Bánh mì

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Bánh mì
Banh mi - vietnamese bread - (cut out from flickr5607479129).jpg
Bánh mì
Alternative name(s) Vietnamese bread
Place of origin Vietnam / French Indochina
Type bread

Bánh mì (/ˈbæn ˌm/; Vietnamese pronunciation: [ɓǎɲ mî]) is a Vietnamese term for all kinds of bread. The word is derived from bánh (bread) and (wheat, also spelt in northern Vietnam). Bread, or more specifically the baguette, was introduced by the French during its colonial period.[1] The bread most commonly found in Vietnam is a single-serving baguette, therefore the term bánh mì is synonymous with this type of bread. The bánh mì is usually more airy than its Western counterpart, with a thinner crust. It is sometimes metonymous with a food item known as a "Vietnamese sandwich" (or, in Louisiana, as a "Vietnamese po' boy"[2] or in Philadelphia as a "Vietnamese hoagie"[3]), for which the bánh mì serves as the bread wrapper.


In the Western Hemisphere, especially in areas with substantial Vietnamese expatriate communities, the term is used to refer to a type of meat-filled sandwich on bánh mì bread, found in Vietnamese bakeries. Unlike the traditional French baguette, the Vietnamese baguette is made with rice flour along with wheat flour.[4] Typical fillings include steamed, pan-roasted or oven-roasted seasoned pork belly, Vietnamese sausage, grilled pork, grilled pork patties, spreadable pork liver pâté, pork floss, grilled chicken, chicken floss, canned sardines in tomato sauce, soft pork meatballs in tomato sauce, head cheese, fried eggs, mock duck, and tofu. Accompanying vegetables typically include fresh cucumber slices, cilantro (leaves of the coriander plant) and pickled carrots and daikon in shredded form. Common condiments include spicy chili sauce, sliced chilis, mayonnaise, and cheese.[1]

Assembling a banh mi

In the Vietnamese language, these sandwiches would be referred to as e.g. bánh mì xíu mại for a baguette with crushed pork meatball, bánh mì pâté chả thịt for a baguette or sandwich with pâté, Vietnamese sausage and meat, usually pork bellies, since it is the most common kind of meat. Almost all of these varieties are innovations made by or introduced in Saigon and they are known as bánh mì Sài Gòn ("Saigon-Style" banh mi); the most popular form is bánh mì thịt (thịt means "meat").[5][6][7] However, even in Vietnam, "a bánh mì for breakfast" implies a meat-filled sandwich for breakfast, not just bread.

Banh mi was added to the Oxford English Dictionary on March 24, 2011.[8][9]

Vietnamese sandwiches

Bánh mì xíu mại (minced pork meatball on bread) from a Houston Asian market
Bánh mì đặc biệt ("special combo" sandwich)

The Vietnamese sandwich, sometimes called a "bánh mì sandwich", is a product of French colonialism in Indochina, combining ingredients from the French (baguettes, pâté, jalapeño, and mayonnaise) with native Vietnamese ingredients, such as cilantro, cucumber, and pickled carrots and daikon.[10]

The classic version, bánh mì thịt nguội, sometimes known as bánh mì đặc biệt or "special combo", is made with various Vietnamese cold cuts, such as sliced pork or pork bellies, chả lụa (pork sausage), and head cheese, along with the liver pâté and vegetables like carrot or cucumbers.[11]

Some restaurants also offer bánh mì chay, a vegetarian option, made with tofu or seitan. In Vietnam, vegetarian sandwiches are rarely found on the streets. They are usually made at Buddhist temples during special religious events.

Another option is the breakfast bánh mì, with scrambled eggs served in a baguette. The version eaten more widely for breakfast in Vietnam contains fried eggs with onions, sprinkled with soy sauce or Maggi sauce, served on a fresh (and sometimes buttered) baguette.

An ice cream sandwich called bánh mì kẹp kem is commonly sold on the street as a snack. It consists of scoops of ice cream stuffed inside a bánh mì, topped with crushed peanuts.[12]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Nicholls, Walter (February 6, 2008). The Banh Mi of My Dreams. Washington Post.
  2. "The Vietnamese Po-Boy". Retrieved 8 May 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Vietnamese Hoagies Now on the Menu".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Nguyen, Luke (2011). Indochine. Australia: Murdoch Books. p. 168. ISBN 9781741968842.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. ROBYN ECKHARDT, Saigon's Banh Mi , Wallstreet Journal, July 30, 2010
  6. "Bánh mì Sài Gòn ở Mỹ". baomoi.com. Retrieved 2 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Bánh mì Sài gòn nức tiếng thế giới", TuanVietNam, 2012/10/20
  8. "Oxford English Dictionary retrieved 2011.03.24
  9. Andy Bloxham. Heart symbol enters Oxford English Dictionary "The Telegraph", March 24, 2011
  10. Daniel Young. "East Meets West in 'Nam Sandwich", New York Daily News, September 25, 1996.
  11. Andrea Nguyen. "Master Banh Mi Sandwich Recipe", Viet World Kitchen, retrieved 2010.04.03
  12. "Sài Gòn: Mua 'vé về tuổi thơ' với bánh mì kẹp kem siêu rẻ". Trí Thức Trẻ (in Vietnamese). Hội Trí thức Khoa học và Công nghệ Trẻ Việt Nam. April 18, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2014. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

  • The dictionary definition of bánh mì at Wiktionary