recipes/sandwiches/vietnamese food

Easy Bánh Mì Sandwich Recipe

Posted June 18, 2014 by Stephanie
banh mi sandwich recipe -

I think bánh mì, or Vietnamese sandwiches might be my favourite sandwich. Typically, they’re made on light, crackly baguettes with fluffy, cloud-like insides – the perfect canvas for rich, savoury meats, sweet and sour pickled carrots and daikon, fresh cilantro and spicy jalapeños. The combination of flavours and textures is something that most people fall in love with, once they’re tried them.

banh mi sandwich recipe -

Of course, you can easily stop by a Vietnamese deli and pick up a couple of sandwiches for a song, but sometimes, you just want to assemble everything at home. This is especially good for people who like making up their own combinations. If you want to go light on the cilantro or heavy on the pâté, assembling your own sandwiches at home is the way to go.

banh mi sandwich recipe -

If you’re lucky, you live near a Vietnamese deli that’ll sell you everything you need: Vietnamese baguettes, pâté, ham, headcheese and even Vietnamese mayonnaise. Lots of Vietnamese families will do just this and make their own sandwiches at home (or so I’m told by my husband). If you don’t live remotely near any Asian stores, you can make a pretty tasty approximation of this addictive sandwich from ingredients you should be able to find at your local grocery store.

banh mi sandwich recipe -

The daikon and carrot pickles are the one thing you shouldn’t skip out on. Daikon can be found at most grocery stores (at least here on the West Coast). When I was buying mine, my cashier had to ask one of her co-workers what it was, but he knew instantly.

Cashier 1: Hey, dude, what is this?!
Cashier 2: It’s daikon. 4598.
Cashier 1: Daikon, huh? That’s an awesome name. It looks like daikon. Daikon the DESTROYER!
Cashier 2: I’m totally calling myself Daikon the Destroyer from now on!

I kind of want to start a webcomic about Daikon the Destroyer now. He’d go around destroying all sandwiches because they’d be his mortal enemies.

vietnamese sandies-7

Destroyers aside, find yourself some daikon and make these! They’re perfect on picnics or as midnight snacks. And remember, there are no hard and fast rules – the beauty of sandwiches is that they are filled with whatever it is that you love.

I collaborated with West Elm on this post: check out the recipe and links to the items I used on their blog, Front & Main!

banh mi sandwich recipe -

i am tasty, i am portable: i am banh mi!

Easy Banh Mi Sandwich Recipe
makes 4 sandwiches


  • fresh baguette, cut into 4 equal pieces
  • pork pâté, to taste
  • Kewpie mayo, to taste
  • 8-12 thin slices of head cheese
  • 8-12 thin slices of ham
  • quick-pickled daikon and carrots
  • fresh cilantro sprigs
  • sliced jalapeños, if desired

Quick Pickled Carrots and Daikon

  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 2” piece of daikon, julienned
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon sugar

Make the pickles: put the carrots and daikon into a bowl and sprinkle on the salt and sugar. After 15 minutes, rinse off the pickles, drain well and place in the fridge until ready to assemble sandwiches

Slice the baguette lengthwise, but not all the way through. Lightly toast and spread a thin layer of pâté on the bottom and a thin layer of mayo on the top. Layer on slices of headcheese, then ham. Top with pickled daikon and carrot, cilantro and sliced jalapeños, if using. Enjoy!

Note: You can easily buy Vietnamese head cheese and ham at your local Asian grocery store, but if you don’t happen to have one close by, most delis will have headcheese and uncured ham, both which work wonderfully. A lot of the banh mi flavors come from the pâté and pickled carrots and daikon, so don’t skip out on those!

banh mi sandwich recipe -

PS – Molly made some awesome bánh mì hot dogs! Check them out!


