A baguette from Vietnamese bakeries such as Co Hai Banh Mi and Little Hanoi has a softer crust and crumb than its counterpart in a French bakery. The bread is less dense, which balances out the heaviness of the meat and prevents the sandwich from being too cloying.
PULLED TURKEY BREAST
To soften turkey breast, shred it and mix with scallion oil. Make the latter by heating thinly sliced scallions with canola oil until they soften.
PICKLED CARROTS AND DAIKON
These classic Vietnamese sandwich ingredients add an appetite-whetting tang to the overall flavour. Make them by marinating shoe-string sticks of daikon and carrots in rice vinegar, sugar and salt. Refrigerate.
VEGETABLES AND HERBS
The taste and texture of fresh vegetables balance out the denser flavour of the meat. Add an Eastern spin to the sandwich by including chopped Japanese cucumber, cilantro and scallions.
Pate’s creamy saltiness makes it a popular choice for Vietnamese sandwiches. Make it by soaking chicken liver seasoned with salt in milk overnight. Cook it with sauteed onions and minced pork, then add butter, white pepper, fish sauce and sugar to enhance its flavour. Blend the mixture into a smooth puree to use as a spread.
Moisten the sandwich by spreading a mixture of mayonnaise, chopped cilantro and Maggi seasoning sauce on the bread. Maggi sauce is a common condiment in Vietnamese cuisine.
For a tinge of sweetness, Park Bench Deli sandwich creator Andrei Soen recommends adding chicken floss from your favourite bak kwa store.
- Slice a toasted baguette in half and spread mayonnaise and chicken pate on either sides of the bun.
- Fill with the remaining ingredients.
- Serrano chilli peppers can be added for mouthwatering spiciness.
- Cut the sandwich in half for easier handling.
PHOTOGRAPHY VERNON WONG ART DIRECTION JEAN YAP