Bánh mì >> In My Belly

Today I thought I'd share a bit about one of my very favorite food items: the bánh mì. If you live somewhere with a population of Vietnamese immigrants, then you probably already know the magic that is the bánh mì (pronunciation guide >> bon me).

But in case you don't know, it's a Vietnamese sandwich that is a commonly sold street food in Vietnam, and increasingly, in the U.S. and abroad. The French occupied Vietnam from the late 19th century until 1945, and this sandwich is a result of the culinary marriage that transpired. It combines French bread, mayo, and pate (on the non-vegetarian versions) with traditional Vietnamese ingredients, such as cilantro, daikon, and jalapenos. The result is a really unique flavor combination that is fresh, light, and satisfying. Plus, they're super cheap, usually around $3.

My friend Dorothy took me to South Sacramento which has a large Vietnamese and Chinese community, and we enjoyed tasty bánh mìs last week. Since she's Vietnamese herself, she taught me a little about some of the other desserts and specialties that we saw, some of which are in the picture on the right. We ate the most wonderful banana things that you dip in sugar and coconut milk....mmmmmm.

I also tried my hand at making them myself, and I have to say, they turned out AWESOME. While it was more work and probably not cheaper than buying them out, making them at home was fun and I was able to buy organic versions of the ingredients. Plus, if you can't buy them locally where you live, this is a great alternative. They tasted EXACTLY like the ones we get at our favorite hole in the wall we go to in San Francisco. Here's a pic of what mine turned out like (ugh photographing food is the WORST):
And here is the recipe that I used from thekitchn.com. I didn't have a julienne-er thingy, so I just used a vegetable peeler to make thin shavings of the carrot and daikon which worked perfectly.

Thanks for letting me share about one of my favorite foods with you! I hope that if you have never tried one of these babies before, that you give 'em a shot.

Our house is a currently a disaster as we continue packing. I think we've made enough progress though to take a last day trip to Lake Tahoe tomorrow. I can't wait! A day off from the moving stress sounds pretty good right about now.

shanti >> sondra


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