We are pretty obsessed with Bánh mì. We live in a part of town were you can get these Vietnamese/French style sandwiches anywhere and they are very addictive and usually under $3. Chase it with mango bubble tea or a sweetened iced coffee and you are in heaven. It's like a lovely fresh salad on a baguette. A few years back when Pete worked at home we bought about 2 a day. We have reduced our intake significantly since then, which is probably good.
Our go-to place recently changed owners and we just aren't feeling the love like we used to—so I made some at home, realizing we had everything we needed in the house. The traditional baguette for a Bánh mì is made with rice flour, making them wonderfully crunchy and light. We only had a normal French style baguette, but it was dang tasty nonetheless. I split it, lightly toasted it, and chopped up a little cucumber, carrot, cilantro, and jalapeno.
These are usually made with pork, but you can order tofu versions too, which is what I wanted to recreate. I added up firm tofu that I soaked in a rice vinegar/soy sauce/garlic-chili sauce marinade while I chopped up the veggies.
The special ingredient in my book is a good aioli, so I made one from scratch. I actually have serious mayonnaise aversions and always hated the stuff until I started making my own. This came about because we never used it, so I never had any on hand. When I needed some I had to make a special trip to the store. But, we always have eggs and olive oil, salt and pepper, a little lemon juice and Dijon mustard and garlic—so there you go. I feel I should write a lot more words about the glorious homemade aioli experience but I am in a room with yelling children. It tastes really good—I can type that much. It's really worth the extra 5 minutes it takes in the cuisinart. I use a recipe very similar to this one. Sometimes I add chopped herbs to it to make it all fancy. It lasts for about a week.
Good stuff. Next up on my list of random things I want to make from scratch are ketchup and crackers (not to be eaten together) which I still haven't tried yet.
**Update. My dear friend (mariko) who has a propensity to remind me of my white girl status has pointed out the veggies need to be pickled. Yes, they sure do—in a rice vinegar type thing. It tastes way better that way. But dang, man—I needed to make these right away. So, this is sort of honky version.
I am tired today. I am having a mommy day. All I feel like I do is clean up food. Food that is half eaten, on the floor, and is disgusting. I have food on me, on my clothes, in my car, and probably in my hair. I love my baby, but, dang. Grammie assures me this is by far my messiest baby, so that makes me feel better, because I really don't remember this with the other girls. There have been more broken bowls and glasses in this house in the last week than ever. Since I got rid of all the plastic last year, it's been great, but baby is stronger now and sort of a chucker—so I am off to find some little enamelware bowls and cups because this is getting sort of crazy. Of course the older girls sit like sweet little old ladies using their china and having a tea party with their little cloth napkins for every meal (seriously.) making the crazy gorrilla baby antics even funnier. That baby. And have I mentioned before that both older girls have British accents? I know. People comment on it a lot. They are that strong. It's odd and mildly weird, but I love it. I blame the numerous books on tape they have with British narrators and not my personal speaking style. Ahem. (I am not Britney/Madonna, I swear!)