Bánh mì: offal anyone?

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“Bánh mì” is the Vietnamese term for “sandwich”. Most typically it is served in a foot-long french baguette and is filled with pâté, any kind of meat (most popular is BBQ pork), pickled daikon and carrots, and fresh, sliced chiles and cucumbers, then drizzled with soy sauce and chili paste. It is a VERY popular snack that you can buy in any number of sandwich shops (like a deli) or most commonly from one of a zillion street vendors who sell nothing but a particular kind of bánh mì.

One day when Minh, Joe and I were downtown we ran across this little vendor who sold offal (organ meat) bánh mì, which is much harder to find.

I have only had an offal bánh mì once before and couldn’t recall whether I liked it or not. I have to say … I was dubious at first (I don’t really enjoy liver often), but my culinary curiosity got the best of me and I had to try it again, after all I do so love a good bánh mì.

My brother, Joe, thought I was crazy. Minh just rolled his eyes at me. There was an Australian fella in line ahead of me and he looked quite happy as he watched his sandwich being made, so I thought, “What the hayballs! Why not?”

If I don’t like it I’ll throw up on Joe and then toss the rest of the sandwich.

The verdict?

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It was delicious! She put a special sauce on this particular sandwich that is based on an oyster sauce along with a terrific garlic chili sauce that is super flavorful. Plus, all the crunchy veggies provided a fresh and tangy counterpoint to the meat. She also added several boiled quail eggs, cut in half, to the mix, which provides good texture and flavor.

While it isn’t my favorite style of bánh mì (my fave is the BBQ pork—holy yum!) I would certainly have it again.

So, the next time you run across offal, assemble a sandwich and give it a go. You might love it.

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