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Banh Mi Vietnamese Sandwich

Banh Mi Sandwich

I’ve had a lot of women ask me “how can I get my husband to eat Asian food?” or say “my son won’t eat Asian food!”.  Well here is the recipe you’ve been looking for.  First of all, don’t tell them it’s Banh Mi, or Asian, just call it a Steak Sandwich…say it with me now…STEAK SANDWICH.  What man or teenage boy wouldn’t flip head over heals for those two words?

Go try it, just say “Honey, would you like a steak sandwich for dinner?”  Love that reaction!

This tasty sandwich only takes a few minutes of prep and is so filling.  The recipe is from my friend Jaden’s brand new cookbook.  More about her, the cookbook, and her book tour in my next post…including a GIVEAWAY.

Vietnamese Steak Caremelized Shallots

Banh Mi was another favorite lunch of mine in Hawaii, I got them at the same place as my shrimp rolls.  To make this banh mi I used sirloin steak, and sliced it very thin while it was still slightly frozen.  This was super affordable for us because we buy 1/4 a cow from our CSA farm, so the sirloin only comes out to under $3 a pound!  Jaden suggests using pre-sliced meat or asking your butcher to thinly slice sirloin, top round, or rib eye.

I made the full amount of beef, but only 2 sandwiches.  The recipe below is adapted to reflect that.   I also just used carrot for the pickles, and subbed parsley and basil for the cilantro since those are the ingredients I had on hand.  I used the leftover steak to make another Asian dish, the next step in convincing your husband he likes Asian cooking.  Trust me, you won’t want to miss this, check back Thursday.  Now go make these sandwiches, and after you husband praises you for how amazing they are, tell him he just gobbled down a traditional Vietnamese dish!

Banh Mi Vietnamese Sandwich

Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwich

makes 2 sandwiches


Carrot Daikon pickle condiment:
1/2 cup carrot matchsticks (or thin coins like I did)
optional 1/2 cup white daikon radish matchsticks
Generous pinch of salt
1 TBS sugar
2 TBS rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
1 TBS finely minced garlic
1 TBS fish sauce
1 TBS soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 TBS high heat cooking oil plus more as needed (divided)
1 lb (500 g) sirloin, top round, or rib eye (as thinly sliced as possible)
1 shallot thinly sliced (or you can use some red onion)
2 8 in hoagie rolls or baguette sections
4 large pieces green lettuce
10-15 leaves of cilantro, parsley, basil, or other fresh herbs


Toss carrots and daikon with the salt, sugar, and vinegar.  Let sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes.  If not using immediately, add enough vinegar to cover veggies, stir, and store in glass jar or plastic container up to 1 month.

In a bowl whisk together garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, black pepper and 1 TBS of the oil.  Add beef slices and mix well to coat each slice.  Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.

Set a large frying pan or grill pan over high heat.  When the pan is hot, pour in 1 TBS of the oil and swirl to coat the pan.  You’ll be cooking the beef in batches, how many depends on how big your pan is.

Add the beef slices, laying them flat and in a single layer.  Fry 30 seconds to 1 minute depending on how thinly it’s sliced.  Flip and fry other side 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Edges of the beef should be just slightly charred, but cooking time should be kept to a minimum to avoid overcooking meat.  Pour any juices left in the pan into a small bowl.  Fry additional batches of meat slices the same way, adding a touch more oil if necessary, and reserving pan juices.

Return pan to stovetop on high heat.  Add a touch more cooking oil and when hot, add the sliced shallots.  Fry for 30 seconds, until just softened, mopping up any remaining pan juices and caramelized bits during the frying.

To assemble sandwiches, slice the hoagie rolls or baguettes in half lengthwise.  Brush each side with some of the reserved pan juices.  To each sandwich add a layer of lettuce, then grilled beef, carrot daikon pickle, grilled shallots, and finally sprinkle on the herbs.

Approximate cost/serving: By getting our beef in bulk from a local farmer, these sandwiches only cost us $3.40 to make.  That means $1.70 a serving!  I cannot stress enough the money you can save by finding a local farmer.

Gluten Free: Use gluten free rolls and it’s best to swap out tamari for the soy sauce.

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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.

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