Inspiration

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After pho, banh my is perhaps the second most popular Vietnamese food in the western world. Banh my simply refers to short Vietnamese baguette which is normally packed with BBQ meat, Vietnamese pâté, herbs and pickled vegetables. Fresh, tasty and amazingly cheap, it is a popular lunch (and even breakfast) for a lot of people. Surprisingly enough, banh my wasn´t my thing until recently. As a kid, my parents actually banned me from touching it simply because the Vietnamese pâté was normally made from inferior meat (Think hot dog and you will get the idea). To make it worse, the Hanoi version is kinda boring – you normally just have ghee, pate, some slices of cucumber as filling. I would rather eat the baguette plain than chewing on those things! But a trip to southern Vietnam changed my view. The southern version is what you normally get in the west today, full flavors and aroma. No, I still won´t touch the pâté, but everything else is delicious and complete.

With such delicious memories for banh my, when I see the recipe for Oyster Po Boy in a recent food magazine, I can´t help but create my own version. The fresh oysters are rolled in dry breadcrumbs, pan fried lightly and served as a filling in the popular Vietnamese-style baguette. Wasabi mayonnaise is added for some spicy and creamy kick. And of course, it can´t be complete without some shredded lettuce, herbs and pickle veggies. When you can go for different types of pickle veggies, the most frequently used is perhaps carrot. But the authentic banh my always include a delicious ingredient, pickled lotus rootlet, something I would go crazy for.

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Lotus rootlet has a special crunchy texture. When pickled with rice vinegar, sugar, chili and/or garlic, it also has lovely fresh sweet-tangy flavours. Pickled lotus rootlet makes great addition to salad, especially when paired with prawns. You can almost always find a jar of pickled lotus rootlet at Asian shops.

With all the ingredients above, I manage to whip up a wonderful lunch. It´s quick, healthy and delicious. I can´t ask for more.

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My Fried Oysters and Asian Salad Roll

Ingredients (for 3-4 serves)

14 fresh oysters, shucked

2 tbsp corn flour

1 egg, lightly beaten

½ cup dry breadcrumbs

Oil, to pan-fry

3-4 Vietnamese-style baguette (or French baguettes)

Shredded lettuce (I used the curly variety)

Pickled lotus rootlet, as needed

Asian herbs (choose from coriander, Thai basil or mint)

Fresh chili slices (optional)

½ cup mayonnaise*

2-3 tsp wasabi paste

Method

  1. For the wasabi mayonnaise, mix together wasabi and mayonnaise. Set aside.
  2. Dip the oyster in flour, shake off the excess, then into egg and finally breadcrumb. Lightly fried in heated oil until golden.
  3. Quickly heat the baguettes in the oven if desired. Halve the baguettes and spread with a layer of wasabi mayonnaise. Lightly season with salt & pepper. Arrange the shredded lettuce and pickle veggies. Top with fried oysters, some Asian herbs, chili and extra mayo if desired. Serve immediately.

(*) I chose mayonnaise with less vinegar taste. If you can get Japanese mayonnaise, it will be great, too.

**

I would like to submit this entry to Weekend Herb Blogging. Founded by Kalyn, the host of this week is Anna from Anna Cool Find. Please check Anna site out next Monday for the roundup and Kalyn´s blog for more information about WHB.

36 Responses to Inspiration

  1. Patricia Scarpin says:

    Anh, when I saw the first photo I was so impressed – this baguette is so similar to our favorite bread here, which we call “French bread”. :)

  2. Lydia says:

    Anh, this is so creative — an oyster po’ boy banh my! I love both of those sandwiches, and combining the two is brilliant!

  3. lynn says:

    Anh, this looks like a wonderful, filling lunch or dinner. I enjoy your lessons about Vietnamese cooking and ingredients.

  4. Sharmi says:

    oh the pictures are so perfect. the lotus root looks so beautiful.

  5. Asha says:

    Never cooked with Lotus root,looks yum!! I love the photo.

  6. Eva says:

    I haven’t stopped thinking about these sandwiches since I’ve read about it at Traveler’s Lunchbox. And yours looks just as wonderful… hmmm…

  7. Kalyn says:

    When I first heard about this type of Vietnamese sandwich (probably on a food blog) I was so surprised because I never thought of people in Vietnam eating bread at all. See how uninformed I am? I’d love to try that lotus root. It has to be one of the most interesting plants in the world. Great post!

  8. bluang3lbby says:

    The banh mi looks gorgeous. But I have never seen it done with lotus roots. All the banh mi I have ever eaten in my lifetime always had pickled daikon and carrots rather then lotus roots. But lotus roots would be a change from the typical daikon and carrots. But I don’t think that it will yield the same crunch as daikon would. Since I have eaten sandwiches with my mom’s goi ngo sen and I don’t

  9. Wendy says:

    The more I read your blog, the more I want to visit Vietnam. A delicious sounding sandwich.

