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Please begin with an informative title:

TopCommentsRedux

My last Top Comments diary was all about how to make pho ga, the delicious Vietnamese chicken noodle soup. We'll stick with Vietnamese cuisine in this food diary, but this time we're going to make something a little less labor-intensive: banh mi, or a Vietnamese sandwich.

You might be thinking, "A sandwich? Really?" If so, you obviously haven't tried banh mi. It may be just a sandwich, but, if prepared correctly, eating banh mi is like letting a symphony of flavors and textures play in your mouth.

Now, if you're blessed enough to live near a Vietnamese population as I do, you might have never considered making banh mi at home. After all, a sandwich costs no more than $2 or $3 at a banh mi shop. My problem is that I'm far enough away from both Houston's Chinatown and Little Saigon neighborhoods that it can be a pain to drive to either to satisfy a banh mi craving. So I decided to try my hand at making banh mi myself. And if you don't live near any good Vietnamese restaurants, making banh mi by hand may be the only way to enjoy it.

Have no fear: It's a great deal easier than pho. But don't be fooled. Making banh mi properly still requires effort. Follow me below the cucumber to learn how to make a vendor-quality sandwich yourself.

But First, A Word From Our Sponsor:

Top Comments recognizes the previous day's Top Mojo and strives to promote each day's outstanding comments through nominations made by Kossacks like you. Please send comments (before 9:30pm ET) by email to topcomments@gmail.com or by our KosMail message board. Just click on the Spinning Top™ to make a submission. Look for the Spinning Top™ to pop up in diaries posts around Daily Kos.

Make sure that you include the direct link to the comment (the URL), which is available by clicking on that comment's date/time. Please let us know your Daily Kos user name if you use email so we can credit you properly. If you send a writeup with the link, we can include that as well. The diarist poster reserves the right to edit all content.

Please come in. You're invited to make yourself at home! Join us beneath the doodle...

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

There are different ways to make banh mi, but these are the essential ingredients:

- A petite baguette roll, which you should be able to find easily in any bakery.

- Meat. Typical banh mi will include such delicious meat options as chargrilled pork or chicken. As for me, I'm just using some marinated pork tenderloin I picked up in the supermarket. Not as good as something you'd find in a banh mi shop, but it works.

- Mayonnaise. You can use the mayonnaise you probably have in your fridge (not Miracle Whip!), but if you want to be a little more authentic, you can whip up some Vietnamese mayonnaise from scratch. Here is a good recipe--it's not hard, but you really need a hand mixer. I don't have one, so I'm just going to use regular ol' mayonnaise.

- Do chua, or pickled daikon and carrots. You should be able to find this in a Vietnamese market if you have one handy. If not, and if you don't have a wonderful Vietnamese momma-in-law like I do who has offered to bring me a big jar of it the next time she's in Houston, you might have to make it yourself. I'll explain how to do that below.

- Maggi seasoning sauce, available in the Asian section of any good supermarket.

- Long cucumber strips. Self-explanatory.

- Cilantro sprigs. Sorry, BeninSC, it's back. :p

Other common ingredients include liver pate and jalapeno (yuck--I'm sorry), but we're going to stick with the above ingredients for the purposes of this diary.

Okay, we're ready to get started. Making good banh mi requires you to start a day in advance, because the do chua needs to refrigerate overnight. Do chua, like I said above, is pickled daikon (a white radish you should be able to find in most supermarkets) and carrots. It provides a salty, somewhat spicy crunch to the banh mi. And it's pretty easy to make (I'll be following this recipe). You'll obviously need a daikon root (about a pound) and one very large carrot, both peeled and washed.

Cut the carrot into somewhat thick matchsticks. They need to be cut a little thick so they provide the necessary crunch.

Repeat the process for the daikon. I like to cut the daikon into fourths and proceed from there.

Put the daikon and carrot in a large bowl.

Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt and two teaspoons of sugar. Knead the vegetables with your hands for three minutes, squeezing what water you can out of them (to make them more crunchy). You will see a pool of liquid form at the bottom of the bowl.

Discard the liquid and put the daikon and carrot in a strainer. Rinse with cold water, then use your hands to press the excess water out of the vegetables.

Put the vegetables in a jar (or, if you're like me and only have half-pint jars, put them in four jars).

Now, you'll need to make the brine for the pickling. For this, combine 1/2 cup of sugar, 1-1/4 cups of white distilled vinegar, and a cup of lukewarm water in a bowl. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Ladle the brine over the daikon and carrot. There should be enough to cover the vegetables.

Cover the jars and put them in the refrigerator. As I said above, they should be refrigerated at least overnight before they are used. Do chua will last several weeks in the refrigerator, so don't worry about it going bad.

