Friday, February 17, 2012

Dinner Diary - Banh Mi

One of the fascinating things about travel for me is learning about how history has influenced the food of a particular county. The french colonisation of "Indo-China" has resulted in Cambodia and Vietnam being quite good at making bread. Something that is extremely unique in south-east asia. Generally the bread is awful, 5 months in i think i get to say that.

As i highlighted in a previous post, Cambodia has it's "Cambodian sandwich", Well not to be out done, Vietnam has it's own, the Banh Mi. From my limited understanding of Vietnamese, Bahn mi translates directly to "bread".  If you approach one of the vendors and just ask for a "Banh Mi" you'll be given a baguette. However if you ask for Banh Mi Ga, that is "Bread with chicken" then the fun starts. Ideally you should ask for everything ... i don't know how you say that in Vietnamese, however a circular motion near the various meats usually does the trick.

Banh Mi 'Everything'

Inside the everything option is usually beef, chicken, sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce, carrots, cabbage and more. They are quite easy to find in the south of Vietnam, (Ho Chi Min, Da Lat, Nha Trang etc), and can cost anywhere from 10 000(US$0.50c) to 25000(US$1.25) Dong.

Banh Mi Op La

But wait, there's more. Banh Mi Op la is another variation. What's the difference, simple it's egg inside the Banh mi. Usually these are fried "Sunny side up", and with the yoke still fluid so that you can enjoy some yellow goodness.

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