Banh Mi ! (Vietnamese sandwich) (2023)

Guess what?You DO NOTneed trek wide and far to a Vietnamese neighbourhood to get your Vietnamese sandwich fix! This Banh Mi recipe covers the truly authentic meats as well as how to make an exceptional Banh Mi by just going to youreveryday grocery store!🙌🏻

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Authentic tasting Banh Mi with just a trip to your local grocery store? YES YOU CAN!

Banh Mi recipe

Fellow Banh Mi lovers, this one’s for you! A recipe that’s been in the works for avery long time, with much taste-testing research done (it’s hard work, but someone’s gotta do it… 😂).

In today’s Banh Mi recipe,I’m going to show you:

  1. What Banh Mi vendors use – the authentic ingredients used by Banh Mi vendors here in Australia and in Vietnam;

  2. Vietnamese GroceryStores –where and what to get in Vietnamese grocery stores that most closely replicates the authentic ingredients;

  3. Normalgrocery stores–how to make a seriously authentictasting Banh Mi with just a trip to your local grocery store (Woolies, Coles 🇦🇺🇦🇺); and

  4. Variations – two popular variations of the classic cold cuts version: softest ever Vietnamese Banh Mi meatballs and shredded chicken.

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What is Banh Mi?

Banh Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich that’s made up of anodd sounding combination – crusty bread rolls smeared with pate, mayo, suspicious looking Asian ham, pickled vegetables, green onion, coriander/cilantro, a mighty wack of fresh chillies and drizzle of seasoning.

It tastes like a rich ham sandwich with a hit of Asian freshness.It’s a sensation of flavours and textures that’s generated a cult following all around the world. Themost sought after Banh Mi vendors have lengthy queues from early morning – both hereand in Vietnam!

I certainly had more than my fair share of Banh Mi when I was in Vietnam last year…. here I am getting stuck into one on the streets of Saigon. One for now, two for snacking on later…. 😇

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What goes in Banh Mi

This Banh Mi recipe isn’t so much of a recipe as it is about sourcing the right ingredients and how to assemble it. Nice change, right?? No cooking! 😂

Here’s what you need:

  • Vietnamese cold cuts (more info below, including subs) –orVietnamese meatballs or chicken, two popular varieties I’m also sharing today.

  • Very crusty baguettes – just really good, normal bread rolls. Crusty on the outside, soft on the inside! When you cut the baguette open, the crust should literally crumble everywhere and make a total mess! 👍🏼

  • Pate – pork or chicken, the very best Banh Mi vendors make their own. Any normal pate that’s not heavily flavoured with liquor or a flavouring like orange is just fine.

  • Mayo – mayo + pate creates a unique juiciness and savoury richness that we know and love about Banh Mi!

  • Pickled carrot – simple to make, the soft crunch and tartness is such a great contrast to the other textures and flavours

  • Cucumber, coriander/cilantro, green onion, chilli – the freshness and spiciness that we know and love about Banh Mi!

  • Maggi Seasoning – or just soy sauce. Just a little drizzle to finish it off!

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Meat in Banh Mi

1. Authentic Banh Mi Meat

The Banh Mi meat in the photo above is the real deal cold cuts which I purchased from a Banh Mi shop here in Sydney.

  • Vietnamese “Brawn” (Thi Nguoi) – I call this “Pink Ham” and it’s probably unworldly of me to admit this, but I don’t particularly enjoy the flavour or texture. 😂 The speckles are kind of rubbery/crunchy (it’s pig skin/ears) – but when it’s bundled up with everything else in the Banh Mi, it’s part of the overall eating experience!

  • Pork loaf (ChaLua)– basically the pork version of the more common chicken loaf sold at everyday delis.

    (Video) Banh Mi Vietnamese Sandwich

  • Grilled/roast pork slices – The best Vietnamese Sandwich places use pork belly for flavour and richness. Any pork roast cold cuts work just fine here – I just get it from my local deli – or thinly sliced leftover Pork Roast!

2.Banh Mi Meat from Vietnamese grocery store

If you live near a Vietnamese grocery store*, the good news is that you can purchase the Pink Ham and Pork Loaf for a very reasonable price – and it comes vac packed so it lasts for ages.

I never managed to hunt down the sliced roast pork but other than the extra fat, the flavour is pretty similar to the roast pork cold cuts sold at everyday delis so just go with that!

* Sydney – find Vietnamese grocery stores that carry these in Vietnamese neighbourhoods such as Marrickville, Cabramatta and Homebush. Just Google “Vietnamese restaurant Homebush” and a map will pop up with a cluster of restaurants in that area – that’s where the grocery stores are too.

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3. Local Grocery Store Banh Mi Meats!

