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Vegetarian Banh Mi

Vegetarian Banh Mi

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!

Vegetarian Banh Mi

Vegetarian Banh Mi
Serves: 2 sanwiches
What You Need
  • 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
  • Mayonnaise
  • Hot sauce (Sriracha)
  • Soy sauce
What To Do
  1. 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.
  2. Peel the cucumber, then peel into long strips. Chop the cilantro.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
Adapted from Vegetarian Times


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  • Reply
    May 12, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    DROOOOOL. This looks my dream of a Banh Mi! Yum!

  • Reply
    May 12, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    YUMM! I love banh Mi! I made a burger Banh Mi with an drippy egg and fell in love!! I love this all egg version!! What a good idea =!

  • Reply
    Marie @ Not Enough Cinnamon.com
    May 12, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    I’m literally crazy for Banh mi! When we moved to Sydney with my boyfriend, we first lived in Marrickville, a neighborhood with lots of Vietnamese people. There, we found the best Banh mi of the whole city (maybe the whole world – except Vietnam of course). Now that we’ve moved to another neighborhood, we still go to that tiny restaurant about once every other week, even if it takes us about 1 hour to get there. But it doesn’t matter, we’re in love. I can’t wait to be able to visit Vietnam, their food is by far one of my favorite cuisine! I’ve never tried making Banh mi myself but your version sounds like the perfect start :)

    • Reply
      May 26, 2013 at 8:55 pm

      Thank you for sharing this! I think this might be one of my favorite sandwiches as well — and they never get old! Hope that you’ll be able to make it to Vietnam someday!

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    May 13, 2013 at 3:02 am

    Love your new header! SO cute! er, and, modern. (sorry Alex) Seriously, clean and simple and so you guys! Great thoughts on travel, too! We had big dreams of traveling all around Asia when we came here, and slowly those changed into dreams of traveling just the Philippines, and finally we settled with just traveling around the little island of Cebu. :) And even in this one place there’s so to learn and love. Your love for Indy is contagious and making us want to come back again for Road Trip 2013! XO

    • Reply
      May 13, 2013 at 9:25 pm

      Thanks, I think the header is quite dude-ish. We tend to change it about once every 24 hours, so who knows what you’ll see next! How can you plan road trips when you are still in Cebu? Your brain must be near exploding at all times.

  • Reply
    May 13, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Just made this for lunch and YUM it was delicious! Thanks for the idea :) I love it when you just happen to have all the right ingredients on hand to appease a craving!

    • Reply
      May 26, 2013 at 8:56 pm

      Wow, you had all these ingredients on hand? It was meant to be! So glad you enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies
    May 13, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    I’ve been meaning to make a banh mi forever! Yours looks delicious, as does everything you make. :)

  • Reply
    May 13, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    It’s hard to recreate dishes that we associate with such a special travel memory, but I can imagine this delicious sandwich comes pretty close. I love love those quick pickles you made for this- can’t wait to try it!

    • Reply
      May 26, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      Thank you, Jess! Let us know if you try it out — or if you have any other banh mi tips! :)

  • Reply
    Courtney Jones
    May 17, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    As my friend just recently quoted “travel is the only thing you spend your money on that makes you richer.” I think this is so very true. I love travelling and cannot wait to start planning our next trip. It’s great to break routine and just get out there and explore. I’ve been wanting to try a vegetarian banh mi but needed a good recipe to try. This looks perfect! :)

  • Reply
    May 28, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Made this tonight and it rocked! Radishes were listed in the recipe instructions but not in the ingredient list, I pickled them along with the carrots and it turned out great. Added half a smashed avocado to each one. Best food decision I made all day. YUM.

  • Reply
    kev o'leary
    December 10, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    You can put anything you want in a baguette, and leave out anything you want. But a ham sandwich without ham isn’t a ham sandwich. Same goes for a banh mi.

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    Happy Cooking! ~ Sonja & Alex