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Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Subway Launches Banh Mi

Subway launches the Vietnamese Bahn Mi!

Okay, not really. But I gotcha, didn’t I??

Guess, who got me? Eat Drink & Be Merry, one of the very first bloggers I’ve ever met in person waaaay back nearly 4 years ago.

His poster design on the left here was so convincing (EDBM is a graphic designer by day) that I held my breath as I scanned the post. Until I got to this photo:

Ok Ok. Joke. Ha ha! Jared does look quite dashing in that rice paddy.

EDBM actually went to a Subway to see if he could re-create a Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich, bringing along his own pate, Maggi, scrambled egg, fresh jalapenos to add on to Subway’s regular fare.

I took on the challenge, but I only brought one item with me – the essential Maggi Sauce.

And hey, kids, if you bring along Maggi sauce with you in your purse, make sure you double-bag it.

Maggi sauce: great condiment, horrible fabric freshener.

My mini-Maggi:

I haven’t set foot into a Subway in 2 years, but I see very little has changed.

I asked for a cold cut, since the Banh Mi I love has pate — so I figure this cold cut “meat” would be close enough. Have them toast your bread to give it a good crunch, just like Vietnamese Banh Mi french bread.

Lettuce, tomatoes, jalapenos, red onion, pickles and a bit of mayonnaise. Of course, pickles aren’t normally part of the Banh Mi experience, but I needed that pickle element to replace the daikon/carrot pickle. sidenote: didn’t Subway used to have shredded carrots?

And there we have it. the Subway sandwich. Not so appetizing.

Maybe this angle will make it look better.

Nope.

How about adding posing the mini-Maggi in the photo? Ahhh much better.

Forget the sandwich, let’s focus on the mini-Maggi.

Just a few shakes on one side:

And then the other:

And there we have it, the Subway Banh Mi, with just one addition – the almighty Maggi Sauce.

The taste? Well, let’s just say that if I was put on a desert island, that ONE THING I’d bring would be Maggi Sauce. It makes everything taste better. The sandwich was not bad! Certainly holds no candle to a real Banh Mi, but hey, given whatcha got, improvising is the name of the game and this will certainly do!

You can find Maggi sauce at your Asian grocer. I’ve also have seen it at regular supermarkets – look in 2 different places. If you don’t find it in the “Ethnic Aisle” (ugh, when will supermarkets ever get rid of that section and just integrate world foods in with the regular ‘ol American stuff?!) or look in the section where they sell broth, bouillon and soup mixes.

I know you’re going to ask me where I bought my mini-Maggi – it was at an Asian market near my house. I haven’t seen any other retailer sell it. Next time I go there, I’ll buy an entire case of ‘em to stock up. I never want to be too far away from my Maggi.

I leave you with a final photo, my husband walking out of a Subway. He didn’t want to try the Subway Banh Mi. It was his choice, but he stuck with the regular menu.

Obviously, wrong choice.



31 Responses to “Subway Launches Banh Mi”

  1. Kim — 2/19/11 @ 4:32 pm

    …I was actually wondering what this was all about?! Nice false alarm! And kickin’ poster. :-)

    [K]

  2. JulieD — 2/19/11 @ 4:36 pm

    I’m glad it was a false alarm! You got me!

  3. Eating Bangkok — 2/19/11 @ 4:54 pm

    You totally had me fooled…and excited. We have one small Vietnamese grocery in my town and they travel to Philly once a week, sometimes they bring banh mi back, sometimes not. Usually we have to get there right around the time they return or the banh mi is sold out. This past Thursday was disappointment for us, the banh mi was all gone :( I thought I was going to have a fall back for my banh mi cravings…oh well patience is a virtue they say.

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  5. Lori Lynn — 2/19/11 @ 5:16 pm

    Subway is my all time FAVORITE restaurant. I think I could eat 7 days a week, and some days I’ve come rather close!

  6. elaine — 2/19/11 @ 8:31 pm

    I love that sauce! where did you find a mini? add that to my mini tabasco and I am all set! Do they make mini siracha sauce? be still my heart….

  7. Beth M — 2/19/11 @ 9:40 pm

    Ha! I LOVED this post! You totally had me tricked with the title and first graphic! I also loved the challenge of trying to recreate the banh mi… hilarious! A very enjoyable read :)

  8. Jean — 2/19/11 @ 9:58 pm

    I gasped…I squealed…and then I sighed. You had me there. I was soooo excited. You really should contact Subway and suggested they actually add a bahn mi to their menu. I bet they’d be blown away by how many they would sell.

    Fortunately for those of us living in Columbus, there is a great Vietnamese place at the North Market. Lac Viet’s bahn mi rocks!!! I’ve blogged about them and their bahn mi. Now I am craving one.

    Subway would be ever so much more convenient, though.

  9. catherine — 2/20/11 @ 8:22 am

    what , exactly, should be in a bahn mi. and what kind of seasoning is maggi. is it similar to soy sauce? teriyaki?
    i guess its obvious i am not very educated in world cuisine, having grown up with a ‘georgia peach’ for a mom we certainly didn’t get the experince of anything if it wasn’t deep fried or stewed. my mom was actually a great cook just not very adventurous.

