This recipe represents a fusion of French bread and Vietnamese flavours, in which a French-style baguette is served with meat, fresh herbs and pickles. The first time I saw such a sandwich it seemed a bit strange to me, but I tried it anyway. It inspired me to experiment with a wide variety of fillings.
The resulting quick sandwiches with Asian flavors have become some of my favourite lunches. I especially love sandwiches made with balachaung (fried dried shrimp) on Turkish bread, but I also need more options to get me through the week.
Traditionally these sandwiches are served with grilled lemongrass pork, paté, or Vietnamese-style ham or sausage. If you really want to try the authentic version, you can use the grilled lemongrass pork and pork patty recipes previously published in The Myanmar Times (March 4-10).
For the versions below I use spicy chicken sausages, and chicken or pork meatballs. It’s perfect for Sunday brunch, when you want to do less cooking and more relaxing.
Vietnamese baguette sandwich
2 cups of carrots and white radish pickles (See The Myanmar Times March 4-10)
8 spicy chicken sausages (grilled or fried)
1 small cucumber (sliced lengthwise)
1 bunch of coriander
1 bunch of mint
1 teaspoon of fish sauce
3 cloves of garlic
4 tablespoons of mayonnaise
Thaw the spicy chicken sausages on the kitchen counter (do not defrost them in the microwave).
Poke a few slits in the sausages and fry them in a nonstick frying pan over medium-low heat until they are cooked through. Cover the pan with a lid and turn them every 2-3 minutes. (I used spicy chicken sausages from Quarto Products and didn’t add any oil to the pan).
Remove the sausages from the pan and place them on kitchen paper for a few minutes to absorb the excess oil. Then cover them with aluminium foil.
Mix the mayonnaise and crushed garlic in a bowl and set aside. Drain the pickles well and set aside. Mix the fish sauce with the coriander and mint leaves in a small bowl and set aside. Wash the cucumber, drain well and slice lengthwise.
Assemble the sandwich by cutting the baguette into three pieces, and then cutting each piece in half lengthwise. Place the pickles, cucumber, spicy chicken sausage slices, garlic mayonnaise, and the coriander and mint leaf mixture in between.