  10. Mishmash ! says:

    So this is Vietnamese Sub-sandwich :) But as Kalyn wrote it was a surprise to me that there is this sort of baguette sandwiches in Vietnamese cuisine….i love food blogs for this sort of info…:) Btw, if you get a call from any food magazine,pls accept , the first pic is so good!

  11. Kelly Mahoney says:

    Amazing, I’ve never seen this dish in my neighborhood. Thanks for sharing, I’ll have to track one down.+

  12. Callipygia says:

    Perfect title for a perfect sandwich! I love banh mi and fried oysters…and I dare to dream of slipping in some liver pate in this too, you know we only live once. Do you think using jarred shucked oysters is okay for this or not fresh enough?

  13. Anh says:

    Pat, the Vietnamese version of baguette was inspired by the French authentic recipe, too. With the French colonization in late 19th and early 20th century, we did learn and adapt some French recipes to our own cuisine. :) I can’t wait to try the Brazilian “French Bread”. :D

  14. Johanna says:

    that looks interesting – I wonder how a vegetarian version would look – I was surprised to hear you say it is Vietnamese as I don’t think of bread as Vietnamese but I have heard people say the bread there is great due to french influence

  15. veron says:

    anh , I’ve never had bahn…I love battered fried oysters..they are just so juicy…i’m sure I’d love this. AS for pho, my friend and I usually head out Sunday mornings to Vietnamese restaurants to have it for breafast…

  16. SteamyKitchen says:

    The lotus rootlet is so cutey!!! I don’t know if I’ve had it before….

  17. Lucy says:

    Great stuff Ahn.

  18. Toni says:

    Anh, I never saw these when I went to Vietnam. Thanks for introducing me to them here! And the idea of doing an oyster Po Boy is breathtaking! This post is being bookmarked – thanks!!

  19. tigerfish says:

    Fried Oyster…wooo la la! Oyster Po Boy – I wonder which Viet eatery would have that. I would love to try! Yummy!

  20. Anh says:

    Johanna, I am actually thinking about making a vegetarian version for this. I have some ideas, will have to try making it.

  21. Truffle says:

    What a beautiful dish! I am desperate to taste it from those stunning photos :)

  22. bluang3lbby says:

    daikon is pretty popular here in the states. so maybe it isn’t so much in australia. i just don’t really like the chewiness of the lotus root too much. i like the crunch without the chewiness. but great presentation.

  23. joey says:

    Anh! This sounds absolutely delicious! I have heard of both the po’ boy and the banh my, but have tasted neither…now you have put them together so wonderfully :) Wish I could have a bite!

  24. Oh for the love of food! says:

    Anh! what a delicious looking roll, I just love the ingredients. Wasabi mayo AND chilli too?? My mouth is watering just reading about it!

  25. Nora B. says:

    I’ve never seen a banh that is this luxurious, this is wonderful Anh. I am surious about the history of the banh since it’s almost like a Viet-French fusion. Do you think that it come about during the French occupation of Northern Vietnam?

  26. Amanda at Little Foodies says:

    Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog, it lead me here and I’m a bit bowled over. It all looks wonderful and your photos are amazing! Will be back to read more as only returned home today. Thanks again.

  27. Anh says:

    Truffle, it’s a very easy dish to make. That’s the bonus!

  28. sher says:

    Oh Anh!!! Oyster po’ boys are my favorite sandwich. I grew up eating them, so seeing this sandwich, which taps into your own childhood roots is quite touching to me. And your sandwich is simply beautiful–the colors are so lovely. How I wish I could eat one of those sandwiches with you!

  29. Precious Moments says:

    my tummy is growling now. have never tasted lotus roots prickle but I am sure it tasted well coz it has oysters!!!! my favourite.

  30. ilingc says:

    Oh how I miss bahn my. They used to be my special request whenever mum goes down to Footscray for food shopping. My favourite has always been the meat ball filling but I have not had one ever since I moved to the Eastern suburbs.. sigh..

  31. Rose says:

    The first picture is just gorgeous. The colors on it just pops. I haven’t seen the version of the magazine but I am sure yours is far more interesting.

  32. Amy says:

    Gorgeous photo! I love how you filled them with oysters!

  33. Anh says:

    Sher, I wish I could share this with you, too. Perhaps one day…

  34. Anonymous says:

    ene mene menis, I get a rockhard penis. when I eat vietnamese dicks and popos….I cant explain the taste I have, and with Tristans juicy fits and tits…..you meal was soo good. yummy. I like asian boys

  35. 360.yahoo.com/thanhdad says:

    It’s true that in Hanoi, there are not so many good “banh my pate” shop on the street. But there are some famous ones which serve excellent banh mi pate and it’s quite different from the Southern version or the ones in Australia (I guess the version in Australia is from the South ).

  36. Foto Bugil says:

    thanks. I really wanted to capture the colourful taste of the sandwich here. :)