the vietnamese sub

March 26, 2010

I am obviously dreaming of sunnier climes and egging on summer to just hurry up and arrive. Everything getting dreamed up in my kitchen at the moment is from somewhere exotic or full of spicy exotic ingredients.

No surprise then that when the husband and I were standing at the deli counter, looking longingly at sausages (what, you don’t do that?), it was not bratwurst nor chicken sausage, Polish nor Italian that caught my eye and took my fancy, but these:

Yes, indeed, that is Vietnamese sausage. Don’t think you’ve seen it at your grocery store before? Look closer. It’s there, nestled away amongst the usual contenders. And I hugely recommend picking some up and making yourself a simple, easy sandwich that immediately transports you to Hanoi.

I never made it to Vietnam during my travels through south-east Asia, since I was knocked out of the game by sickness and headed home two months early instead. I still have the Vietnamese visa in my passport: blank, unstamped, laughing at me. Well, at least now I have this:

The Vietnamese Sub (Banh Mi)


  • 1 French baguette, sliced lengthwise but not totally in half
  • 1 Vietnamese sausage
  • black bean sauce (check out your local Asian market or store for good options)
  • 1/2 carrot, grated
  • 1/4 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1/2 shallot, diced
  • cilantro


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F
  2. Bake sausage in oven for 25 minutes, turning once
  3. Meanwhile, saute the shallots for a few minutes on medium heat.
  4. Add the jalapeno pepper and saute gently for a couple more minutes.
  5. Spread a thin amount of black bean sauce on one side of your baguette (about a teaspoon)
  6. Once the sausage is cooked through, remove from the oven. Cut it in half, lengthwise and place on the baguette.
  7. Sprinkle shallot/jalapenos and add grated carrot and cilantro.
  8. Chomp!

You can read more about traditional Banh Mi and its usual fillings here.

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