Vietnamese Sandwiches

January 19, 2010

I love leftovers. Because I cook a lot, my fridge and freezer often are filled with a nice assortment of leftovers, which I usually don’t mind. Sometimes, however, leftovers pose a problem. Such was the case last week when I couldn’t stop nibbling the leftovers of a wonderful chicken liver pâté I had made. A couple of tastes are fine, but night after night of buttery pâté is enough to totally blow anyone’s January resolutions. The problem was I just couldn’t throw it away.

You see the reason I developed the pâté was to use everything the chicken has to offer. Not only the meat, but also the parts that are normally tossed aside such as the liver. It’s important to utilize the whole bird.

I wanted to use the rest of the pâté as part of a meal, but the first thing that came to mind, Beef Wellington, was way too rich for after-holiday fare. Then I remembered that liver pâté is part of the traditional Vietnamese sandwich called bahn mi.

As with most things Vietnamese, this sandwich is light, fresh and satisfying. Assembled in a crisp baguette-style roll (the best ones are from the Asian markets or Vietnamese bakeries), layers of roast pork and pâté are topped with crisp cucumbers, carrots and cilantro keeping it light and crunchy.

Almost a full salad within the sandwich.

Flavored with spicy Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, fish sauce and soy sauce, it offers a taste sensation more complex than any traditional American sandwich.

Sriracha – The Rooster Sauce
(Follow the link for the behind the scenes story of this American Asian-style hot sauce.)

Even if you don’t have liver pâté in your fridge, give this sandwich a try. Its spicy fresh taste may be just the thing to liven the upcoming football weekend frenzies.

Bahn Mi
Vietnamese Hero Sandwiches

2 tablespoons mayonnaise
¼ to ½ teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½ tablespoon water
2 hero buns, split
¼ cup liver pâté or liverwurst, optional
⅓ cup thinly sliced cucumbers
½ cup thinly sliced roast pork
¼ cup julienne carrots
6 sprigs fresh cilantro

Stir together the mayonnaise and the chili sauce. In a separate bowl, stir together the fish sauce, soy sauce and water.

Smear the mayonnaise over the top half of each bun. Spread the liver pâté over the bottom half of each bun. Layer the cucumbers over the pâté, top with the pork, then the carrots and finish with the cilantro.

Drizzle the fish sauce mixture over the sandwich before serving.

Serves 2

2 Responses to “Vietnamese Sandwiches”

  1. January 20, 2010 at 1:52 am, Ravenous Couple said:

    great idea to use the left over pate…the banh mi looks great!


  2. January 20, 2010 at 7:37 am, Janice said:

    It tasted great too. Your site is interesting, I'll have to explore it further for other wonderful Vietnamese dishes!


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