Unlock [Vietnam’s Best]: Traditional Banh Mi Recipe

Traditional Banh Mi Recipe

Unlock [Vietnam’s Best]: Traditional Banh Mi Recipe

Are you a tasty Vietnamese sandwich lover and you are looking for a simple and traditional banh mi recipe authentic? Today, I have brought a banh mi sandwich recipe that is even better than the restaurants.

I use pickled vegetables and chicken breast for making this incredibly colorful and appetizing authentic banh mi recipe traditional. So, without any further delay, let’s get started.

Traditional Banh Mi Recipe


  • 1 boneless chicken breast half
  • ½ cup of rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced white onion
  • ¼ cup white radish, cut into 1/16-inch-thick lengthwise
  • ¼ cup carrot, cut into 1/16-inch-thick lengthwise
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper – seeded and cut into 1/16-inch-thick lengthwise
  • ¼ cup of water
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced cucumber
  • Garlic salt to taste
  • French baguette
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 wedge lime
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves


  1. In a saucepan add sugar, water, and rice vinegar over medium heat, boil it and stir for about 1 minute until the sugar has dissolved. Let the mixture cool.
  2. Take radish, carrot, and onion in a bowl; pour the cooled vinegar mixture over them and let them stand for at least 30 minutes. When vegetables have been marinated, drain off the excess vinegar mixture.
  3. Preheat the oven’s broiler and set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source while the vegetables are marinating. Grease a slotted broiler pan slightly.
  4. Sprinkle pepper, salt, and garlic on the chicken breast and broil on slotted broiler pan. Cook each side for about 6 minutes until the top of the chicken breast is browned and the center is no longer pink. Remove the chicken and slice into small pieces.
  5. Cut the baguette in half lengthwise, remove the center of the bread, and leave a hole for the filling. Lightly toast the baguette halves in the broiler for 2-3 minutes.

Assembling Of Classic Banh Mi

  1. Spread mayonnaise on each half of the toasted baguette and fill the hole of the bottom bread with a generous amount of the pickled veggies, broiled chicken, jalapeno pepper, cilantro leaves, and cucumber slices. Squeeze a quarter-inch lime over the filling, and place the other half of the toasted baguette.

What Bread Is Used In Bánh Mì?

Bánh mì is a delicious and popular Vietnamese sandwich made on a short baguette with a thin and crisp crust and a soft and airy texture.

The bread is often split lengthwise and filled with savory ingredients such as pickled vegetables, meats, and herbs. It is a swift, easy, and affordable meal that you can relish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

The type of bread used in bánh mì is essential to the overall flavor and texture of the sandwich. The traditional bread is a Vietnamese baguette, which is slightly sweeter and denser than a French baguette.

It is also typically shorter and wider. Vietnamese baguettes are made with rice flour, which gives them their unique texture and flavor.

If you cannot find Vietnamese baguettes, you can substitute a French baguette or another type of crusty bread. However, it is necessary to note that the flavor and texture of your bánh mì will not be the same.

Here Are Some Tips For Choosing The Best Bread For Bánh Mì:

  • Look for bread with a thin, crispy crust and a soft, airy interior.
  • Avoid breads that are too dense or heavy, as they will make it difficult to bite into your sandwich.
  • If you are using a French baguette, ensure to slice it into shorter pieces before assembling your sandwich.
  • To make the bread crispier, you can toast it before assembling your sandwich.

banh mi recipe authentic

What Does Vietnamese Banh Mi Taste Like?

Here is a detailed description of some of the individual flavors and textures that you can expect in a banh mi sandwich:

  • Bread: The crusty baguette provides a sturdy base for the sandwich and a contrast to the soft fillings.
  • Meats: The meats, such as grilled chicken or pate, add a variety of flavors and textures to the sandwich.
  • Pickled Vegetables: The pickled carrots, daikon radish, and cucumber add a tart and crunchy contrast to the other ingredients in the sandwich.
  • Fresh Herbs: The fresh herbs, such as cilantro and basil, add a brightness and freshness to the sandwich.
  • Condiments: The mayonnaise or hoisin sauce adds a richness and creaminess to the sandwich.

