Bánh Mì Chay
Updated: May 13, 2021
After my partner recently enjoyed the "Bún chay" so much, I really wanted to cook something else that was inspired by Vietnamese cuisine. 7And since I love sandwiches, I wanted to try a Bánh Mì Chay.
Bánh Mì actually only means bread, but in Vietnamese cuisine it also describes a sandwich made from baguette, pickled vegetables, chilli, fresh herbs, sometimes mayonnaise and all kinds of fillings such as Egg or various types of meat and are often eaten for breakfast or as a snack.
Perhaps you are now wondering about ingredients such as baguette or mayonnaise in an Asian dish, because Vietnam was part of the French colony "Indochina" at the time. If you want to learn more about the history of this delicious sandwich, I recommend this article.
Duration: 3.5 hours (+1 night) or 45 minutes for the "cheat" variant
Difficulty: medium / easy
Makes: 5-6 sandwiches
60g rice flour
300g warm water
21g fresh yeast (1/2 cube)
30g butter alternative
5g salt or
6 purchased small baguettes / 3 large baguettes
200g TVP soy medallions + 2l broth or
400g seitan shreds or
600g tofu or
500g tempeh or
500g of any other meat substitute of your choice
Nước mắm pha chay (Vietnamese fish sauce)
15g (Birds Eye) chillies or more or less, depending on how hot you can handle
40g boiling water
30g vegan fish sauce (if you can't find one, use soy sauce)
40g soy sauce
40g lime juice
Đồ chua (pickled radish and carrot)
50g rice vinegar
Mayonnaise of your choice
Herbs of your choice (I recommend a mix of mint, coriander if you like it and Thai basil) Some green or red lettuce for a little bit of color
Some oil for frying
If you have the time, I can only recommend that you marinate your "meat" overnight in the Nước mắm pha chay. This vegan "fish sauce" is just unbelievably spicy, fresh and delicious.
If you have little time and use the "Cheat" variant, simply mix your "meat" with the sauce and put it aside for 10 minutes until it is ready to fry.
For this I cooked soy medallions in a strong broth until they are really nice and soft, then drained them through a sieve and squeezed them out well.
While the medallions are being cooked, the Nước mắm pha chay can be made. Simply cut the chillies and garlic as finely as possible, mix them with the sugar, pour hot water over them and then add the remaining ingredients. I also marinated a few seitan shreds for a little variety.
The next day we continued to make the baguettes ourselves. Bánh Mì usually contain some rice flour, as it used to be cheaper than wheat flour. If you want you can experiment with the amount of rice flour, I liked this amount the most. First mix the yeast with the warm water and sugar.
Then the remaining ingredients are added and it is kneaded until a really smooth dough is created. Then place this in a lightly greased bowl and let it rise for 45 minutes.
After the time has run out, knead the dough again and let it rise for another 45 minutes. (Don't be surprised about the changed bowl in the last picture, I had reasons. :D)
While the dough is rising, the pickled carrots and radish are being prepared.
Simply mix all the ingredients in a clean jar, cut your carrots and radish into fine julienne strips and then place them in the brine. You can then put them in the fridge until you need them.
In theory, you can make them in larger quantities and store them in the refrigerator for up to a week.
When your dough is ready, divide it into six equal portions, roll them out into rectangles and then roll them out from one side to form a snake.
These are then placed on a baking sheet and allowed to rise again covered for 30 minutes until their size has roughly doubled.
At the end of the 30 minutes, preheat your oven to 220°C, but put an ovenproof bowl with water on the bottom of it.
We want to have as much humidity as possible in the oven for a really nice baguette crust.
The risen baguettes are also carefully brushed with water, if you have a razor blade, you can also carefully make a cut along the top of the baguette and brush it with water as well. But as you can see from the pictures, it works like that. ;)
The baguettes are then placed in the preheated oven, which can then be turned down to 200°C, and are baked for 14 minutes. After about half the time, I opened the oven briefly and "threw" some water with a spoon from the bowl on the floor into the oven to generate even more steam. The oven should then only be closed again very quickly and please do not burn yourself!
After the baking time you should have got so wonderfully fluffy Bánh Mì that is crispy on the outside. I let them cool a little on a wire rack while I prepared the remaining ingredients.
If you haven't made the Bánh Mì yourself, you should bake the baguettes you have bought now. ;)
Just look at the crumb and how the crust cracks. 💜
Now the "meat" is fried in a pan. Do not pour away the marinade / fish sauce, a teaspoon of it later as a sauce in the baguette is simply amazing!
While the pan is sizzling, the lettuce can be washed, mayo can be made, slice the cucumber with a peeler and chop the herbs.
Then the only thing left to do is to cover all of the Bánh Mì.
I would cut it open from one side without completely separating it, brush it with mayonnaise, spread a teaspoon of the leftover Nước mắm pha chay on it and then add some lettuce, cucumber, "meat", herbs and the pickled carrots & radish.
Then your Bánh Mì chay are ready and you can enjoy them with your loved ones or all by yourself. I served it with a few more herbs & fresh chillies and a little lime so you can drizzle the juice over it yourself for a little bit of extra freshness.
If you've read this far, you might have noticed that I'm not running any adds, to improve your reading experience and because I deeply believe, that vegan recipes should be accesible to anyone.
But if you want to invite me on a virtual cup of fairtrade coffee via my PayPal.Me Link, I wouldn't say no. It would mean the world to me and helps me to keep buying ingredients for even more recipes. Thank you for cooking something vegan. 💜
If you're not using Paypal, you could also support me over here: