Pile up the fillings high in this beef bánh mì, with a crunch of quick pickles and a hint of chili heat – Street food at its best. Ideal for a weekend lunch with friends.
A Bánh Mì is a Vietnamese sandwich; a soft, baguette shaped roll generously filled with meat, pickles and coriander leaves, all topped with Sriracha chili sauce. It’s street food and reflects the influence of French food on Vietnamese cooking; simple and delicious. Classic street food quick to prepare and packed with bold flavours.
This steak filled bánh mì is the ideal thing to make for a quick lunch at the weekend with friends. Simply put the oven on and whilst the bread is baking prepare all those glorious fillings. Line them up, quickly cook the steak and everyone can assemble their own to their taste. Effortless, quick, impressive and packed with big flavours – ideal for feeding a crowd and with a recipe this easy you can spend time with your friends rather than slaving over a hot stove. In the summer fire up the BBQ or grill and cook the steak on that.
The starting point for a true bánh mì is the roll, normally made with a combination of rice and wheat flour which make the characteristically soft roll. But if you can’t find the real thing, you can substitute a par-baked baguette. Although we bake our own bread sometimes only a baguette will do, and long lasting par baked baguettes are a pantry staple. If you don’t want them to be too crusty, then simply drape a tea towel over them after baking to stop all the steam escaping. Next is the meat. We used a piece of quality Irish rump steak, cooked for a few minutes on each side on a griddle over a medium heat to medium rare, then allowed to rest for a few minutes. Resting the steak after cooking allows it to reabsorb the juices, leaving you with a deliciously tender, juicy steak.
Irish beef is special because of the happy confluence of positive factors. The cattle are raised on 120,000 small farms which combine the best of traditional farming techniques handed down from generation to generation, with the best of modern practice resulting in a world-renowned product. The quality of the beef reflects the quality of the cattle, with excellent lineage and exemplary breeding practices. The other raw ingredient is the grass: with Ireland known as the Emerald Isle, it’s unsurprising that Irish grasslands are especially rich and fertile and perfect for cattle. The result is well-marbled, tender meat, with beneficial levels of vitamin A, carotene and Omega 3 fatty acids.
Top Tips for Cooking Steak
- Choose quality well butchered meat – the butchering is as important as the meat
- Remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature before cooking
- Use a good quality heavy cast iron griddle pan
- Heat the griddle well before you start to cook
- Lightly oil and season the meat – not the griddle
- For perfect sear marks lightly press the steak onto the griddle then don’t move it until it is time to turn it over
- Once cooked put the steak onto a plate, cover with a piece of foil and allow to rest for a couple of minutes so the meat can relax and reabsorb the juices
Once the bare bones of the sandwich – the bread and the meat – are in place, it’s time for the trimmings; it’s these that really make it a bánh mì, rather than just a steak sandwich. A quick smear of mayonnaise onto the baguette adds some moistness to the finished article.
Quick pickles are very easy to make – a few minutes on the hob and they’re ready, and they add such a satisfying crunch. They keep for a few days in the fridge, too, and are so versatile as well as addictive. Once you get into the habit of making them they will become a staple of your fridge. Slicing the vegetables takes the most time; do take care if you’re using a mandolin not to go too far and start adding too much of yourself to the pickles!
The sriracha chili sauce is available from most supermarkets now, and has many uses other than these sandwiches; but you really need the real thing for a proper bánh mì.
- 1 Par baked mini baguettes
- 1 Steak
- 1 Chili
- Sriracha/Vietnamese chili sauce
- 2 tbsp Mayonnaise
- 60 ml white wine vinegar
- 30 g white sugar
- pinch sea salt
- 3 pods cardamom
- 1/2 tsp coriander seed
- 1 sprig dill
- 4 radishes (thinly sliced)
- 1/4 cucumber (thinly sliced)
Make the quick pickles: Place the vinegar, sugar, salt, coriander and cardamom pods into a pan and gently heat until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Add all the other ingredients and allow to cook for a few minutes. Allow to cool.
Bake the baguettes according to the instructions on the packet. Allow to cool
Heat a griddle over a medium heat. Wipe the steak with some oil on both sides, and sprinkle with salt. Griddle the steak for a couple of minutes on either side, until cooked as you prefer. Take it off the griddle, and leave it to rest, loosely covered with a piece of foil.
Assemble the sandwich. Cut the baguette in half, and cut open lengthwise. Carve the steak into slices. Spread mayonnaise on the bottom half. Top with the beef, add sliced chili, coriander, and quick pickles. Drizzle with Srirancha sauce, pop the other half of the baguette on top, and enjoy!
Quick pickles can be made a few days in advance and kept in a jar in the fridge.
Recipe for Steak Bánh Mì commisisoned by Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board. Recipe and opinions are our own.