  10. Karla — 2/20/11 @ 8:24 am

    Jaden–

    I just went to a Vietnamese place on Friday night (on 301 near downtown Sarasota) and they had Banh Mi! We have been missing good Vietnamese food since moving here from Hawaii and I have especially missed my Vietnamese sandwich. It was great and just what I needed to make me miss Hawaii even more…….

  11. Susan @ SGCC — 2/20/11 @ 11:15 am

    Cute! Have you tried the little banh mi shop down on US 301 yet? (I think they still have the old “Sub Conscious” sign up.) I’m no expert, but I thought they were pretty good. They have several different varieties and they make all of their own baguettes. Pretty good soups too.

  12. That’s hilarious. My husband has been on a huge banh mi kick lately. I finally had my first one yesterday – the BBQ pork was awesome. No Maggi, though – I’ll remember that next time. :-)

  13. Great post..too funny. Now you have me really wanting a Banh Mi…hmmm the day is young!

  14. Anuman — 2/20/11 @ 12:07 pm

    maggi is dark hydrolyzed vegetable protein seasoning that tastes like soysauce but does not contain any soya. Maggi was developed near the turn of the century in switzerland as a substitute for meat extract. it is still used as a staple in swiss, austrian and german kitchens today

  15. Emily — 2/21/11 @ 4:06 am

    Maggi! I am confused – why is Maggi associated with Asian cuisine? I live in Germany and yes, Maggi is a staple in every kitchen. They sell mini maggis at many stores here..

  16. Stephanie Brown — 2/21/11 @ 11:33 am

    You had me going. I was about to lose my mind. I sat all weekend looking at pictures of banh mi chay and drooling heavily.

  17. Sunny H — 2/21/11 @ 12:32 pm

    Ha, Ha, we use maggi all the time! In our soups and in our dishes! Our local wholesaler stocks it in large bottles, which we transfer to the minis. Our local grocery stores carry it as well as our dutch store!
    Can’t have soup without it!

  18. Deborah — 2/21/11 @ 12:43 pm

    When I read the title I was almost out the door, then you said “read the post”..Okay you tricked us, but you did give me a great idea. Next time I go to Subway I will bring my mini bottle of maggi as it would go pretty well with the cold cut sub which is what I always buy…

  19. Terry Mac — 2/21/11 @ 1:23 pm

    Got me too! Will look for the mini maggi…..maggi on everything makes it better. I have one big giant-sized one int the fridge that I go through rather quickly, and have never thought to carry a mini with me, but great idea!

  20. Debbie — 2/21/11 @ 10:30 pm

    we’ll try the maggi seasoning….we’d been improvising our own banh mi sandwich with just mayo, cilantro, turkey deli & lots of chili peppers.

  21. momgateway — 2/21/11 @ 11:33 pm

    I’m a Maggi-fan too..it makes anything savory good!

  22. food courts — 2/22/11 @ 2:35 am

    Oh my goodness, I have just found your blog and I think I love it. I will try this at my home.

  23. Mararia — 2/22/11 @ 9:25 am

    I made it las night and my boys asked me to thank you for the mega – sandwich. I found the maggi seasoning in Madrid too! it enriches the flavour. I must try with cilantro as Debbie says.

  24. bina edwards — 2/22/11 @ 9:38 am

    I’m more of a Quizno’s sub person, after all, they were the orgiinal toatsted sandwich and now everyone else jumped onto the band wagon…. and my family has used Maggi for years..my mom always used it in soups …and she’s from germany lol

  25. esther — 2/22/11 @ 10:57 am

    You totally got me as well!!

    But even with the entire bottle of Maggi – sadly, that sandwich could NEVER come close to banh mi! If anything, I would say use Sriacha sauce and cilantro to transform the sad sandwich to maybe become Banh Mi’s distant cousin. =)

  26. TuyetHoaTienTu — 2/26/11 @ 1:43 pm

    Didn’t know that they are launching a Vietnamese sandwich at Subway! Cool. But looking at the ingredients, its not close to the Banh Mi I usually had in VietNam. The bread is crunchy and soft even if its cold, and the ingredients is totally different except for the soy sauce. I guess they made it differently than over there.

  27. TuyetHoaTienTu — 2/26/11 @ 1:46 pm

    Lol. I thought it was for real, not that I realized it and read some of the comments! It would be great it they did. I miss Banh Mi T_T.

  28. joey — 3/7/11 @ 12:32 am

    Hahaha! Loved this post! I love banh mi and of course Maggi rocks! ;) I have to find a mini-Maggi here!!!

  29. Kookie — 3/10/11 @ 11:11 am

    Eiiii, my jaw dropped when I read Banh mi at Subway. My first thought was it can’t be good — Subway’s bread is nowhere near the French light crusty baguette, an essential part of the banh mi “experience.” And experience it is. It’s such a perfect, delish combo of taste and texture. But … I don’t think mine have ever had Maggi sauce on them. I will ask about this next time I get one. My fav source is a tiny banh mi shop which holds about six people max. And that’s people standing up, not sitting down! I am happy today because Last night, I made my first run at pickling carrots and daikon so I can have it when I want it. Thiis morn, a quick taste before breakfast even. Oops, a tad too much fish sauce. Need to fine tune. And now I’m hearing about Maggi sauce, who knew? If it’s on banh mi, then Maggi sauce will be in Asian stores around here. Maggi seasoning, also a liquid, is in all the major grocery chains. Wonder whether that’s the same?

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