Have you ever eaten Bánh mì? Have a real hard look at the picture above and then tell me you aren’t keen to sink your chompers into that baby. It was a bit of a taste sensation, which came as a happy relief. Bánh mì roughly translates to “bread roll” from French, and it’s a food that has taken off here in Perth (check places like Le Vietnam) and I was keen to give it another go.
After a previous attempt did not go so well (I used these weird Gardien meatless-meatballs, not knowing they were heavily flavoured with fennel and mint) I was keen to retry. And I really did have to because the flavours are so up my alley – chilli, pickled veg, sweetly spicy “meat” and veg, and BREAD oh dear crikey I knew it would be love. From across the room. This attempt went much better for everyone. I smashed mine down, pushing past the crust of the baguette with my shitty weak Invisalign teeth. Gold.
I think what got me excited is that I won that Lotus Pantry hamper a while back, and in there was a shiitake mushroom pate. Genius idea, and naturally that led to Bánh mì. Pate has never been a food that I ate frequently (and shit son, it’s just liver). But it does remind me a bit of my childhood, when my mum and her mates would meet up for “Thirsty Thursday” and have this snack-fest that the kids would gaze at from afar but barely be brave enough to approach. Pate and water crackers, wine, cheese on everything. Just junk food, that seemed to be the greatest thing on Earth when I was a kid. Back when Lays chips existed, and there would be scratch cards for free chips in there. Or when Samboy chips came with those ridiculous flavour sachets of MSG madness. When shitty dried Monster noodles were an acceptable lunch… I reminisce but damn I love veggies as much as a loved absolute crapola back in my youth. Interestingly, I’m much fatter now.
OK so we have the Bánh mì. Do you want to make it? It’s surprisingly easy to put together, once you have the components ready. I recommend you try this – and once again I’m using mushroom as my meat substitute, because fake meats suck, and it’s nice for people that have sensitive tummies. Let me know if you make it!
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 1 spring onion, julienned
- 4 TB white vinegar
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 TB oil of choice
- ½ stick lemongrass, chopped finely
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 Trumpet Mushrooms, sliced
- 3-4 TB Oyster sauce
- 1 baguette, quartered, sliced open
- 4 TB vegan pate (optional)
- lettuce, torn slightly
- 2 red chillis, sliced thinly
- handful coriander
- vegan mayo (optional)
- In a flat-bottomed container, place the spring onion and carrot. Coat with the vinegar and sugar, then set aside until ready to serve.
- Heat a frying pan. Add the oil, lemongrass and garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the mushrooms. Try to make sure the mushrooms are all touching the base of the pan, where possible. Cook for 5 minutes, until they start to shrink and darken.
- As the mushroom cooks, prepare your rolls by forcing them open (like a book). Spread the pate over the top exposed half. On the base, load up with lettuce.
- Flip the mushrooms and cook for another two minutes. Once darkened, reduce the heat and add the Oyster sauce. Stir to coat. Cook for another minute then turn off the heat.
- Drain the carrots, and place onto the rolls. Top with the mushrooms. Sprinkle over coriander and red chilli. My partner added mayo here, but I did not.
- Squish the Bánh mì closed and eat!