In Vietnam, you can find bánh mỳ at any corner, at any street and in any Vietnamese blood. Bánh mỳ to Vietnamese is like pasta to the Italian, sushi to the Japanese me burger to the American. The French brought their baguette to Vietnam, the Vietnamese gave the world bánh mỳ!
To have a good bánh mỳ, we need a good bread. Bánh mỳ means bread. Then it depends on the filling, they will call it bánh mỳ thịt – meat bánh mỳ, bánh mỳ ba tê – Patê bánh mỳ, bánh mỳ heo quay – roasted pork bánh mỳ…and so on. Almost anything can be stuff into bánh mỳ.
To have a good bánh mỳ, we need a good bread. The bread need to be crispy outside but soft and fluffy inside. It is thin enough for easy chewing but strong enough to hold the filling inside. Most of the good bánh mỳ place has their own bakery to produce their signature bread. Vietnamese like their bread fresh and warm from the oven. They are very picky because it is a very competitive business. People will just line up at the best one in town.
Varieties of filling to choose from, usually pâté and mayonnaise go with cold cut meat and savory meat juice which reduced to the sauce will go with the charsui meat. Meat balls will go with their juice. Green onion, cilantro, cucumber, carrot and daikon pickle and chilies are the veggies part of the bánh mỳ.
Together, they formed the ultimate sandwiches which balance in carbs, protein and veggies yet savory in flavor. Look at this beautiful golden ratio !😍 75 cents each.
I often complained about the bánh mỳ in the U.S. They used such a thich and hard bread that often hurt people upper mouth. Most of the time, all I tasted was the thick and chewy bread. Look at this one for example. Even though the pork belly filling was excellent, the bad bread just killed it.
Here is a very good video to guide you about bánh mỳ in Sài Gòn. Next time you are in Vietnam, check out some of the best bánh mỳ vendor in town. I bet you will come back for more.