Coast Cooking

Get out and try a banh mi (Vietnamese po-boy)

By JULIAN BRUNT

Special to the Sun Herald

You owe it to yourself to try a Vietnamese banh mi.
You owe it to yourself to try a Vietnamese banh mi.

This week, I am focusing the blog on Vietnamese food, a category of food and restaurants with which the Coast is blessed.

If you have never been to a Vietnamese restaurant, just pick one, they are all good. Try the pho first, then move on and explore. I have never encountered anything on a Vietnamese menu that wasn’t glorious.

A go-to selection is the famous Vietnamese sandwich, called banh mi. Some people call them Vietnamese po-boys, but in truth they are most likely an adaptation of a French-inspired sandwich made on a crusty baguette.

Most Vietnamese restaurants have quite an assortment of banh mi, but my favorite is the red roasted pork, made spicy with sliced jalapeños and lots of cilantro.

Make sure to add a good dribble or two of soy sauce. Another choice you might like is the almost club sandwich, made with an assortment of Vietnamese style cold cuts. Several sandwiches also have pâté as a component, a carryover from the many years Vietnam spent as a French colony.

Get out and explore this wonderful culinary tradition, once you go, you’ll be hooked.

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