Vietnamese Shrimp Bánh Mì Sandwich

Bánh mì is a sandwich commonly served at restaurants and street stalls in Vietnam. It originated in Saigon, now called Ho Chi Minh City. Unfortunately we didn’t come across any bánh mì last year when we visited northern Vietnam, but luckily one of my husband’s best friends, who is Vietnamese, made the most delicious bánh mì for us last summer.

Last Saturday we finally decided to make a variation of bánh mì ourselves for a light dinner. Typical ingredients include grilled pork, pork patties or pork liver pâté – we swapped the pork for prawns, marinated with soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, rice wine and ginger. Combined with the tang of pickled carrots, crisp cucumber, fresh cilantro and basil, and spicy Sriracha mayo, then sandwiched between two pieces of French bread, it’s really the best sandwich ever. Keep reading for the easy recipe!

Vietnamese Shrimp Bánh Mì Sandwich

4 large prawns (or jumbo shrimp), peeled, deveined, and butterflied
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon peeled and grated ginger
2 small carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup mayo (I prefer the reduced fat olive oil kind)
Sriracha chili sauce to taste
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 a French baguette, halved again and then each half cut lengthwise
1/2 English cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and cut into matchsticks
Handful each of fresh cilantro and basil leaves

Put the prawns (or shrimp) in a small bowl with the soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger. Stir to combine. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Combine carrots, salt, sugar, and vinegar in another small bowl. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. In a third small bowl, combine the mayo, sriracha, and lime juice. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the prawns or shrimp, remove from heat, and let rest while you grill the baguette halves on both sides to toast. Slather the cut sides of the baguette with the mayo-sriracha mixture. Layer the cucumber, pickled carrots, and herbs on one side of the baguette. Cut the prawns into 1/2-inch thick pieces and lay on top of the vegetables and herbs. Sandwich with the other piece of baguette, cut in half and serve.

*Recipe from My Father’s Daughter

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