy Red Cabbage Pickle 34 ■ Pickled Shallot 36 ■
Snow Pea and Lemongrass Pickle 37

39 ■

Garlic Pepper Pork Tenderloin 40 ■ Cheater’s Silky
Sausage 42 ■ Garlicky Silky Sausage 44 ■ Beef and Dill
Sausage 45 ■ Gateway Chicken Liver Pâté 47 ■
Quick Pork Liver Pâté 48 ■ Edamame Pâté 48 ■
Headcheese Terrine 51 ■ Baked Maggi Tofu 53

chicken

55 ■

Hanoi Grilled Chicken 57 ■ Classic Chicken 58 ■
Chicken Sausage Patties 59 ■ Chicken Sate 60 ■
Sri Lankan Black Curry Chicken 63 ■ Rotisserie Chicken
and Cracklings 65 ■ Crispy Drunken Chicken 66 ■
Oven-Fried Chicken Katsu 68

seafood

71 ■

vegetarian

103 ■

Shrimp in Caramel Sauce 73 ■ Viet Oyster Po’ Boy 74 ■
Panko-Crusted Tilapia 75 ■ Sardine and Tomato Sauce 76 ■
Herbed Salmon Cakes 79 ■ Spicy Wok-Seared Shrimp 81

Peppery Portobello 105 ■ Gingery Tofu Sliders 106 ■
Egg and Tofu Pancakes 107 ■ Coconut Curry Tofu 108 ■
Thai Fried Omelet 111 ■ Lemongrass Sriracha Tempeh 112

pork and beef

alternative banh mi

83 ■

Grilled Lemongrass Pork 84 ■ Meatballs in Tomato
Sauce 87 ■ Chinese Barbecued Pork 89 ■
Caramel Sauce Pulled Pork 90 ■ Crispy Roast Pork 93 ■
Viet Home-Style Doner Kebab 95 ■ Beef and Curry
Sliders 96 ■ Star Anise and Lemongrass Sloppy Joe 97 ■
Korean Beef and Kimchi 99 ■ Maggi Steaks 101

115 ■

Banh Mi Buns 117 ■ Lettuce Wrap Banh Mi 120 ■
Banh Mi Salad 121

Acknowledgments ■
Index ■

123

122

contents
Introduction ■

1

cold cuts

banh mi 101

5 ■

Banh Mi Pantry 7 ■ Master Banh Mi 9

bread

13 ■

Bread Buying Guide 14 ■ Homemade Banh Mi Rolls 17

mayonnaise, sauces, and pickles

23 ■

Homemade Mayonnaise 24 ■ Sriracha Aïoli 26 ■
Cilantro Maggi Mayonnaise 27 ■ Eggless Mayonnaise 28 ■
Garlic Yogurt Sauce 29 ■ Mock Maggi Sauce 30 ■
Spicy Hoisin Sauce 31 ■ Daikon and Carrot Pickle 33 ■
Citrusy Red Cabbage Pickle 34 ■ Pickled Shallot 36 ■
Snow Pea and Lemongrass Pickle 37

39 ■

Garlic Pepper Pork Tenderloin 40 ■ Cheater’s Silky
Sausage 42 ■ Garlicky Silky Sausage 44 ■ Beef and Dill
Sausage 45 ■ Gateway Chicken Liver Pâté 47 ■
Quick Pork Liver Pâté 48 ■ Edamame Pâté 48 ■
Headcheese Terrine 51 ■ Baked Maggi Tofu 53

chicken

55 ■

Hanoi Grilled Chicken 57 ■ Classic Chicken 58 ■
Chicken Sausage Patties 59 ■ Chicken Sate 60 ■
Sri Lankan Black Curry Chicken 63 ■ Rotisserie Chicken
and Cracklings 65 ■ Crispy Drunken Chicken 66 ■
Oven-Fried Chicken Katsu 68

seafood

71 ■

vegetarian

103 ■

Shrimp in Caramel Sauce 73 ■ Viet Oyster Po’ Boy 74 ■
Panko-Crusted Tilapia 75 ■ Sardine and Tomato Sauce 76 ■
Herbed Salmon Cakes 79 ■ Spicy Wok-Seared Shrimp 81

