Bánh mì is a Vietnamese term for all kinds of bread. The word is derived from banh (bread) and mi (wheat, also spelled mì in northern Vietnam). Bread, or more specifically the baguette, was introduced by the French during its colonial period. It is sometimes compared with a food item known as a "Vietnamese sandwich".
The toppings include pickled carrots and/or radishes, sliced cucumbers, jalapenos, cilantro and thinly sliced ham. I cut a few corners and used prepacked julienned carrots and added some grated garlic. These burgers were full of flavor and the contrasting textures of the toppings provided an interesting addition. You can use sliced French baguettes, hamburger buns or French hamburger buns (this is what I used).
First, you will need to quick pickle your carrots and radishes:
1 1/2 cups 1/8 thick matchstick cut carrots
4 medium radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 1/2 t. sugar
2 T. sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 warm water
Put the carrots and radishes in a medium bowl and sprinkle with sugar and salt. Using your hands, toss the vegetables in the salt and sugar to begin to expelling the water from them about 3 minutes. They will soften and liquid will begin to pool in the bottom of the bowl. The vegetables are ready when they can bend easily without snapping in half and they have lost about a third of their volume. Drain in a colander and rinse under cool water. Gently press down on the vegetables to push out any additional water.
In the same bowl, combine 2 T. of the sugar, the vinegar and 1/4 cup of warm water and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the vegetables to the pickling liquid. The liquid should be covering the vegetables. Let sit for about 20 minutes while you prepare the burgers.
1 lb. ground pork
1 1/2 T. chili garlic sauce
1/2 T. fish sauce
1/2 T. fresh lime juice
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 t. sugar
Combine the pork, chili garlic sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, and sugar. Shape into four 4-inch wide, 1/2 inch thick patties and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Prepare a gas or charcoal grill or a grill pan at medium-high heat. Brush and oil the grates.
Place the burgers on the grill. Grill the first side about 4 minutes until grill marks form about 4 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until an instant read thermometer reads 155-160 degrees F.
Remove from the grill and let rest on a plate. Place the buns on the grill and toast until grill marks form, about 1 minute.
Now for toppings:
Pickled carrots and radishes
thinly sliced cucumbers
thinly sliced jalapenso
thinly sliced ham
And here we are ready to eat!
Adapted from Fine Cooking