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Vietnamese Beef Banh Mi
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Vietnamese Beef Banh Mi

Lemongrass Beef Banh Mi features Vietnamese baguette with aromatic grilled beef, pickled vegetables, and a hoisin-based sauce. So many interesting flavors and textures in one bite!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Marinating Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Breakfast, Main Dish
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: banh mi bo nuong sa
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 478kcal
Author: Sophie


For the Beef Filling

For the Pickled Vegetables

  • 6-8 oz julienned crunchy vegetables (such as carrot, daikon radish, cucumber with seeds removed)
  • 3/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3/4 cup filtered water
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Sauce

  • olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 4 medium cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons water, divided
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

To Serve

  • 4-5 banh mi, lightly toasted (or substitute with regular baguettes)
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • cilantro


To Make the Beef Skewers

  • Thinly slice the white parts of lemongrass. Use a mortar and pestle to pound it as well as garlic and shallot. Alternatively, you can blitz all the aromatics in a food chopper into fine pieces.
  • In a mixing bowl, add all ingredients under the "For the Beef Filling" section (except the skewers) and mix well to combine. Set aside for 15-30 minutes while preparing other ingredients (such as the pickled vegetables or the sauce).
  • Use about 1½ tablespoons of the beef mixture to thread onto a skewer. Alternatively, you can just form them into small meat patties.
  • Preheat your grill or heat your grill pan over medium heat and oil the grates. Once it is hot, place the beef skewers on a single layer. Grill for 2-3 minutes undisturbed, then flip and grill the other side for another 2-3 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Alternatively, you can broil the beef skewers in the oven on High, about 2-3 minutes each side. Or sear them on the stove or cook them in the air fryer at 350°F (or 180°C) for 5-6 minutes. However, they taste best when grilled.

To Make the Pickled Vegetables

  • To make the pickled vegetables, combine rice vinegar, filtered water, sugar and salt in a jar or a bowl. Add the julienned veggies. Cover and leave at room temperature if you plan to eat it with banh mi in 30-60 minutes. Otherwise, cover and refrigerate to pickle for several hours or overnight.

To Make the Sauce

  • Place a small saucepan over medium heat and heat a small amount of olive oil. Then add 1 tablespoon of minced garlic and sauté briefly until fragrant.
  • Add hoisin sauce to the saucepan, stir and heat it for 10-15 seconds. Then add 1/2 cup of water, stir and let the mixture simmer for 1 minute.
  • Dissolve 2 teaspoons of cornstarch in 2 teaspoons of water. Drizzle the cornstarch slurry into the saucepan while stirring to thicken the sauce to your liking. Taste and check the consistency, then transfer to a clean bowl.

To Assemble the Banh Mi Sandwich

  • Slice banh mi (or baguettes) open lengthwise. Place a layer of cucumber slices, then add the beef, pickled vegetables and cilantro. Drizzle with plenty of sauce and serve right away.



You can cook a teaspoon of filling to check if it is seasoned to your liking and adjust as needed. 
For the pickled vegetables, you can also adjust the ratio of vinegar, water and ratio to your preference. If you don't have rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar can also be used.


Calories: 478kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 1124mg | Potassium: 665mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 7158IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 5mg