Do you dream of travel? Some people are born with a travel bug. My mother is a prime example; she’s always had a curiosity for exploring new parts of the world, a trait she passed on to both me and my sister. Since our first trip abroad to Europe in our teens, my sister and I were smitten, and have been fortunate since then to visit many countries around the world.
Growing up, travel was everything to me. I generally yearned to be hiking the Alps or eating ravioli in Italy or doing anything but what I was doing at the moment. Somewhere in between, I’ve also learned that while travel is life-changing and mind-expanding and overall amazing, learning how dwell in one place can be just as fulfilling. Surprising as it was to me to end up in Indianapolis, Indiana, living in this community for 9 years has been just as ‘overall amazing’ as any of my travels – digging in, making roots, connecting with creative and passionate people, learning to love little-known corners of my city – this too is what life is about, sharing authentic community with your neighbors season by season, year by year.
I still love travel, and my recent trip to Cambodia and Laos is no exception. One of my favorite memories of my time in Laos with my dear sister was eating this banh mi. A banh mi is a Vietnamese sandwich: a chewy baguette with spiced meat or tofu, topped with pickled vegetable condiments and doused in mayo and hot sauce. If you’re never heard of it, you will, as this sandwich is starting to take over the world. Here we’ve attempted to create the egg banh mi my sister and I enjoyed at a Vietnamese bakery in Vientiene, Laos. It’s not quite perfect, but it’s the best we could do as non-professional banh mi sandwich artists. We’d love to hear your tips for a perfect banh mi, if you’ve got them.
To travel, and to dwelling.
And, Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, the travel bug, and my beautiful mothers in law and grandmother. We love you!
- 2 large carrots (1½ cup shredded)
- ½ cup white or rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 English cucumber
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 4 eggs
- ½ tablespoon butter
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- 2 baguettes
- Hot sauce (Sriracha)
- Soy sauce
- Peel and shred the carrots. Combine ½ cup vinegar, 1 tablespoon honey, and ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes in small bowl. Add the carrot and stir to mix. Let stand 15 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Peel the cucumber, then peel into long strips. Chop the cilantro.
- In a small bowl, beat together 4 eggs, one pinch kosher salt and a bit of black pepper. In a large skillet, heat ½ tablespoon butter over medium heat. Pour half of the eggs into the skillet. As the eggs just start to set, scrape them towards the center of the skillet into the shape of the baguette. Cook until just firm but not dry. Repeat with the other half of the eggs for the second sandwich.
- Cut each baguette in half. (If desired, toast the bread lightly prior to serving.) Spread mayonnaise on both sides of bread, then sprinkle with Sriracha and soy sauce (to your own taste). Fill each sandwich with egg, cucumber, and cilantro. Drain carrot-radish mixture and spread on each sandwich. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. Press top half of baguette on each sandwich, then slice sandwiches in half.