  1. Hahah daikon the destroyer – totally cracked me up! And these báhn mi look great! :)

    1. steph says:

      mike and i were totally cracking up while we were paying :)

  2. MB says:

    Daikon the destroyer – love it! These sandwiches look amazing… I’m curious though… I am one of those people who can’t stand cilantro – is there a logical substitution? (beyond the obvious, simply skip it :) Thanks!

    1. steph says:

      hmm, i’d just skip out on the cilantro. you could try some thai basil or green onions!

  3. Allyn says:

    I think that I’m going to find a way to make Daikon the Destroyer a part of our future children’s lives. It needs to happen.
    Also, banh mi= yes*infinity

    1. steph says:

      hahaha that cashier was awesome!

  4. Todd says:

    Yikes! Daikon the Destroyer sounds like the scariest food blogging villain since the Evil Emperor Edamame!! Quick, protect your sandwiches :P

    1. steph says:

      Evil Emperor Edamame!! :D

  5. omg daikon the destroyer lol lol i’m laughing so hard over here!

  6. Just made banh mi yesterday! I usually make a big batch of the picked carrots and daikon ( and how can you not make a big batch when daikon is so huge! ) and then we usually do different types of banh mi once a week until it runs out. We’ve been really into meatball banh mi lately :)

    Did now know there were different Vietnamese mayos though! Will have to seek them out when I go to an Asian market. Just looked it up and Kewpie mayo is made with rice vinegar? Sounds interesting / like it would be a tiny bit sweeter than regular mayo?

    1. steph says:

      yes, daikons are HUGE! pickles in the fridge are a must!

      they make the mayo fresh – usually at vietnamese delis. it’s more yellow and thick. i’m pretty sure there are more eggs in it.

  7. Sophie says:

    Haha that checker knew the daikon SKU by heart! Rock on. I have not seen any Kewpie mayo at my usual Asian market haunt! They definitely have headcheese, though. It’s run by a Vietnamese family, and they sell the PERFECT rolls, too! Beautiful photos, lady!

    1. steph says:

      lucky lady – you have vietnamese headcheese at your usual haunt :)

  8. tara says:

    Oh god I love banh mi sandwiches! Yum! Can’t wait to try my own.

    Haha Daikon the Destroyer would be such a cool comic!

    1. steph says:

      i need to get started on this comic! :D

  9. I LOVE banh mi. I discovered it only a few months ago because I thought it was a glorified sub. But wow, that crispy bread is something to die for. You don’t know love till you bite into one. The people on the other side were looking at me after I crackled bit hee.

    I had mine with curry chicken and that chicken tasted like some satay mix. Oh delicious. Now I’m drooling.

    1. steph says:

      the BREAD. i live for that bread.

  10. oh my gah i love banh mi!! daikon would be super cute name for a PET too! heehee! xo

    1. steph says:

      ooh! that would be SO cute. i’ve already named my future dog mochi. so my second future dog can be daikon :)

  11. cynthia says:

    I LOVE THIS. And now I’m craving banh mi…. Also, daikon the destroyer!!! Please please please write that webcomic. I’m pretty sure it would make my life. Kind of like this guy does.

    1. steph says:

      hahahha i’ll get on it!

  12. molly yeh says:

    do you want to be daikon the destroyer and i’ll be cilantro the silly?

    1. steph says:


  13. I have never heard of this kind of sandwich, but it sure is right up my alley. I love the juxtaposition of flavors—–a lot. I did go to a class about pickling the veggies. Yay! So things are coming together to use that knowledge.

    1. steph says:

      ooh, you need to try a vietnamese sandwich as soon as possible! they’re so delicious!

  14. Duong says:

    My mom used to buy fresh bags of baguettes and we’d make banh mi at home growing up.
    We would put in our banh mi: cooked Spam, mayo, Maggi sauce, cilantro, pickled carrots/daikon, cucumbers, and jalapenos.

  15. SusanM says:

    How does the carrot & daikon get pickled without any vinegar?

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi susan,
      it’s just a quick pickle :)

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