Faux Saigon Subs

Let’s talk about my favorite Vietnamese sandwich.
Well, it’s inspired by the Vietnamese banh mi.
With traditional Chinese flavorings.
And a slaw that would not seem out of place in a Thai restaurant.
So, yeah…this really isn’t Vietnamese.
It’s really just an impostor.
Faux Saigon Subs

Ingredients (serves 4):
1 lb meat – pork, beef, chicken, or any combo thereof
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (preferably panko)
2 Tbsp. Chinese five spice
2 tsp. fish sauce
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, cleaned and chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
sambal olek to taste
1 batch Asian Sandwich Slaw
1 baguette, cut into 4 equal pieces

 1) Put your meat into a large bowl and mix it with the Chinese 5 spice.

 2) Add the breadcrumbs, scallions, and cilantro,

 and the fish sauce. Mix until all ingredients are combined.

 3) Make yourself a test patty in a saute pan and see if you need to add anything. I needed to add quite a bit more fish sauce, which really caramelized and adds a salty sweetness to the meat. But feel free to add whatever else you need. The tip to make a test patty is some of the best cooking advice I ever received.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 F.

4) When your meat is seasoned well, make oblong patties, about 1/4 of an inch thick, and put them on a tinfoiled sheet pan. You want two patties per sandwich, and they should each be quite thin, so that the patties cook quickly and the sandwiches can be easily eaten.

 5) Your patties should be done in about 10 minutes, or when the inside is completely brown, but not at all dried out. Start checking at 7 minutes, just so you don’t overcook them.

 6) Now assemble your sandwiches, layering the mayonnaise, sambal olek…


 and, finally, meat.

7) Serve. 
The only phrase for this is “Oh, hell yes!” Soft bread. Spicy sambal. Creamy mayonnaise. Tangy and herbal slaw. Salty, sweet, juicy meat. Textures and flavors that come together harmoniously and taste complex, deep, and well rounded. It’s impossible to eat this and not feel warm and cozy on the inside – you just have to feel happy when eating a sandwich that tantalizes all of your tastebuds at once. Isn’t this what eating is all about? Feeling happy and feeling sated.
It might be faux, but this sandwich is the real deal. 


  1. Did you have any left overs that you put in the fridge? I want to know if its good as a cold sandwich. Thanks! Love the blog!

  2. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @Alice-yes, it's fantastic cold! Thanks so much for the blog kudos!

  3. This is one beautiful looking sub! So many colours and flavours, I’d definitely enjoy a couple of these on my backdeck! Great recipe!