The only Vietnamese food I would ever eat before was just Pho until some friends introduced me to Bun Thit and Banh Mi sandwiches. It’s not so much I didn’t know but that was the only thing I was introduced to like everyone else at first. But after my friends introduced me to anything else, I’ve been hooked. I had leftover cilantro that I decided to use to make a vietnamese dish. With the internet at my disposal, I looked for recipes. The constant ingredient in both dishes is pickled carrots and daikon (asian radish) and cilatro. I didn’t have daikon, so I just pickled carrots. I think I like both recipes so much because of the use of cilantro. I LOVE cilantro and it’s a hit or miss for most people. You either love it or you don’t. I do. Something about that limey herb that I love so much.
Chicken Banh Mi
Pickled Carrots and Daikon (cut into matchsticks)
Hoagie Rolls/French Bread
Toast bread. Spread mayo and sriracha on toasted bread. Pile the remaining ingredients onto the bread and enjoy.
I fell in love with Bun Thit Nuong (grilled pork with rice noodles) when I went to visit my girlfriend in Boston. Since then I’ve been addicted to it. I had it for my birthday dinner (in the filipino culture, you have to have noodles on your birthday which symbolize long life) at VungTau in San Jose and it was DELISH. It’s pretty light and healthy. I didn’t have any pork shoulder, so instead I used shrimp. The recipe I used was okay but I was expecting more flavorful shrimp. Next time I think I’ll try Rasa Malaysia’s version.
Bun Thit Tom Cang Nuong
Vermicilli Noodles (found in any asian grocery store. they’re also called bun noodles or rice noodles)
Nuoc Mam (fish sauce)
Pickled carrots and daikon
1 lb of shrimp
1 small onion (minced, rinsed under cold water, and drained)
For the shrimp: Mix the onion, garlic, vegetable oil, and fish sauce to taste in a bowl large enough to hold the shrimp. Add the shrimp, toss to coat evenly, and marinate, covered at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat grill and grill for 2 minutes on each side.
For the bun: oil the bun according to package directions. Run bun over cold water and drain. In a bowl, add cucumber, bean sprouts, pickled carrots and daikon, and bun. Garnish with chopped mint and cilantro. When the shrimp is done place shrimp on top of bun. Add prepared Nuoc Mam (fish sauce) to taste.