Monday, January 11, 2010

Grilled Pork Banh Mi Bento

This post is part of a collective joint post extolling the virtues of Banh Mi as a bento item. My fellow bento bloggers and I wanted to show how this sandwich can be modified to fit nicely into just about any kind of nutritional lifestyle. We all make bento with different objectives, for people with different tastes and caloric requirements, yet we are all able to utilize this item effectively. There is a banh mi for everyone! Read more about how the delicious and versatile banh mi is playing a part in:

vegan/vegetarian adult bento for Debra at hapabento,

healthy yet tasty adult bento for megan at bento zen,


kid-friendly bento for Susan at Hawai'i's Bento Box Cookbook!

Banh Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich. It is widely available where I live (California) from ubiquitous Vietnamese restaurants and delis, in any number of varieties. They usually have some kind of meat filling (such as bbq or grilled chicken, pork or beef), which is accompanied by cucumbers, pickled carrots and daikon on a crunchy soft French sandwich roll. It's very delicious, fresh and light, and also very inexpensive. The kids really like it, so naturally it's a regular go-to lunch item in our house!

MisterMan is a typical, active first-grader, so I sent him to school with a bit over half of a sandwich. To the grilled pork and pickled veggies I added more cilantro as well as dandelion greens. He'll take awhile to crunch through this big sandwich, so in the side section I added just a few fruits: kumquats, cherries and checkered apple. Recently I've noticed that I have to take time consideration into account, as he's told me a couple times that he "runs out of time" to finish! I think maybe he wants to rush out to the playground with the other kids after lunch.

Did you notice my new sandwich bento box? Up to now I have always used my Keroppi basket bento box, which you may have seen before, in a past banh mi bento post. This one has a flip-top lid and an included side cup. It's just the right size for a sandwich and a side, or some musubi and a side. But best of all, since it's not a basket, I don't have to wrap in paper to prevent drying out. It's so cute! Here's how it looks all closed up:

Do you have a favorite banh mi? Tell me about it! Or, if you've never tried it, perhaps we have piqued your interest :)


  1. i love love love this new box!! the checkered apple and car baran are so cute on the side too, and it's a great idea to add additional herbs/greens to the sandwich-- it's so flavorful that you can sneak some extra nutrition in! hope misterman enjoys :-)

  2. You used the new sandwich box! Great bahn mi, it fits perfectly into the box with all of the fruit and checkered apple!

  3. How cool to be able to use this awesome new bento box for banh mi! Lovely presentation as always! Is that a car baran? Cute! High fives and fist bumps!

  4. Thanks megan, Susan and Debra! This was a fun collaboration! It'll be interesting to see what kind of comments folks have on the different banh mi takes :)

  5. Looks delicious! I have seen banh mi before but never tried it! I think I will have to now seeing all of the delicious options!

  6. like the box because of the translucent cover :) best banh mi i ate in Hanoi was with a thick slice of pate accompanied with freshly brewed Vietnamese coffee - talking about it now is making me drool.

  7. Oooo! I just saw these sandwiches on TV a few nights ago and they looked delish! I'm gonna have to find somewhere to try one. Great bento!

  8. Hi Jenn! I hope you get a chance to try a banh mi... there are enough varieties to please anyone, and they are actually pretty healthy with all the fresh veggies too!

    Javapot, thanks! I like looking through the box at my food too :) Most places here don't use pate, don't know why. Maybe a US thing? I also LOVE Vietnamese coffee, on ice, with condensed milk..yum!!

    Michelle, haha, what were you watching? I've never seen them advertised! I hope it means there's one near you so you can try! Thanks a lot :)

  9. omg! Vietnamese Banh Mi! <3 I used to eat it alot in my childhood °__° I especially loved Banh mi thit heo (with pork) and bahn mit cha lua (pork roll)The combination with all the herbs and the pickeld carrot and daikon are so delicious. In Vietnam they normally use pate a lot :D

    I stopped eating it, cause I try to eat vegetarian. Thx for the link to the vegetarian banh mi post from hapa bento! I will try it with Tofu the next time ;D

    and btw. your new bento-box is fantastic! It's perfekt for sandwiches like this! :D

  10. Hi Token!
    Yay! It's a great kid food, isn't it? I remember eating some with pate in the past, when I was younger. Maybe you have to request it now..
    I agree, the tofu banh mi looks/sounds tasty. I want to try it too!
    Thanks a lot for your nice comments! :)

  11. Your Banh Mi bento looks awesome delicious Sheri and fit perfectly in your new box yeay ... \(^.^)/
    Never make one but try it before in Vietnamese resto.

  12. Be sure you all have picked my interest. But It's hopeless if you can't get it around here =/

    Your new box looks nice ^-^ Everything fit in perfectly ;)

  13. Your bentos always inspire me !!..(;-DX

  14. Thanks so much Lia! Yeah, I had to get the box just for this banh mi post, hehe! I don't make them either; it's so easy to buy :)

    Thanks Lil'chan! Not enough Vietnamese influence where you are? Maybe you can do it Susan's way and make it.. she does make it sound easy.

    Hi MAHOUTAKE, many thanks!! So kind of you.. :D