OK! Now here’s the part I’m MOST excited about – the BEST substitutions for Banh Mi Meat you can buy from the deli at everyday local supermarket (Woolies, Coles 🇦🇺🇦🇺):

The textures and flavours of these once combined with all the other “stuff” that’s crammed into the baguette, the overall taste is astonishingly similar to a real Banh Mi!

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Different types of Banh Mi fillings

There’s actually a wide variety of fillings both in and outside of Vietnam, ranging from fish to grilled meats, pork floss, tofu and even ice cream!

The most well known ones that I’m sharing today are:

  • Vietnamese hams – the classic!

  • Smashed pork meatballs – hugely popular and my personal favourite. The softest meatballs in the world because they’re gently poached rather than pan fried. Very popular amongst people who are a bit suspicious of the Vietnamese cold cuts! 😂

  • Shredded chicken – very popular here in Australia, especially in non ethnic suburbs (like, ahem, the Northern Beaches in Sydney were I reside…😉)

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Smashed Pork Meatball Banh Mi

If you ever see me standing outside a Banh Mi shop, it’s probably because I’m paralysed with indecision, torn between sticking with the classic or going with my personal favourite – Banh Mi meatballs. 😩 (#FirstWorldProblems)

The agony of indecision is usually resolved by either: a) ensuring someone I’m with is getting the other version; b) getting one of each. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Banh Mi pork meatballs may well be the softest meatball you’ll ever have because they’re poached in a Vietnamese broth rather than pan fried. This makes them easy to “smash” to squish into the baguette – the soft texture makes them meld in so nicely with the pate and mayo!

See here for the recipe – Banh Mi Meatballs.

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Chicken Banh Mi

Shredded chicken Banh Mi is not as common in Vietnam but hugely popular here in Sydney.

It’s also a really quick ‘n easy way to get a Banh Mi fix, and a great way to make one rotisserie chicken feed plenty of people (1 medium size probably makes 8 – 10 Banh Mi).

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Banh Mi Sauce

Believe it or not, the most common sauce I see being used by Banh Mi vendors is Maggi Seasoning! Maggi Seasoning is like an Asian Worcestershire sauce – it’s got more layers of flavour than straight soy sauce.

Some shops mix their own using a combination of soy, fish sauce, garlic and sugar – I’ve provided a copycat of Maggi Seasoning in the recipe!

Maggi Seasoning is sold at large supermarkets in Australia (eg Woolies) and at Asian grocery stores.

(Video) How To Make Banh Mi with Andrea Nguyen

Use leftovers like an Asian Worcestershire sauce, to add a boost of umami flavour into all things Asian! Also can use in place of soy sauce – but use about half the quantity because Maggi Seasoning is saltier.

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The irony of Banh Mi – after all that explanation and photos – is that the making part is a cinch. No harder than any normal sandwich! 😂

Here’s how it’s assembled:

  1. Split the roll down the top middle (not along the side like you’d normally do)

  2. Smear with pate then mayo on one side (both if you’re feeling super indulgent)

  3. Jam in the ham, cucumber strips, carrot, green onion, then lastly coriander/cilantro

  4. Finish with a sprinkle of chilli (go hard or go home!😂) and a little sprinkle of Maggi Seasoning (about 1/2 tsp)

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How to eat it / keep it

You don’t need me to tell you how to eat a sandwich, but I’m going to tell you anyway!

The idea is that you grab the crusty roll, give it a good squeeze to make everything inside meld together and deflate so it can fit inside your mouth. (OK, so this is not an official Banh Mi Eating Technique, it’s just what I do 😂)

As you munch through it, you get breadcrumbs down the front of your (probably black) top, you’ve probably got mayo and pate smeared around your mouth, and there’s probably bits of carrot sticking out of your mouth.

You know you look totally unclassy and you just don’t care. Cause you’re eating aBANH MI!!! – Nagi x

PS Oh – the keeping part! To take it somewhere, just store the sauce separately and sprinkle just before eating. Other than that, the roll will keep for a day or so in the fridge, though it won’t be quite as crusty. I frequently get takeaway Banh Mi, and the only thing lacking is the crustiness.

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More Vietnamese Food Favourites

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Watch how to make it

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Banh Mi recipe

Author: Nagi

Prep: 20 mins

Pickling: 1 hr



4.95 from 20 votes

(Video) Vietnamese-Style Baguette With Beef | Gordon Ramsay


Tap or hover to scale


Recipe video above! See in post for more details and photos about the authentic ingredients, where to source them, and the BEST subs from everyday supermarkets. When combined with everything else, it still tastes like an incredibly authentic Banh Mi!