Overall, banh mi is a mouthwatering and satisfying sandwich that is loaded with flavor and texture. It is a great option for a quick and easy meal or snack. If you have never tried banh mi before, I highly recommend giving it a try!

Different Types Of Banh Mi Fillings

Here are some common types of Banh Mi fillings:

  • Banh Mi Thit Nuong (Grilled Pork):Grilled marinated pork, often seasoned with garlic, lemongrass, and soy sauce. It’s one of the most popular Banh Mi fillings.
  • Banh Mi Ga Nuong (Grilled Chicken):Similar to Thit Nuong, but with grilled chicken instead of pork. The chicken is usually marinated with a mixture of soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, and sugar.
  • Banh Mi Bo Kho (Beef Stew):Tender beef slices in a flavorful stew, often with carrots and other vegetables. This variation is a heartier option compared to the grilled meats.
  • Banh Mi Xiu Mai (Meatballs):Vietnamese meatballs, often made with a mixture of ground pork and sometimes shrimp. They are seasoned with garlic, fish sauce, and other spices.
  • Banh Mi Cha Ca (Fish):Fish fillets, often catfish, marinated and grilled or fried. This variation is less common than pork or chicken but offers a unique flavor.
  • Banh Mi Chay (Vegetarian):A vegetarian version with tofu, seitan, or other plant-based proteins. It typically includes pickled vegetables, cilantro, and mayonnaise.
  • Banh Mi Thit Nguoi (Cold Cuts):A mix of Vietnamese cold cuts such as Vietnamese ham (cha lua), head cheese (gio lua), and pate. This version is reminiscent of the French influence on Vietnamese cuisine.
  • Banh Mi Nem Nuong (Grilled Pork Sausage):Grilled pork sausages, often sweet and savory, served with the usual Banh Mi accompaniments.
  • Banh Mi Bo Luc Lac (Shaking Beef):Cubes of tender beef, stir-fried and often served with lettuce, tomatoes, and a tangy dipping sauce.
  • Banh Mi Pate Cha Lua (Pate and Vietnamese Ham):A combination of smooth pate, Vietnamese ham, and other cold cuts. This version may also include mayonnaise, cucumber, and pickled daikon and carrots.

Remember that Banh Mi is highly customizable, and variations can be discovered depending on regional preferences and personal taste.

The common elements include the crispy baguette, mayonnaise, pickled daikon, carrots, cucumber, cilantro, and sometimes chili peppers for added heat.

Make-Ahead Tips For Authentic Banh Mi Recipe

While bánh mì sandwich is relatively quick and easy to make, there are a few things you can do ahead of time to make the process even easier and faster. Here are a few make-ahead tips for bánh mì:

1. Pickled Vegetables

Pickled vegetables are a vital component of bánh mì and can be made up to a week in advance.

Combine your favorite vegetables (such as carrots, daikon radishes, and cucumbers) with vinegar, sugar, and salt in a jar.

Let the vegetable pickle in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to a week.

2. Meat

Bánh mì can be made with various kinds of meat, like grilled chicken or tofu.

If you’re short on time, you can cook it ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To reheat the meat, heat it in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through.

3. Aioli

Aioli is a creamy garlic sauce that is often used as a spread on bánh mì. You can make aioli ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week.

To make aioli, combine mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard in the best food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

4. Other Toppings

Other toppings that can be made ahead of time for bánh mì include cilantro, jalapeños, and thinly sliced cucumber.

Wash and chop the ingredients and store them in separate containers in the refrigerator.

5. Assembly

Once you have all your components prepared, assembling bánh mì is a breeze. Slice the French baguette in half lengthwise and spread with aioli.

Top with the meat, pickled vegetables, and other desired toppings.

