Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Maine Lobster Banh Mi (serves 2)

I made My Ultimate Maine Lobstah Rolls and they tasted great. So I thought I should make another sandwich inspired by the Vietnamese banh mi. The combination of my parents' fresh home-grown herbs and tender young mixed greens and my local French baguette made for a tasty banh mi. What is the difference between a lobster roll versus a Vietnamese banh mi, you may ask? Well, I think it's mainly the bread. The Vietnamese sandwich can be anything you put inside a French baguette. The imagination and creativity of what you want in a filling is up to you. There is no right or wrong way to make them. When I was a child (still living in Vietnam) my mother (to me she is a "jack of all trades") used to sell freshly made banh mi in a push cart outside of my grandparents' store. I remember her banh mi filled with delicious sliced char siu (Chinese barbecued pork) with cucumber sticks, some pickled carrots and daikon sticks, fresh herbs, and a drizzle of sauce including soy sauce. The filling for my own particular banh mi in this posting is made similar to the rolls posted earlier except I added a few extra ingredients such as the herbs/mixed greens, mayonnaise and hot sauce. My husband and I wolfed down these babies with cold beer. A perfect meal to end a hot and humid summer day in New Hampshire!

this woman reminds me of my mother making banh mi
(Chau Doc, Vietnam)

My Mother's Secret Butter Sauce

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/3 cup chopped scallions

Method:

In a hot sauce pan melt the butter. Once the butter has melted add garlic cloves, fish sauce, sugar and scallions. Cook until everything is blended and the scallions wilted (about a minute).

*I should say my mother never kept this sauce a secret. She made this when we first came to live in Bangor, Maine since 1980...after we discovered that we could drive 5 hours to Boston Chinatown for fish sauce! Most people I know in Maine eat lobsters and clams dipped in a butter sauce but this sauce was way too bland for us. So she came up with the idea to squirt some fish sauce and a few extra ingredients for a much better taste! Since then we always eat this sauce. Once you eat this you just might never go back to the bland butter sauce!
*I added garlic to my mother's sauce for extra flavor. You may adjust the sauce to according to your taste. 

Maine Lobster Banh Mi (serves 2)

Ingredients:

1 French baguette cut into 6 or 7 inch lengths, pan fried/grilled
8-10 oz of meat and roe (or meat from 1 large lobster)
My Mother's Secret Butter Sauce (see recipe above)
Lobster tomalley (liver)
Mayonnaise
Sriracha hot sauce
Fresh herbs and mixed young greens

Method:

1) Put a pat of butter or about 1/2 tablespoon of olive in a medium hot pan. Slice the baguette pieces horizontally leaving a little at the end so the halves are still attached. Spread the baguette out on the hot oiled pan and fry/grill until golden brown. May fry/grill both sides if interested. May do one baguette piece at a time.
2) In a hot pan heat the meat and roe with the butter sauce until well incorporated.
3) Spread the tomalley, mayonnaise, and sriracha sauce along the inside of the baguette.
4) Layer the bottom of the baguette with fresh herbs and mixed greens.
5) Stuff with buttered lobster meat.
6) Add a few herbs on top and drizzle more sriracha sauce to garnish if interested.

*Add as much or as little of the ingredients as you prefer. After all it is your own banh mi, make it how you want to devour it!!



*Above are a few photos of the flowers that I took in New Hampshire and in Massachusetts. The hydrangea plants (lower photo) are now blooming with beautiful and colorful flowers.

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