I recently got the Banh Mi Handbook by Andrea Nguyen and I love it.
The first time I had the popular Vietnamese sandwich was in Toronto when I was staying there for my cake decorating course.
Most of my stay was with my uncle and his family (and my nani), but I did spend a few days with my college friend who lived close to downtown Toronto. While staying with her, my friend took me to Banh Mi Boys, a top rated place on yelp and that is when my life was introduced these crazy delicious vietnamese sandwiches.
I had never tried making these sandwiches at home though. Until now.
Andrea Nguyen runs a blog by the name of Viet World Kitchen and has authored a couple of cookbooks on asian cuisine including The Banh Mi Handbook . The cookbook starts with a brief look into Andrea’s long association with the sandwich and then talks about the basic pantry essentials to make your own banh mi. Andrea also includes recipes for homemade sauces and pickled vegetables that make the banh mi so special. And for people who would like to make their own banh mi buns instead of using store bought, Andrea has a very good recipe along with step-by-step pictorial instructions.
There are around 50 recipes in the book. What I love about the cookbook is that it gives a lot of options to customize the banh mi sandwiches to your liking. My husband does not eat any other kind of meat besides chicken (and on certain rare occasions lamb), and is vegetarian on two days of the week, which makes this cookbook a good addition to my collection because of the various chicken and vegetarian filling recipes it has.
Almost all the ingredients in the book are easily available and if not, Andrea offers substitutions. Andrea also offers little notes with each recipe with tips and variations to customize the recipe and create a banh mi that you will love.
While there are many recipes that I would like to try I started with making homemade banh mi rolls. And made the book’s drunken chicken banh mi.
Both V and I loved the drunk chicken banh mi and I am sharing the recipe today. The drunken chicken filling is absolutely delicious. I will be trying the Hanoi grilled chicken banh mi or maybe the coconut curry tofu next.
If you want a change from your regular subway kind of sandwiches and love asian flavors, this cookbook is a wonderful place to start learning about these sandwiches.
You can find the The Banh Mi Handbook on amazon here.
- 1.25 pounds of boneless chicken thighs
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice wine
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1½ tbsp rice wine
- 1½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp minced ginger
- 6 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tbsp water
- ⅔ cup corn starch
- oil, for frying
- 5-6 banh mi rolls
- mayo, mustard, shredded lettuce, carrots, cilantro or any condiment you like
- Cut the chicken into nuggets about 1½ inches in size.
- In a bowl mix the cornstarch, soy sauce, rice wine, canola oil. Add the chicken and coat well. Marinate for 15 minutes at least.
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1½ tbsp rice wine with garlic, ginger and water. Add sugar, tasting and tweaking for a sweet-tart flavor.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then lower the heat and let simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch slurry. Increase heat slightly and let come to boil and thicken a bit, about 45 seconds. Remove from heat. Cool for 5 minutes and strain, if required. Set aside, uncovered.
- In a wok, or frying pan, pour oil to a depth of 1 inch, and heat to about 180 C/350 F.
- Once the oil is hot enough coat the marinated chicken in the ⅔ cup corn starch, knocking off excess. In batches fry the chicken till golden, turning often, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towel.
- Add the fried chicken to a bowl and add as much sauce as you like.
- You can fry the pieces several hours ahead and warm in a preheated 450 F oven.
- Prep the vegetable add ons. I used sliced carrots, cilantro and lettuce.
- Slit bread in half lengthwise, leaving it attached to one side. Remove some of the insides of the bread with your fingers. Spread mayo and a little mustard if you like, on both side. Layer on the filling, carrots, lettuce, cilantro and chiles. Close the sandwich and cut half crosswise.
Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books