What’s a Banh Mi? It’s a Vietnamese Baguette

The name banh mi is Vietnamese for a baguette (something they picked up during French colonial rule) made with both wheat and rice flour, but it has become the name we use for the sandwiches made with this type of bread. 

On top of this Vietnamese baguette, you put various meats (usually of the fatty, porky persuasion), pickled sliced or shredded carrot and daikon, cilantro, cucumbers, green chili peppers (jalapenos seem to be the go-to here in Philly), pate, and some sort of mayonnaise or aioli.  The array of salty, sour, sweet, spicy, meaty, and fatty flavors, combined with the light crispiness of the Vietnamese baguette (the rice flour is key, so accept no substitutions) and the crunch of the vegetables — the flavors and textures are vibrant and varied, yet come together so well.  Even the visual aesthetic of the sandwich — greens, orange, white — is fantastic. 

The Hungry Hound posted a new top 5 list to his relaunched blog and thinks that Lincoln Square’s Nhu Lan Bakery has the best followed by Lakeview newcomer Bun Mi. Before you get up in arms, he puts Uptown’s Ba Le at No. 3.


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