Hardcore Vietnamese Bánh Mì - The “Bang Me” We Love

BY DIANE CU
Jul 25, 2011

A naughty conversation on Twitter led me to scribble this post in my head.

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My mental ramblings often distract me from daily priorities and combine that with the power of twitter chit chat, I was pretty worthless for the rest of the day. I adore twitter hard, really hard because it’s enlightened me with new friendships and stimulating discussions that reach the far corners of the world. #Twitter #Love

Bánh Mì, the Vietnamese sandwich that has become a cultural icon, was the topic that excitedly ensued when I put out this twitter tweet to my tweeps (twitter code talk for 140 character jabber): #ShutUpDiane

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The Bánh Mì yak and messages that followed was indeed mixed. My fellow Viets were giggling with agreement about the gringo pronunciation of our beloved sandwich. Others were more apologetic, hoping I could guide them to less embarrassment and correct pronunciation when ordering their next meat-ball, extra pate, hold-the-mayo banh mi. #sandwich #not #sex

But of course, there were the expected return messages that were more focused on the term “Bang Me” that was without any culinary, sandwich or Bánh Mì context. I think I got asked out on a few dates and some marriage proposals were thrown in the twitter message mix. #blushing but #I’mTaken

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We’re all adults here (I hope) and my tweet was out of fun and love.  I wasn’t really wasn’t making fun of anyone but rather, I was laughing at myself. #SillyDiane

I’ve been known to butcher my other favorite ethnic foods with many pronunciation mistakes, particularly those that go beyond three letters. Although I might be bilingual, I still have a life time of linguistics and language studies to pronounce even my most favorite foods respectfully: #Chiliaquiles #SoondoobuJjiggae #Epoisses #CaldoDeCameron

With this twitter conversation about the more authentic pronunciation of “Bánh Mì”, I wasn’t judging anyone’s accent. The holy spirit knows that the Vietnamese language is very difficult to learn, particularly with all the different regional tones. I’m still being corrected by my parents every day. #Pho #Foe or #Poe?

But what I did focus on was the real meaning behind this hap-hazard pronunciation circling amongst non-Vietnamese as “Bang Me”. Then it all started to make sense to me. #LightBulb!

“Bang Me” was an emotional response to something gloriously appealing, appetizing and orgasmic-ally delicious. Yes, that’s it.

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I’ve often had mind-blowing dishes that left me so elated, satisfied and spent that I’d cry out “F&$! Me, that was an amazing meal”. “Holy F*#! that was the best ____ (insert dish) that I’ve ever had!! ” Have you had these thoughts too? Admit it, I know you have. #please #me

So in the same spirit of culinary triumph that transports me to an ecstatic place, I celebrate the mis-pronunciation of Banh Mi as Bang Me. #NotKidding

Saying Bang Me, is like screaming after a 5 hour reveling feast of “F&$! Me” amazing food, drink, conversation and friendship. It’s kind of the same feeling after a long night of steamy hot…….. uh…..#BikramYoga

To make sense of all my rambling and to tame it away from #sex talk, I further made sense of the true definition of Vietnamese Bang Me by creating a recipe for it. A recipe for a Bang Me is one that makes a humble, innocent Banh Mi much more fiercely exciting. And Sexy.

A Bang Me is a Bánh Mì dressed up with a sexy, yolk dripping fried egg that humps the center of the crusty sandwich. #ForgiveMe

Doesn’t fried egg make almost anything better? Top a salad, pizza, pasta or hot rice with a fried egg and it instantly transforms the dish to Bang! Good! Whenever I need to dress up a dish to its heightened decadent glory, I ask for it fried egg à la mode. What makes me go girl crazy is when the fried egg is lacy crispy around the edges. #PassingOut

In essence, what I’m really trying to say is that mis-pronunciations are not always bad. I myself am a creature of bad accents (#English is my second language# ) but teach myself to look beyond that. And in this case, there is a substantial culinary meaning behind Bang Me.

Thanks to Twitter, I’ve created a recipe for a Bang Me Bánh Mì.  And hopefully after reading this post, everyone will know what the heck you’re talking about.

Now if you all will excuse me, I’ll go take my much needed cold shower now. #whew!

 

Sincerely, #GoodGirl,

-diane

 

Follow Diane Cu on Twitter - @WhiteOnRice 

P.S. How do really pronounce “Bánh Mì”? That will be my next post, with video included

 

Vietnamese Fried Egg Banh Mi Recipe (Banh Mi Trung Op La) - “The Bang Me”

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Banh mi is all about the assembly and gathering all the components. Sometimes the cold cuts can be found at Vietnamese markets or you can make the meat fillings fresh. The bread is the most important factor, making sure it’s a light, crusty baguette to remain as close to a traditional Vietnamese Banh Mi as possible.

For the Banh Mi assembly (not all required):

  • 1 french baguette (soft centered crumb, crispy crust)
  • Vietnamese cold cuts or head cheese
  • Or other meat filling such as Braised Pork Belly
  • Fried Egg
  • pickled carrots and daikon. Recipe for carrot/daikon pickles here
  • fresh cilantro
  • soy sauce
  • pork liver pate
  • mayonnaise
  • thin slices of chili pepper
  • thin slices of cucumber

 

1. Slice baguettes lengthwise. Add the ingredients that you want (or like) to the banh mi.

2. Enjoy!

 

This post was originally published on White on Rice Couple in June 2011.