Eight Saigon banh mi variations worth the savor post-social distancing
Nhận đường liên kết
Ứng dụng khác
With HCMC in the grips of a strict two-month social distancing order, many Saigoneers are craving for a delectable bite of banh mi.
The simple Vietnamese sandwich, a baguette stuffed with anything from grilled pork, cold cuts and cucumber slices to cilantro, pickled carrots, liver pate, and a swipe of mayonnaise, is arguably one of the first things you should try if you want a true taste of Vietnam.
Here are eight famous banh mi variations that have won acclaim from food bloggers.
Banh mi xiu mai trung muoi served with pork meatballs (xiu mai) and topped with salted egg yolk (trung muoi) is highly recommended by travel bloggers, stemming from a homemade recipe you can’t find anywhere else. Inside the freshly baked sandwich is one piece of roasted beef, two to three pieces of pork meatballstopped with protein-laden steamed salted egg yolk, along with layers of pork crackling. Don't forget to put a little pickled daikon and carrots and fish sauce into the loaf to add flavor. The stall serving this version is at 6 Ho Xuan Huong Street in Binh Thanh District, with prices ranging from VND22,000-30,000 ($0.95-1.29).
Banh mi chao is one served with a frying pan (chao) with egg, pate and sausage. But this is just the basic version. A wide variety of "fillings" are available for hungry diners to choose from. The dish is usually served right after it is cooked. Typically, a mixture of chili and soy sauce are added to the dish before it is eaten. The egg yolk combined with seasoning makes for a greasy, tasty sauce that a piece of crispy bread is dipped into. One of the most ideal places to try it is the Hoa Ma stall on Dang Tran Con Street, District 1. The joint is open from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Each serving costs around VND44,000.
At 37 Nguyen Trai Street in District 5, part of Saigon's Chinatown, a vendor has been serving banh mi thit nuongwith grilled pork(thit nuong) from a pushcart for more than a decade. The round pieces of minced pork, fragrant and slightly burnt, are taken directly from the hot coals in a small oven. Regular customers say they love how the grilled pork here has remained tasty for so many years, with people willing to wait half an hour to be served. The sandwich includes five or six pork patties coated in a sauce that smells and tastes nearly like yakitori. On top of the pork patties is a generous amount of cucumber, cilantro, green onion, Vietnamese pickles, and finally some sweet chili sauce. The stall opens at around 5 p.m., and the sandwich costs VND20,000 ($0.86).
Banh mi pha lau accompanied with a stew made of beef and pork entrails called pha lau (offal stew) is not a bad idea for Saigoneers, originating from China and imported to Saigon 100 years ago. Diners can drop by Ms. Oanh's stall inside Xom Chieu Market of District 4, as recommended by food bloggers. The main ingredient of pha lau is beef offal – liver, stomach and tripe. On collecting an order, the owner starts to cut the offal into bite-sized chunks. She then puts them in a bowl, adding a fragrant, dense broth rendered richer with coconut milk. The long-shimmered beef offal is tender, juicy and crunchy. Adding to the enjoyment is the sweet and sour taste of fish sauce with some kumquat juice. Eaters can tell the owner if they want their sauce spicy or not. The shop at 200/48 Xom Chieu, District 4 has been in operation for 20 years and opens from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The average price per serving is VND25,000 ($1.08).
It is not difficult to find stalls serving banh mi cha ca with fried chopped fish cakes (cha ca), a popular breakfast dish. The bread is filled with grilled fish cakes and toppings like scallions, coriander, soy sauce, sliced chili peppers, or pickled daikon and carrots. A loaf of fish cakes bread costing from VND10,000-15,000 can be found on any street or in small alleys across Ho Chi Minh City. Famous stalls include Ma Hai's at 187 Vinh Vien Street in District 10, or the one at 100 De Tham Street in District 1.
Banh mi kho bo served with beef jerky (kho bo) inside Da Kao Market in District 1 is not to be missed. Beef jerky is cut into smallerpieces and served in a loaf of bread along with laksa leaves, roasted peanut and spicy chili sauce. In some stalls, the owner makes a sour and sweet sauce as a bonus. Each typically costs VND20,000-25,000.
For many Saigoneers, bread served with roasted pork, banh mi heo quay, is not too strange. The pork is roasted with a thick layer of salt and spices. It is sliced and served on a freshly baked bread roll. The sandwich is then dressed with a combination of mayonnaise, pickled carrots and daikon, cucumbers, cilantro, and chives. If desired, sliced chili peppers can be added as a topping, making it very spicy. This version can be found at Phuc Hai's stall at 3 Nguyen Thuong Hien Street in District 3 or another stall at 95 Tran Dinh Xu Street in District 1.
Banh mi ca nuc is one served with fresh scad (ca nuc) from seafood markets. The fish would be stewed for many hours with coconut water and tomatoes based on varying recipes. Cooked fish are kept in a charcoal pot to keep it warm and reduce the fishy flavor. When a customer places an order, the fish is mashed into a loaf of bread smeared with mayonnaise, then topped with classic accompaniments like pickled carrots and daikon, coriander, sliced chili peppers, and a drizzle of spicy tomato sauce. If you want to try this, drop by 224 Bui Dinh Tuy Street in Binh Thanh District for a VND20,000-25,000 serving.