Peppery Portobello 105 ■ Gingery Tofu Sliders 106 ■
Egg and Tofu Pancakes 107 ■ Coconut Curry Tofu 108 ■
Thai Fried Omelet 111 ■ Lemongrass Sriracha Tempeh 112

pork and beef

alternative banh mi

83 ■

Grilled Lemongrass Pork 84 ■ Meatballs in Tomato
Sauce 87 ■ Chinese Barbecued Pork 89 ■
Caramel Sauce Pulled Pork 90 ■ Crispy Roast Pork 93 ■
Viet Home-Style Doner Kebab 95 ■ Beef and Curry
Sliders 96 ■ Star Anise and Lemongrass Sloppy Joe 97 ■
Korean Beef and Kimchi 99 ■ Maggi Steaks 101

115 ■

Banh Mi Buns 117 ■ Lettuce Wrap Banh Mi 120 ■
Banh Mi Salad 121

Acknowledgments ■
Index ■

123

122

daikon and carrot pickle
Makes about 3 cups (750 ml) ■ Takes about 20 minutes, plus 1 hour for marinating
If you only have one pickle for banh mi, this is it. Many banh mi shops opt to use only (or mostly) carrot
for their do chua (literally “tart stuff”). In your kitchen, emphasize the slight radish funk for a sandwich
with more character and cut the vegetables big enough to showcase their crunch; limp pickles get lost.
Select daikon that’s firm, relatively smooth, and no wider than 2 inches (5 cm). A batch of this pickle
requires one that’s about the length of a forearm. See Notes for worthy daikon substitutes.

1 medium daikon, about
1 pound (450 g)

2 teaspoons plus ½ cup
(3.5 oz / 105 g) sugar

notes

1 large carrot, about
6 ounces (180 g)

1¼ cups (300 ml) distilled
white vinegar

If the daikon gets stinky, open the jar and let it air out for
15 minutes before using. The pickle hasn’t gone bad.

1 teaspoon salt, fine sea salt
preferred

1 cup (240 ml) lukewarm
water

Peel and cut the daikon into sticks about 3 inches (7.5 cm)
long and 1⁄4 inch (6 mm) thick, the width of an average
chopstick. Peel and cut the carrot to match the size of the
daikon sticks but slightly skinnier. Put the vegetables in
a bowl. Toss with the salt and 2 teaspoons of the sugar.
Massage and knead the vegetables for 3 minutes, or until
you can bend a piece of daikon and the tips touch without breaking. They will have lost about a quarter of their
original volume.

For the brine, stir together the remaining 1⁄2 cup (105 g)
sugar with the vinegar and water until dissolved. Pour
into the jar to cover well. Discard any excess brine. Use
after 1 hour or refrigerate for up to a month.

mayonnaise, sauces, and pickles

Flush with running water, then drain in a mesh strainer
or colander. Press or shake to expel excess water. Transfer
to a 4-cup (1 l) jar.

When daikon is unavailable, try another radish or similar
kind of vegetable, such as red radishes, watermelon radishes
(red meat radish), and purple top turnips. Pickles made with
watermelon and red radishes are a striking pink-orange. The
turnip will be stark white.
Whatever you select, it should have bite. I usually choose
red radishes a good 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide, and turnips and
watermelon radishes weighing about 8 ounces (225 g) each.
If using watermelon radishes or turnips, peel then cut them
into sticks like you would the daikon. Treat the carrot as suggested in the main recipe.
Leave red radishes unpeeled and cut them into rounds
a generous 1/8 inch (8 mm) thick. Cut the carrot lengthwise,
then thinly cut the halves on the bias. The shapes won’t
match, but carrot rounds take longer to pickle. After tossing
the vegetables in salt and sugar, let them sit for about
10 minutes so they’ll be easier to squeeze. Brine as usual.

33

daikon and carrot pickle
Makes about 3 cups (750 ml) ■ Takes about 20 minutes, plus 1 hour for marinating
If you only have one pickle for banh mi, this is it. Many banh mi shops opt to use only (or mostly) carrot
for their do chua (literally “tart stuff”). In your kitchen, emphasize the slight radish funk for a sandwich
with more character and cut the vegetables big enough to showcase their crunch; limp pickles get lost.
Select daikon that’s firm, relatively smooth, and no wider than 2 inches (5 cm). A batch of this pickle
requires one that’s about the length of a forearm. See Notes for worthy daikon substitutes.

