I really like banh mi. I would take a bad banh mi over a really good turkey sandwich any day of the week. For me, a banh mi is the perfect combination of amazing ingredients; crusty baguette, salty meat, crunchy pickled vegetables, fresh cilantro, spicy chilies, and special mayonnaise.
Up until a couple of years ago I could get my Vietnamese sandwich fix at Bobalicious on, surprisingly, Washington Street in Nonantum. After it closed I went on a hunt for a replacement in Chinatown and at the Super 88 Market. I ate dozens of sandwiches, but sadly none were as good as Bobalicious.
Worry not-there is hope on the horizon! Jacqueline Pham has written a new book titled, “Banh Mi: 75 Banh Mi Recipes for Authentic and Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches.” The book has nicely divided chapters that break down sandwiches based on protein and time of day to eat. There are also sections for beverages, sides, and condiments.
The recipes look great, and come with easy to follow instructions. At first glance the ingredient lists look overwhelming – the char siu barbecue pork recipe has 22 ingredients – but on closer examination many of the ingredients are pantry staples. With recipes like spicy eggplant tofu, grapefruit and shrimp salad, and shredded pork cotton, it’s hard to pass up this cookbook.