So France…what food does it make you think of?
Baguettes of course!
An example of the influence of the French on Vietnamese food is ‘Banh Mi’ which is a Vietnamese baguette commonly filled with ingredients such as pickled carrots, cucumbers, coriander, spring onion, chicken/pork liver pate, fresh cut chilli, garlic mayonnaise, thinly sliced pork belly and Vietnamese sausage.
Thus, Banh Mi has an infusion of French ingredients with the baguette, pate and mayonnaise, and Vietnamese style fillings and accompaniments like fresh herbs, pickled carrots and specially prepared meats.
The Vietnamese style baguette has a much crispier and firmer crust to provide a barrier for the moisture of the fillings and the inner part of the bread is light and fluffy so that it does not overwhelm the flavours of the sandwich and taste too bready.
You can buy Banh Mi from Asian groceries/supermarkets. Near the counter there is usually a selection of sweet and savoury snacks and sweets. These are generally prepared by people who work at home and then distribute their goods to groceries, which sell it on commission. A Banh Mi will usually cost you between $3.50-$4.50
But to get the best Banh Mi in Perth, you should go to ‘Ben Thanh’ at the Mirrabooka Village Shopping Centre. This is a little place dedicated to selling Banh Mi and also sells fresh sugar cane juice!
You get your Vietnamese baguette made fresh to order!
When you get your Banh Mi made fresh from Ben Thanh, after the fillings have being placed into the baguette, it will be popped into a grill for around 1 minute so that the baguette will be slightly warmed and is extra crunchy and crispy when you bite into it (warming: bread crumbs will fall everywhere and you will make a mess).
When you buy Banh Mi from an Asian grocery it will be cold and ok to eat. But if you take it home you can heat it up by putting it in the oven (no need to preheat the oven) and cook for around 10 minutes at 180 degrees celsius. The aim is to heat up the baguette to make the bread crispy and the fillings only need to be slightly warm.
Banh Mi is delicious…so please take a bite….
Related post - Searching for the best banh mi in Perth in Girrawheen