3 Hanoi eateries give their banh mi a grilling

By Dinh Dinh   September 6, 2019 | 11:49 am GMT+7

By grilling the babuette and getting creative with the fillings, three Hanoi eateries are adding to Vietnam’s banh mi repertoire.

The traditional banh mi, a baguette stuffed with grilled meat, cold cuts, pickled jicama and carrots, still rules the roost, but by wandering a bit in Hanoi, visitors can discover different ways in which this sandwich is evolving.

Grilled banh mi on tray

A tray of grilled bread and meat, sauces and cucumber at Lang Son Grilled Banh Mi. Photo by VnExpress/Dinh Dinh.

A tray of grilled bread and meat, sauces and cucumber at Lang Son Grilled Banh Mi. Photo by VnExpress/Dinh Dinh.

What makes the Lang Son Grilled Banh Mi really different is that the baguette itself becomes one of the ingredients, alongside meat, sauces, and cucumbers that are laid out on a tray. 

After the meat is seasoned with different spices and dried clausena (mac mat in Vietnamese) leaves, the cook will grill it on a skewer over charcoal.

The bread is also coated with honey, and it gets very crispy and fragrant after being grilled. Diners can dip all the ingredients in the eatery’s special dipping sauce which has a spicy and sweet taste with the aroma of coriander.

Baguettes and meat are grilled over charcoal. Photo by VnExpress/Dinh Dinh.

Baguettes and meat are grilled over charcoal. Photo by VnExpress/Dinh Dinh.

Each portion costs around VND15,000 ($0.7). But the price can go up to VND50,000 ($2.2) depending on the extra meat and bread customers order.

Suggested location: 7B1, Alley 201, Tran Quoc Hoan Street, Hanoi.

Grilled banh mi with chili sauce and salt

A cook is pressing down the baguette while grilling it. Photo by VnExpress/Dinh Dinh.

A cook presses down the baguette while grilling it. Photo by VnExpress/Dinh Dinh.

Grilled bread seasoned with chili sauce and salt has become a very popular dish in Hanoi because it has a unique taste, is easy to find and reasonably priced. In this version, a thin layer of butter, chili sauce and salt is spread over the bread.

Each eatery will either toast the baguette on a charcoal grill or an oven until the outside shines golden.

The cook will press down and flatten the bread as it is grilled to make it really crispy. Then the bread is cut into smaller pieces and placed on a plate along with cucumber, some beef jerky and sausages. Mayonnaise, hot sauce and ketchup will be added as the final touch to the dish.

Two plates of grillled baguette with beef jerky, ketchup, hot sauce and mayonnaise on top. Photo by VnExpress/Dinh Dinh.

Two plates of grillled baguette with beef jerky, ketchup, hot sauce and mayonnaise on top. Photo by VnExpress/Dinh Dinh.

Many people still favor this dish as an evening snack.

Suggested location: 1 Hang Giay Street, Hanoi (4:30-10 p.m.)

Grilled banh mi with butter and honey

Baguettes are grilled over charcoal after they are coated with butter and honey. Photo by VnExpress/Dinh Dinh.

Baguettes grilled over charcoal after getting coated with butter and honey. Photo by VnExpress/Dinh Dinh.

Those craving something sweet and filling can try many street vendors who sell grilled bread coated with honey and butter.

The baguette is cut in half, pressed flat, slathered with butter and honey before being grilled over charcoal until it gets crispy. 

Suggest location: 127 Dang Tien Dong Street or 102 Kham Thien Street, Dong Da District, Hanoi.

 
 
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