1 medium daikon, about
1 pound (450 g)

2 teaspoons plus ½ cup
(3.5 oz / 105 g) sugar

notes

1 large carrot, about
6 ounces (180 g)

1¼ cups (300 ml) distilled
white vinegar

If the daikon gets stinky, open the jar and let it air out for
15 minutes before using. The pickle hasn’t gone bad.

1 teaspoon salt, fine sea salt
preferred

1 cup (240 ml) lukewarm
water

Peel and cut the daikon into sticks about 3 inches (7.5 cm)
long and 1⁄4 inch (6 mm) thick, the width of an average
chopstick. Peel and cut the carrot to match the size of the
daikon sticks but slightly skinnier. Put the vegetables in
a bowl. Toss with the salt and 2 teaspoons of the sugar.
Massage and knead the vegetables for 3 minutes, or until
you can bend a piece of daikon and the tips touch without breaking. They will have lost about a quarter of their
original volume.

For the brine, stir together the remaining 1⁄2 cup (105 g)
sugar with the vinegar and water until dissolved. Pour
into the jar to cover well. Discard any excess brine. Use
after 1 hour or refrigerate for up to a month.

mayonnaise, sauces, and pickles

Flush with running water, then drain in a mesh strainer
or colander. Press or shake to expel excess water. Transfer
to a 4-cup (1 l) jar.

When daikon is unavailable, try another radish or similar
kind of vegetable, such as red radishes, watermelon radishes
(red meat radish), and purple top turnips. Pickles made with
watermelon and red radishes are a striking pink-orange. The
turnip will be stark white.
Whatever you select, it should have bite. I usually choose
red radishes a good 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide, and turnips and
watermelon radishes weighing about 8 ounces (225 g) each.
If using watermelon radishes or turnips, peel then cut them
into sticks like you would the daikon. Treat the carrot as suggested in the main recipe.
Leave red radishes unpeeled and cut them into rounds
a generous 1/8 inch (8 mm) thick. Cut the carrot lengthwise,
then thinly cut the halves on the bias. The shapes won’t
match, but carrot rounds take longer to pickle. After tossing
the vegetables in salt and sugar, let them sit for about
10 minutes so they’ll be easier to squeeze. Brine as usual.

33

chicken sate
Makes enough for 6 banh mi ■ Takes 1 hour
Taking a cue from Bryant Ng, the sandwich-loving chef/owner of noteworthy Los Angeles restaurants
such as The Spice Table, I grill Malaysian chicken sate and slide the meat off the skewer into baguette for
banh mi. The result is stunning.

1½ pounds (675 g) boneless,
skinless chicken thighs

2 cloves garlic, coarsely
chopped

2 teaspoons whole coriander
seeds or ground coriander

2 tablespoons coarsely
chopped ginger

2 teaspoons whole fennel
seeds or ground fennel

1 fat stalk lemongrass,
trimmed and coarsely
chopped (⅓ cup / 35g;
see page 37)

¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons packed dark
brown sugar or shaved dark
palm sugar

½ cup (2.25 oz / 65 g)
coarsely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon canola oil,
plus more as needed

The Banh Mi Handbook

As needed, butterfly the chicken (see page 58 for details)
to even out the thickness. Cut across the grain into strips
about 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide. Put into a bowl and set aside.

60

If starting with whole coriander and fennel seeds, toast
them in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about
3 minutes. Cool, then grind to a sawdust-like texture in a
spice grinder. Put the spices into a mini or full-size food
processor and add the salt, turmeric, sugar, garlic, ginger,
lemongrass, shallot, and oil. Process into a wet paste,
pausing and scraping to ensure an even texture. Add to
the chicken and use your hands to massage and coat well.