Here Are A Few Additional Tips For Making Bánh Mì Ahead Of Time:

  • If you’re making healthy bánh mì for a crowd, you can assemble the sandwiches in advance and store them in an airtight box in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
  • To keep the sandwiches from getting soggy, don’t add pickled vegetables or other wet toppings until you’re ready to eat.
  • If you’re making beef bánh mì for breakfast, you can assemble the sandwiches in advance and store them in the refrigerator overnight. Wrap the sandwiches in foil or parchment paper before storing them.
  • To reheat the sandwiches, wrap them in foil and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 15 minutes or until heated.

With some planning, you can easily enjoy delicious bánh mì sandwiches, even on the busiest days.

authentic banh mi recipe

Tips For Storing And Reheating Traditional Banh Mi

Here are some tips on how to store and reheat banh mi recipe authentic so that it still tastes fresh and delicious:


  • Separate The Bread From The Fillings: This will aid in preventing the bread from getting soggy. You can store it in a box or wrapped in plastic wrap. Store the fillings in a separate airtight container.
  • Store The Pickled Vegetables Separately: The vinegar in the pickled vegetables can make the bread soggy, so it’s best to store them in a separate airtight container.
  • Refrigerate The Banh Mi For Up To 3 Days: If you need to store classic banh mi for longer than 3 days, you can freeze it for up to 3 months.


  • Thaw frozen banh mi overnight in the refrigerator.
  • To reheat authentic banh mi, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place the banh mi on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the bread is warmed and the fillings are heated.
  • Be careful not to overbake it, or the bread will become dry and hard.
  • Once it is reheated, assemble it with the pickled vegetables and any other desired toppings.

Here Are Some Additional Tips For Reheating Banh Mi:

  • You can reheat it in a microwave or toaster oven if you don’t have an oven.
  • If you’re reheating it in a toaster oven, place it on a low rack and toast for 2-3 minutes.
  • If you’re reheating it in a microwave, place it on a microwave-safe plate and heat on high for 30-60 seconds.
  • Be careful not to overcook the banh mi in the microwave, or the bread will become tough, and the fillings will become dry.

Tips For Making The Best Banh Mi Fillings

Creating the perfect banh mi requires attention to detail and a balance of flavors and textures. Here are some tips to help you make the best banh mi:

  • Choose the Right Bread: Use a light and crispy French baguette with a thin, crisp crust. The interior should be soft and airy. The contrast between the crunchy exterior and the soft interior is crucial.
  • Perfectly Pickled Vegetables: The pickled vegetables, typically consisting of carrots and daikon radish, add a tangy crunch. Ensure they are thinly sliced or julienned for a delicate texture. Marinate them in a blend of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt for at least an hour.
  • Marinate The Proteins: Whether you’re using beef, chicken, or another protein, marinate it to infuse flavor. Common marinade ingredients include soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, and lemongrass.
  • Fresh Herbs: Cilantro and fresh mint or basil add a burst of freshness to your banh mi. Include these herbs generously for an authentic taste.
  • Spicy Sauce: Prepare a flavorful and spicy sauce to drizzle over your banh mi. Sriracha, hoisin sauce, and mayonnaise can be combined for a delicious spread.
  • Balance Of Flavors: Achieve a harmonious balance of flavors by combining sweet, salty, sour, and spicy elements. The interplay of these tastes is what makes banh mi so delicious.
  • Toast The Bread Right: Toast the baguette just enough to create a crispy crust without making it too hard. You want it to have a delicate crunch while still being easy to bite into.
  • Layering Matters: Pay attention to the layering of ingredients. Start with the spread (mayo, pate, or sauce), followed by the protein, pickled vegetables, fresh herbs, and additional toppings. This ensures that each bite is a flavorful combination.
  • Experiment With Fillings: While traditional fillings are wonderful, don’t be afraid to get creative. Try different proteins, add unconventional toppings, or experiment with unique spreads to create your signature banh mi.
  • Serve Immediately: Banh mi is best enjoyed fresh. Serve it immediately after assembling to maintain the bread’s crispiness and the fillings’ vibrant flavours.

By paying attention to these details, you’ll be well on your way to crafting a mouthwatering banh mi that captures the essence of this beloved Vietnamese sandwich.

Can Banh Mi Be Made Vegan?

