Office Lunch Challenge: Vegetarian Bánh Mi

May 19, 2022
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One of the things I love about Vietnam is its food. The reason Vietnamese food is so good is that it uses little oil, it is very savory, and it fills the stomach. When someone asks me what is the best thing I’ve ever eaten, I can’t help but remember the Banh Mi Sandwiches I had in Hoi An, a city on Vietnam’s central coast. It is the street food that the late Anthony Bourdain raved about on one of his shows. Bánh Mi is a sandwich that has so many layers of flavor, complexity, and intrigue with each and every bite. Do you know that Bánh Mì literally means “bread” in Vietnamese? It refers to the French baguette bread that is used to make this Vietnamese sandwich.

Usually, Báhn Mi uses chopped vegetables and meat such as grilled chicken, beef, pork, or pate but for this recipe, I’ll be making a vegetarian/vegan version using Arlene’s Classic Kebab. It’s convenient, meat-free and healthier for the planet. Here are the ingredients: 

Coriander Crazy: Lyn's version of Bánh Mi

Ingredients for Bánh Mi Sandwich: 

  • Arlene Classic Kebab
  • 1 French Bread or Baguette (medium size)
  • ½ Carrot (slice into thin strips)
  • ½ Cucumber (slice into thin strips)
  • 1-2 tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • 3 tbsp Mayonnaise
  • Coriander leaves
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • ½ White Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp white sugar

Assembling the Báhn Mi sandwich:  

Mix vinegar and sugar into a small bowl. Throw in the thin strips of carrot and cucumber. Let the veggies soak in the marinade for 15 to 20 mins.

In a separate bowl, mix sriracha sauce and mayonnaise, if you love spicy, add more sriracha; if you like it creamier, add more mayonnaise.

Using an air-fryer, cook the Arlene Classic Kebabs at 185 Degree Celsius for 12 to 15 minutes until the kebab is golden brown. Remove from the air-fryer and rest for 1 minute. 

Slice the French bread in half. Spread the sriracha and mayonnaise mixture evenly on both sides of the bread. Place the cooked Arlene Classic Kebab in the middle of the baguette bread, add the soaked carrots and cucumber, and add some ice berg lettuce on top of it. Coriander is optional.

Depending on how creative you are, making your own version can be a lot of fun. You can add your own personal touches to make this Báhn Mi your own signature meal!