Wednesday, January 14, 2009

CSA daikon: Banh Mi!

A couple weeks back we got a daikon radish in our box and though there are many uses for them there is but one in my mind: Bánh !

Bánh are Vietnamese sandwiches, which like many truly great foods reflect a colonial fusion of French Baguettes (and often pate) with Viet ingredients. The result is an amazing combo of sweet-spicy meat, tart and crunchy pickled carrot and daikon, cilantro, mayo, fish sauce and more, on a crunchy-but-also-soft-inside-and-partly-rice-flour baguette. When we were undergrads these were a staple of our diet, usually from Thanh Vi, running about $2 each with a coke. At CHID department meetings we would send someone out to order about three dozen of various fillings (noted by different color rubber bands) and we'd spill them out on the table and continue with the meeting. Needless to say we are fans.

But I haven't found a place that makes them in Miami. Vietnamese restaurants that are pretty ok? Yes. But this is quick and cheap street food, and I miss it. So we make our own, as best we can, adapting to local conditions. For example, Cuban bread? Soft yes, but doesn't have the outside crust it needs. Go for a normal baguette. Anyhow, here's a great website to start with: Battle of the Bahn Mi. A simple recipe is here, including for the pickled carrot and daikon, as well as more images like the one above.


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