Yes, Banh Mi can be made vegan. Instead of traditional meat options, you can use plant-based proteins like tofu, tempeh, or seitan.

Ensure the marinade and sauces are vegan-friendly, and include plenty of fresh vegetables, pickled daikon, and carrots to maintain the signature banh mi flavors.

Vegan mayo or other plant-based spreads can be used as well. It’s a delicious way to enjoy the flavors of banh mi while keeping it entirely plant-based.

Here Is A Recipe For A Vegan Banh Mi Sandwich:


  • 1 baguette
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup vegan chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup pickled carrots and daikon radish
  • 1/4 cup cucumber, sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup tofu, sliced
  • 1/4 cup tempeh, sliced


  • Spread the vegan mayonnaise and chili sauce on the inside of the baguette.
  • Layer the pickled carrots and daikon radish, cucumber, cilantro, tofu, and tempeh on the bread.
  • Cut the sandwich in half and enjoy!

You can also add other vegetables to your vegan banh mi sandwich, such as lettuce, tomato, and onion. You can also use different vegan condiments, such as sriracha sauce or hoisin sauce.

banh mi recipe traditional

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Are Some Of The Most Popular Meats Included In Banh Mi?

The most popular meats for banh mi are pork, chicken, and beef. Pork is the most traditional meat for banh mi, and it can be used in a variety of ways, such as grilled pork, pork pate, or pork roll. Chicken and beef are also popular choices, and they can be grilled, roasted, or stewed.

2. What Is The Difference Between Banh Mi And A Sub Sandwich?       

The main difference between banh mi and a sub sandwich is the bread. Banh mi is made with a baguette, which is a type of French bread that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Sub sandwiches are typically made with a softer type of bread, such as hoagie bread or Italian bread.

Another difference between banh mi and sub sandwiches is the fillings. Banh mi sandwiches typically include pickled vegetables, such as carrots and daikon radish.

Sub sandwiches may also include pickled vegetables, but they are more likely to include other vegetables, such as lettuce, tomato, and onion.

3. What Are The Best Toppings For Banh Mi?

The best toppings for banh mi include:

  • Pickled Vegetables: Typically carrots and daikon radish, pickled in a mixture of salt, rice vinegar, and sugar.
  • Fresh Herbs: Cilantro, mint, or basil add freshness and flavor.
  • Cucumbers: Thinly sliced cucumbers provide a refreshing crunch.
  • Spicy Sauce: A drizzle of spicy sauce, combining ingredients like Sriracha, hoisin sauce, and mayo, enhances the flavor.
  • Soy Sauce or Fish Sauce: Depending on the protein, a splash of soy sauce or fish sauce may be used for additional depth.

4. Are Vietnamese Sandwiches Healthy?

Vietnamese sandwiches can be healthy, but it depends on the fillings that you choose. If you use lean meats, plenty of vegetables, and whole-wheat bread, then your banh mi sandwich can be a nutritious meal. However, if you use processed meats, fatty condiments, and white bread, then your banh mi sandwich will be less healthy.

5. What Meat Is Traditionally In Banh Mi?

The most traditional meat for banh mi is pork. It can be used in a variety of ways, such as grilled pork, pork pate, or pork roll. Chicken and beef are also popular choices for banh mi.

6. What Is The Filling Of Banh Mi?

Banh mi sandwiches are typically filled with meat, vegetables, and condiments. The most common vegetables are pickled carrots and daikon radish, cucumber, and cilantro. Popular condiments include mayonnaise, chili sauce, Maggi seasoning sauce, and sriracha sauce.

7. What Is Banh Mi Sauce Made Of?

Banh mi sauce is typically made with a combination of mayonnaise, chili sauce, and sugar. It can also be made with other ingredients, such as lime juice, garlic, and fish sauce.

8. Does Banh Mi Have Mayo Or Butter?

Banh mi typically has mayonnaise, not butter. However, some people may choose to use butter instead of mayonnaise.

9. What Is The White Stuff In Banh Mi?

The white stuff in banh mi is typically mayonnaise or pate. Pate is a French liver spread that is also popular in Vietnam.

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