Thread the chicken onto skewers, covering most of each
skewer. (With 10-inch / 25-cm bamboo skewers, you’ll fill
4 or 5 of them. If you plan to cook them on the stove top,
use short skewers or cut long ones to fit the grill pan.)
Give each loaded skewer a gentle squeeze to ensure that
the chicken hugs the skewer (this keeps it succulent). Set
on a plate, cover, and marinate at room temperature for
30 minutes.
To grill the chicken, preheat a gas grill to medium-hot,
prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire, or use a stove-top
grill pan heated over medium-high heat with a little oil
brushed on. Right before grilling, brush oil on the skewers. Cook for about 12 minutes, turning frequently and
basting with oil, until the chicken is slightly charred and
done. Nick a piece to check. Briefly cool before sliding the
chicken off the skewers.

note
For chicken sate banh mi, combine the chicken with plain
or flavored mayo and red cabbage pickle (pages 27 and 34)
along with the chile, cucumber, and cilantro. As pictured
here, it's also great with the green tomato and lemongrass
pickle and, if you like, pickled shallot too (pages 36 and 37).

chicken sate
Makes enough for 6 banh mi ■ Takes 1 hour
Taking a cue from Bryant Ng, the sandwich-loving chef/owner of noteworthy Los Angeles restaurants
such as The Spice Table, I grill Malaysian chicken sate and slide the meat off the skewer into baguette for
banh mi. The result is stunning.

1½ pounds (675 g) boneless,
skinless chicken thighs

2 cloves garlic, coarsely
chopped

2 teaspoons whole coriander
seeds or ground coriander

2 tablespoons coarsely
chopped ginger

2 teaspoons whole fennel
seeds or ground fennel

1 fat stalk lemongrass,
trimmed and coarsely
chopped (⅓ cup / 35g;
see page 37)

¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons packed dark
brown sugar or shaved dark
palm sugar

½ cup (2.25 oz / 65 g)
coarsely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon canola oil,
plus more as needed

The Banh Mi Handbook

As needed, butterfly the chicken (see page 58 for details)
to even out the thickness. Cut across the grain into strips
about 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide. Put into a bowl and set aside.

60

If starting with whole coriander and fennel seeds, toast
them in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about
3 minutes. Cool, then grind to a sawdust-like texture in a
spice grinder. Put the spices into a mini or full-size food
processor and add the salt, turmeric, sugar, garlic, ginger,
lemongrass, shallot, and oil. Process into a wet paste,
pausing and scraping to ensure an even texture. Add to
the chicken and use your hands to massage and coat well.

Thread the chicken onto skewers, covering most of each
skewer. (With 10-inch / 25-cm bamboo skewers, you’ll fill
4 or 5 of them. If you plan to cook them on the stove top,
use short skewers or cut long ones to fit the grill pan.)
Give each loaded skewer a gentle squeeze to ensure that
the chicken hugs the skewer (this keeps it succulent). Set
on a plate, cover, and marinate at room temperature for
30 minutes.
To grill the chicken, preheat a gas grill to medium-hot,
prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire, or use a stove-top
grill pan heated over medium-high heat with a little oil
brushed on. Right before grilling, brush oil on the skewers. Cook for about 12 minutes, turning frequently and
basting with oil, until the chicken is slightly charred and
done. Nick a piece to check. Briefly cool before sliding the
chicken off the skewers.

note
For chicken sate banh mi, combine the chicken with plain
or flavored mayo and red cabbage pickle (pages 27 and 34)
along with the chile, cucumber, and cilantro. As pictured
here, it's also great with the green tomato and lemongrass
pickle and, if you like, pickled shallot too (pages 36 and 37).

THEBANHMIHANDBOOK

Copyright © 2014 by Andrea Quynhgiao Nguyen
Photographs copyright © 2013 by Paige Green

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
is on file with the publisher.

Illustrations by Betsy Stromberg and Andrea Nguyen

Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-60774-533-4
eBook ISBN: 978-1-60774-534-1

All rights reserved.
Published in the United States by Ten Speed Press, an
imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of
Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company,
New York.
www.crownpublishing.com
www.tenspeed.com

Printed in China
Design by Betsy Stromberg
Food Styling by Karen Shinto
Prop Styling by Tessa Watson
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registered trademarks of Random House LLC

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