Now it's time to assemble the sandwich. Toast the baguette roll in the oven for a few minutes and then cut in half.

On one half of the bread, spread the mayonnaise. On the other half, drizzle some Maggi.

Add the meat.

Add a little of the do chua. Don't be alarmed when you open the jar and smell death--that's normal. Do chua is stinky!

Add the cucumber strip.

And, finally, add the cilantro.

Take a knife and squish the ingredients so you can close the bread.

And there you have it: You've just made banh mi.

Enjoy!

TOP COMMENTS  
June 7, 2013

Thanks to tonight's Top Comments contributors! Let us hear from YOU
when you find that proficient comment.

From enhydra lutris:

In a comment thread in his Evening Blues diary, joe shikspack unloaded this beauty regarding the whole phone spying flap.
From Youffraita:
In the Thursday night Write On! diary substitute hosted this week by pico, Emmet's lament about her tomatoes sparked a witty thread.
From citylights:
In Susan from 29's diary In Texas you can shoot an escort who won't sleep with you., MBNYC comments that there is no adequate response to the situation. Well, Susan from 29, being her usual smart and quick-witted self, points to MBNYC's sig line as a cogent response that applies: "Fuck me, it's a leprechaun."

I've laughed at that sig line myself when I've seen it before, but in this diary, I was really grateful for the moment of comic relief. So hats off to MBNYC and Susan from 29. And a big shout out to the genius who created (allowed for?) sig lines.

From cohenzee:
Sending in this delicious dose of snark from lotac from last night's Top Comments diary, hosted by Steveningen.
From FindingMyVoice:
NCJan hits the nail on the head concerning the GOP being the law and order party.
From TrueBlueMajority:
This comment by delphine is a perfect summary of why Rmoney lost.
From BlackSheep1
In shortfinals' (yay! welcome back!) excellent diary on the Waco gliders of WW2, from Otteray Scribe's depiction of the results of a typical backroom contractor deal (poetic justice?) to Quilldriver's enthusiasm, the whole thread is a classic.
From your humble diarist:
Via a suggestion, I am recommending that you read all of the comments in Verbalpaintball's diary Romney Couldn't afford to Compete with Obama, especially irate's, ivorybill's, miniaussiefan's, and delphine's (which TrueBlueMajority also nominated above).
From Steveningen's Top Comments diary last night on the despicable liar that is Tony Perkins, commonmass' description of what it's like writing about Religious Right asshats like Perkins is probably the best--and most accurate, having written extensively about these fools myself--I've ever seen.

TOP MOJO
June 6, 2013


(excluding Tip Jars and first comments)

Got mik!


  1) When Chris Hayes Had His Weekend MSNBC by webranding — 165
  2) IMO it's bigger than just Verizon by CitizenOfEarth — 113
  3) OF COURSE it's bigger than just Verizon by RFK Lives — 110
  4) Really? Your concern is in prosecuting the by JeremySchro — 105
  5) NSA is building a massive data storage facililty by Jesselyn Radack — 91
  6) I can't say what will happen by jfromga — 90
  7) According to WAPO this is business as usual by tardis10 — 88
  8) Christ on crutches. by loggersbrat — 87
  9) You have no idea what you're talking about by kovie — 86
10) Eric Holder, is that you? by Dallasdoc — 85
11) Don't forget 2014, brother! by AsianAfricanAmerican — 83
12) I Had A Long, Long Conversation About This by webranding — 81
13) Just Drove Past Megachurch #1, North of Akron by Gooserock — 75
14) Saw this story by ask — 75
15) This was all pretty obvious by slippytoad — 74
16) You mean their Minority Outreach effort isn't by TopCat — 72
17) And because this Democratic president by praenomen — 71
18) What did my call to my dad to see how he was doing by kovie — 68
19) The TRUTH: Greenwald's story scratches surface... by bobswern — 64
20) This has nothing to do with the state by Boris Godunov — 64
21) It's getting more and more sickening   by elwior — 63
22) A ruling class that makes the law an enemy by MrJayTee — 62
23) Still more absurdity. by tardis10 — 61
24) Would Romney have been any worse?  Yes. by Dallasdoc — 60
25) Time. To. Reform. The. Filibuster.  Full stop. by confitesprit — 59
26) They've been collecting these data for years by Dallasdoc — 58
27) I hope that this is helful in converations with by Pierretrudeau — 57
28) Huh with a capital HUH? by Crashing Vor — 56
29) Binney and Drake said the same on by Jesselyn Radack — 54
30) This is a democracy. by lyvwyr101 — 54

TOP PHOTOS
June 6, 2013


Enjoy jotter's wonderful PictureQuilt™ below. Just click on the picture and it will magically take you to the comment that features that photo. Have fun, Kossacks!

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