Bánh Mì: The Best Sandwich in the World (a Second Stay at Home Date Night)

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pork banh mi sandwich, blurry background, sandwich, roast pork.Homemade Pork Bánh Mì for Stay at Home Date Night

The story behind my obsession with this sandwich

banh mi circle quotationPerhaps you too would have felt cranky and dubious if you’d been lost in Little Italy, dragging two whiny kids behind you, as you searched and searched for a supposedly good Vietnamese sandwich shop hiding behind the storefront of a jewelry store.

How good could this sandwich possibly be, as you find it, pass the glass cases of jade bracelets and gold necklaces, and finally get the food in some bags to go, only to wander around the bustling streets of Manhattan for another half hour looking for a place to sit down and eat?

Banh Mi Saigon Mott Street 2009 New York City Marcy

Banh Mi Saigon Bakery Mott Street New York City 2009

And then, feeling annoyed and giving the stink eye to your husband, it happens: You bite into the Best Sandwich in the World.

Marcy bucket of frogs New York City Chinatown 2009This was my experience in New York City in 2009, when we wandered the city on an already over but delightful foodie photo scavenger hunt. (Fun fact: That’s also when I had the pleasure of sticking my hand into a bucket of frogs.) We found Bánh Mì Saigon on Mott Street, behind the storefront of a jewelry store. (They have since relocated to more spacious digs on Grand Street.)

I’ll always remember that moment of biting into the crusty French bread. The mix of salty, sweet, sour, and savory melted away all my aggravation as I realized that, yes, this sandwich was worth the search and more. It features a mix of crunchy pork and creamy pâté, tangy pickled vegetables, bright cilantro, and spicy hot sauce. It even throws in some history, as the Vietnamese ingredients combine with the remnants of French colonialism in the bread, mayonnaise, and pâté.

Our Second Friday Night Date Night

This special sandwich was the star of my second Stay at Home Date Night, and, oh, what a star it was.

We used Chef John’s recipes for pan roasted 5-spice pork loin and the pork bánh mì sandwich.

If you missed my first Stay at Home Date Night, I’ll say it again: cooking together at home for a date night is cheaper than going out and a lot more fun than cooking as a weeknight chore. Plus, we get to enjoy our own music, wine, and cooking, and we don’t have to deal with crowds. I won’t say the sandwich came out better than the first one I tried, but it definitely surpassed the ones I’ve ordered in restaurants since. Fresh, delicious, not hard to make, and exactly how I wanted it.

pork banh mi sandwich, roasted pork, homemade banh mi

What was in my bánh mì?

  • Crusty bread toasted with special sauce (mayonnaise with hoisin and sriracha)
  • Roast pork, thinly sliced
  • Pâté
  • Pickled carrot and radish (substituted for daikon, a Japanese radish)
  • Cucumber spears
  • Jalapeño slices

Let me know if you stick your hand into a bucket of frogs–or if you give the sandwich or stay at home date night a try.

pickled carrot and radish, cucumber, cilantro, jalapeno

pork banh mi, cooking, pan roasted pork

pork banh mi, pan roasted pork

pork banh mi, roasted pork, slicing

pork banh mi, sandwich

See also:

About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days (and beyond), and writing my memoirs. My book: Timid No More.

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11 Responses to Bánh Mì: The Best Sandwich in the World (a Second Stay at Home Date Night)

  1. Pingback: Friday Night Date Night Just Got Better, And Cheaper, And Did I Mention I Didn’t Have To Leave The House? | (Don't Be) Too Timid And Squeamish

  2. Katie says:

    I’m new to the Banh Mi wagon, but love them! Looks fab.

  3. Daniel Nest says:

    Sold! I’ll trade you 10,000 baby wipes for a bite of Banh Mi!

  4. Nate says:

    I’ve just discovered bahn mi. This looks delicious.

  5. Abby says:

    I would stick my hands in a bucket of frogs without a second thought in exchange for that sandwich!

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