  • 4 crusty long bread rolls (Note 1)
  • 6 tbsp pork or chicken pate (Note 2)
  • 6 tbsp mayonnaise (Note 3)
  • 4 - 8 slices Thi Nguoi ("pink ham") OR brawn (aka head cheese, Note 4)
  • 4 - 8 slices ChaLua Vietnamese pork loaf OR chicken loaf (Note 5)
  • 4 - 8 slices roast or grilled pork cold cuts (Note 6)
  • 1.5 cups fresh coriander/cilantro sprigs (Note 7)
  • 2 cucumbers , finely sliced lengthwise into long strips
  • 4 green onion stems , cut into the length of the rolls
  • 2 red chillies , finely sliced (or more!) (or less...)
  • 2 tsp Maggi Seasoning , for drizzling (Note 8)

Pickled Carrots:

  • 4 medium carrots , peeled cut into 2-3mm / 1/10" batons
  • 1 1/2 cups (375ml) hot water , boiled
  • 1/2 cup (100g) white sugar
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (185ml) rice wine vinegar (sub apple cider vinegar)

Other Filling Options!

  • Pork meatballs for Banh Mi (Note 9)
  • Shredded rotisserie or poached chicken (Note 10)



  • Banh Mi pork meatballs - for each Banh Mi, use 3 meatballs. Shake off excess sauce, split warm meatballs in half then stuff into Banh Mi in place of the ham.

  • Shredded cooked chicken - use in place of ham. I often use store bought rotisserie chicken for convenience!

Pickled Carrots

  • Dissolve salt and sugar in the hot water, then add rice vinegar.

  • Add carrot, then let stand for at least 1 hour - carrot should be a bit tangy, a bit floppy but still with a soft crunch.

  • Drain and use per recipe.

Recipe Notes:

1. Bread Rolls - the breads should be nice and crusty, so if they are not, pop them in the oven for a bit to crisp up. French baguettes are the classic.

2. Pate - chicken or pork pate, or a combo of both. Any is fine as long as it's not strong flavoured with liquor or something like orange.

3. Mayonnaise - literally just use everyday mayo!

4. Thi Nguoi"Pink Ham"- find this in round logs at Vietnamese grocery stores. Slice and peel off rubbery outer layer.SUB:Brawn from everyday delis (eg Woolies, Coles), or head cheese.Quantity: You need enough for the length of each roll, overlapping slightly.

5. Pork loaf (ChaLua)- basically the pork version of the more common chicken loaf sold at everyday delis. Find this at Vietnamese grocery stores.Sub:Chicken loaf from every day delis!

6. Grilled/roast pork slices -authentic is to use pork belly cold cuts. I can't find them even in Vietnamese grocery stores, so I use supermarket roast pork slices - tastes the same, just less fat!

7. Coriander/cilantro - essential part of the Banh Mi eating experience! If you're a coriander hater, sub with plain or garlic chives (cut into 3cm / 1.5" lengths, about 3 stems per roll)

8. Maggi Seasoning - basically Asian Worcestershire sauce, has more depth of flavour than soy sauce. Sold at large supermarkets in Australia (eg Woolies) and Asian grocery stores. Use leftovers in place of soy for extra umami boost in recipes (use 2/3 of the amount of soy in a recipe as Maggi Seasoning is stronger/saltier).

Maggi Seasoning Sub: Either ordinary soy sauce, OR quick homemade -1 tbsp soy sauce + 1 tbsp fish sauce + 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce + 1/4 tsp sugar. Mix until dissolved.

9. Meatball Banh Mi -a personal favourite, the softest meatballs you will ever have! Popular here in Sydney and I spied meatballs in almost every Banh Mi vendor in Vietnam.

10. Shredded Chicken - very popular here in Australia! Terrific quick 'n easy way to get a Banh Mi fix.

11. Storage - Best eaten fresh so the roll is nice and crunchy. But I often get take away from Banh Mi vendors - just keep the sauce separate!

12. Nutrition per serving. Did my best, using nutrition information for the most similar cold cuts I could find nutritional information for!

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 554cal (28%)Carbohydrates: 47g (16%)Protein: 19g (38%)Fat: 30g (46%)Saturated Fat: 7g (44%)Monounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 67mg (22%)Sodium: 1666mg (72%)Potassium: 799mg (23%)Fiber: 5g (21%)Sugar: 10g (11%)Vitamin A: 11080IU (222%)Vitamin C: 45mg (55%)Calcium: 106mg (11%)Iron: 3.3mg (18%)

Keywords: Banh Mi recipe, Vietnamese sandwich

Did you make this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @RecipeTinEats.

(Video) How To Make A Bánh Mì Sandwich [cost under $3]

Life of Dozer

I know I shared this photo recently, but I only shared it on Instagram yesterday and asked people what they’d caption it. Some of the responses were so funny, I just had to share them here too!

Banh Mi ! (Vietnamese sandwich) (16)


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