Banh My – what a sandwich!

After spending two months in Thailand, I got used to the food, picked up a little of the language, and even learned to recognize some words written in Thai.  Coming to Hanoi has been more challenging than I expected, and I think I’ve experienced a little culture shock.  The language is very different, and alhtough they use a modified version of our alphabet, the letters are pronounced differently.

Fortunately, thanks to some visits to Vietnamese restaurants in Portland and San Jose, I know a few food words.  Banh my (which I usually saw written as banh mi in the states), is a sandwich with various meats on a baguette.  Here, the version I see most often comes with pate and two other processed meats I can’t really identify.  One looks like sausage, and the other, you can see in the photo, is pale beige with bright orange on the edges.

I was a little hesitant about the pate, but with the other meat, butter, and chile sauce, it tastes great.


It’s served with a big plate of lettuce, tomato, and marinated cucumbers (which are crunchy and sweet), plus a little dish of salt for sprinkling over the filling.


All the elements together make for an unexpectedly good sandwich!

(And if you’re vegetarian, it’s easy to get a similar version with Laughing Cow cheese in place of all the meat)

3 Responses to “Banh My – what a sandwich!”

  1. 1 Liz March 22, 2009 at 2:32 am

    I love banh mi! We have a banh mi restaurant opening up right near my office and I can’t wait. I’d love to be able to try them IN Hanoi!

  2. 2 nicole March 22, 2009 at 6:21 am

    thank you for this blog! i stumbled upon it and i absolutely love it because i am a learning cook and i am asian and i love traveling and so obviously your blog is mouthwatering.

  3. 3 Alison March 22, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Ahhh! I can’t handle it! Your posts are making me want to go back SO BADLY!! Hope you are having an amazing time and can’t wait to see what other tasty things you find to eat 🙂

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