I admit, I don't come across too many recipes for sardines. I love them; the savory, soft fish in tangy chili tomato sauce. I usually eat them the way my mom served them when I was growing up -- reheating the sardines in a small pan on the stove top and adding a few dashes of fish sauce for flavor. Then, I'd either stuff them into toasted Vietnamese-French bread or use the bread to mop up the fishy tomato sauce.
So really, that's not much of a recipe. Nor is it very photogenic. But there's no reason why you can't make a full Vietnamese sandwich with sardines, complete with pickled carrots and daikon, cucumber slices, and sprigs of cilantro. In fact, the fresh vegetables are the perfect pairing to balance the fishiness of sardines.
Banh Mi Ca Moi (Vietnamese Sardine Sandwich)
For one sandwich, you'll need:
Do Chua (Vietnamese Pickled Carrots and Daikon)
8-oz tin of sardines in tomato sauce
1/2 tsp Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce)
A schmear of mayonnaise or butter, if you wish
Vietnamese-French bread or baguette
If you don't have any on hand, make sure you prepare the Vietnamese pickles first so they have time to marinate.
In a small saucepan on medium heat, add the can of sardines and 1/2 tsp of fish sauce. The sardines are already cooked, you're just warming them up and letting the fish sauce infuse them for flavor.
While the sardines are simmering, slice the cucumbers and wash the cilantro.
Put the bread in the toaster oven for a few minutes.
Then assemble the sandwich, cutting the loaf in half length-wise, add a bit of mayonnaise or butter if you wish, and stuffing it with the sardines, pickled carrots and daikon, julienned cucumbers, and cilantro. The bones in the sardines should be soft enough to eat, but you can remove them if you'd like. Don't add the tomato sauce or the sandwich will get too soggy. You can dip the sandwich in the extra tomato sauce or have extra bread on hand to do so.
Or just add the sardines to a regular meaty banh mi.
Other Vietnamese banh mi recipes:
Banh Mi Hot Ga Op La (Vietnamese French Bread with Sunny Side Up Eggs)
Banh Mi Thit Heo Nuong (Vietnamese Grilled Pork Sandwich)
Banh Mi Thit Kho Trung (Vietnamese Braised Pork and Egg Sandwich)
Banh Mi Xa Xiu (Vietnamese Barbecued Pork Sandwich)
Banh Mi Xiu Mai (Vietnamese Meatball Sandwich)
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