Sandwiches and burgers come in various sizes, shapes, flavors and textures, and banh mi is one of them.
It’s a Vietnamese sandwich made of a French baguette, split lengthwise and filled with savory items.
The baguette is airy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, and the fillings vary from place to place.
In Vietnam, it’s a food staple of the majority of the population who belong to the working class.
You can eat banh mi as a snack or a whole meal, depending on how hungry you are at the moment.
Along with it, you can also add side dishes which you can make at home or buy readymade from a suitable place.
So, if you are thinking about what to serve with banh mi, read on.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Banh Mi?
Though stuffed initially with savory ingredients, you can add sweet items to banh mi too.
You can have it alone of course, as mentioned earlier, but why not add side dishes?
Having side dishes with the sandwich can be even more fulfilling, and you get to taste diverse flavors.
If you serve it at home to guests, it will also look prettier with some side dishes.
What’s more, you will feel like eating a different food when you have a side dish to accompany your banh mi.
What to Serve with Banh Mi? 7 BEST Side Dishes
Here’s a detailed answer with a table comparing the key characteristics of the 7 best side dishes to serve with Banh Mi:
|Side Dish||Key Characteristics|
|Baked Beans||Sweet and savory, adds a hearty element to the meal|
|Fresh Salad||Crisp and refreshing, provides a light counterpart to the Banh Mi|
|Vegetable Spring Rolls||Light and flavorful, complements the Banh Mi with additional textures|
|Potato Salad||Creamy and tangy, offers a cool and creamy contrast to the Banh Mi|
|Mixed Fruit Salad||Refreshing and adds a burst of natural sweetness to the meal|
|Chips||Crunchy and satisfying, serves as a simple and easy side option|
|Coleslaw Salad||Creamy and crunchy, pairs well with the Banh Mi’s flavors|
Now let’s dive into each side dish in more detail:
1 – Baked Beans
What can be better than a bowl of baked beans to go along with banh mi?
It’s so delicious and filling that one sandwich and bowl of baked beans will satiate you.
It’s also easy to make, and you can have a flavor of your preference.
Baked beans is a simple dish of beans cooked low and slow using either sweet or savory sauce.
Though its origins lie in Native American cuisine, it’s a popular dish across the world now.
You can use a variety of beans to make the dish though most people use navy beans.
2 – Fresh Salad
Salads are versatile dishes as they go ideally well with almost anything, and they can taste great with banh mi too.
You certainly have several vegetable options in your fridge so you can quickly make something.
Besides, vegetables contain plenty of nutrients, so salads provide nourishment and freshness to the sandwich.
You also don’t need loads of other ingredients except for some lemon, roasted garlic, olive oil and salt; you can add pepper only if you want to.
Make a salad with fresh greens like lettuce, spinach, cilantro, broccoli, and cabbage, or you can also use tomatoes, onions, carrots, beets, parsnips and other items.
3 – Vegetable Spring Rolls
Also called summer rolls, they can work as a side dish with banh mi.
Because vegetable spring rolls are versatile, and you can eat them anywhere.
They are also easy to make, and you can create your own versions.
Try the one with rice paper, tofu, roasted mushrooms and raw vegetables along with a dipping sauce made of peanuts and chili.
Some variants also contain glass noodles with sweet fish sauce, soy sauce with chili or even sweet and sour tomato sauce.
4 – Potato Salad
If there is nothing else, well, why worry? You can always rely on the ever-available but tasty potato.
A potato salad can be an ideal side dish with banh mi because you can make different versions quickly, and they taste great.
Potatoes also don’t have overpowering flavors, so a salad will complement the taste of banh mi.
Besides, you can get several nutrition benefits from potatoes.
Take some tiny potatoes and put them in salted water in a pot or pan, and when it starts boiling, lower the flame and let it simmer.
When you can pass a fork to the center, take the potatoes out and put them in an ice bath.
Peel the skin, add mayonnaise and little sour cream.
You can also include onions, celery and some herbs like cilantro and chives and hard-boiled eggs if you want.
Mix all the ingredients well, and you are ready to serve.
5 – Mixed Fruit Salad
Anything with fruits often tends to be delicious and versatile.
If you are wondering what to have with a savory banh mi, mixed fruit salad will always be a good choice.
Because fruits are easy to get, you have plenty of choices.
At the same time, fruits are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and they can offer plenty of health benefits.
So, you have freshness, flavor and goodness all together at once.
6 – Chips
Yes, believe it or not, but a bowl of chips can also be a great side dish with banh mi.
Because chips are flavorful and crunchy, and they can taste great with the crusty and airy sandwich.
You can also find many varieties of chips at the stores, so the choice is endless.
There are several ways to use the chips, as you can go with one particular type or mix 2- 3 varieties.
You can also add a dipping sauce to enhance the flavor even more.
You could try the plain, salted chips or the tangy and spicy mix or even the one flavored with bacon.
Maybe you like the one flavored with cheese and sour cream.
Not just potato chips, but there are more made with banana, plantain, cassava, sweet potato, parsnip and others.
7 – Coleslaw Salad
Last but certainly not least, a vinegar-based coleslaw salad can round up the list.
You can use it as a side dish with banh mi because it can provide even more freshness, variety in flavor, and it’s healthy.
It’s also delicious, and the ingredients are easy to find.
You can buy shredded carrots and cabbage in green and red to make it even more visually attractive.
Salt the cabbage, let it rest for one or two hours and then rinse.
Chop onions (red) and cilantro and mix with apple cider vinegar, kosher salt, black pepper, olive oil, and sprinkle lime juice.
Put the dressing in the fridge and mix it with the rinsed cabbage after 1- 2 hours, and it’s ready to serve.
You will have a delicious, crunchy bowl of coleslaw that will make your banh mi meal even more enjoyable.
There is no reason why you shouldn’t eat banh mi alone.
But if you can have side dishes, a mealtime becomes more exciting.
Besides, you can also show off your culinary expertise to family, friends and guests.
If you’re fond of eating banh mi regularly, using different side dishes will keep away the boredom we often feel when eating the same thing frequently.
Apart from the seven dishes, you can try other things.
Chefs and enthusiasts also suggest that you can use any side dish that goes with sandwiches and hamburgers.
So, you have unlimited choices.