Banh Mi Salad
Yield 4 servings
If you want to make your banh mi salad vegan, simply use Maggi Seasoning sauce, Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce to reinforce the umami depth. Otherwise, use the fish sauce. It's made mostly of anchovies, like the anchovies that would go into an Italian panzanella.
- Half a baguette or 2 rolls suitable for banh mi
- Salt, kosher preferred
- About 6 tablespoons canola, grapeseed, or a mild-tasting olive oil
- ⅓ cup banh mi pickle (choose from pages 33 to 37, including the classic daikon and carrot pickle)
- ¼ cup pickling brine (from the pickle)
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce, Maggi Seasoning sauce, Bragg Liquid Aminos, or regular soy sauce
- 1 small garlic clovec, minced and mashed or put through a garlic press
- 1 jalapeño or Fresno chile, chopped
- 8 ounces cucumber, any kind
- 1 pound juicy, ripe tomatoes
- Black pepper
- A large handful of coarsely chopped fresh herbs, such as Thai or Italian basil, cilantro, and Vietnamese coriander (rau ram)
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Use a serrated knife to cut the bread into 3/4-inch cubes. Put into a large bowl and toss with a couple sprinklings of salt and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until crisp and golden. Let cool completely, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, use the bread bowl to prepare the rest of the salad. (If you’re using the snow pea pickle, cut it into pieces to roughly match the bread.) Put the pickle in the bowl along with the pickling brine, fish sauce, garlic, chile, and 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil.
- Peel the cucumber, if you like, then quarter it lengthwise. Seed the pieces, then cut them crosswise into 1/4-inch thick fans. Add to the bowl.
- If using cherry tomatoes, stem and halve each one before adding to the bowl. With other kinds of tomatoes, halve each, then seed them over the bowl (hold the tomato cut side down and squeeze gently) to release the gelatinous insides into the dressing. Cut the tomato into pieces to match the bread, then add them to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Finish the salad or set aside for up to 1 hour.
- Shortly before serving, add the bread and herb to the tomato mixture. Toss well, then let sit for several minutes to allow flavors to meld. Taste and fine-tune by adding pickling brine and/or oil by the tablespoon. Divide among shallow soup bowls or plates and serve. If handy, garnish with sprigs of herb.
Courses main or side
Recipe by Viet World Kitchen at https://www.vietworldkitchen.com/blog/2018/08/banh-mi-salad-recipe.html