Cats, Cooking, and Life!

Bánh mì

Here's something that has become really popular lately. So of course, we had to try making it.

Banh mi with ham

Bánh mì (banh mi), if you're not familiar with it, is a Vietnamese sandwich, similar to a sub, but with Vietnamese ingredients. Here's a good intro on Wikipedia.

Banh mi with tofu

These are often available in your local china town, and are usually very cheap. Either buy one for two dollars or buy ten and get one free! Our version is larger than the typical purchased version, so it will cost more.

There are many ways to make it. Here's our favourite:

  • A bun. We use a hoagie-style bun, which is smaller than the typical submarine sandwich bun. Fresh is best, of course. Some people remove the bread from the inside of the roll, leaving only the crust
  • A spread for the inside of the bun. Pâté (or pate) is traditional, although mayo or butter are good alternatives. Have mayo and pate at the same time to be decadent.
  • There's a variety of meat. Vietnamese pepper ham (see photo) is a traditional choice , although we've used Tuscan ham, which also contains pepper, from the deli in the grocery store. Other good choices are:
    • Eggs, fried or scrambled
    • Barbecue chicken
    • Sardines
    • Marinated tofu (See below)
  • Carrot
  • Lo bok (aka white carrot). This is similar to a daikon radish.
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) sugar
  • 250 ml (1 cup) rice or white vinegar
  • English cucumber, sliced into thick matchsticks
  • Green onions, sliced into matchsticks
  • Coriander (aka cilantro), leaves and stems
  • A Thai bird chili or two, optional. One for the carrot and lo bok pickles and another one for sandwich topping.
  • Ground black pepper for seasoning


For pickled carrots and lo bok:
  1. Slice carrot and lo bok into thick matchsticks
  2. Finely chop a thai bird chil
  3. Mix the sugar and vinegar
  4. Add the carrot, lo bok, and chili to the liquid mixture and refrigerate overnight.

For tofu filling:
  • 500 g (1 lb) extra firm tofu
  • ground black pepper
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) cayenne
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) dry mustard
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) grated or ground ginger
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) soy sauce
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) minced chives
  1. Slice the tofu into 8 slabs.
  2. Mix the rest of the ingredients and put into a large, low dish
  3. Add the tofu and marinate, turning often for 2 hours
  4. Fry the tofu to brown it


    To assemble the sandwich. Put out the ingredients on the table and everyone makes their own.
    1. Slice open the roll and toast it
    2. Spread the roll with the pate or mayo or butter
    3. Add the meat or tofu and veggies to your liking. Don't forget to cut up another chili and add it here.

    And enjoy. Bow-Tie Calico approves of the toasted bun. And more.


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