Yes, I will concede this one is not a proper banh mi in the strictest sense of what constitutes a baguette based sandwich. But this one is sold in Vietnam and underneath the cartoon cat on the wrapper is a Vietnamese label indicating this one is a gut busting tôm chiên trứng, or fried shrimp and egg.
By now you’ve probably seen the “Eat This, Not That” series in Men’s Health Magazine. You know the one. They try to steer you away from the chili, cheese, bacon octuplet ten pound burger slathered in mayo and coax you into ordering some anemic piece of turkey on whole grain toast. Tonight I think I ate a sandwich that would squarely land in the “Not That” category, at least by Vietnamese standards. If this were in the US, someone would look at this tiny thing and ask where the sandwich is.
This one was actually pretty tasty for a sandwich culled from a supermarket cooler though its ingredients would cause a bit of angst for the Men’s Health test kitchen. I love this one just for the fact that nothing in it comes even remotely close to any semblance of health. Fried shrimp form a nice cholesterol and fat based. A smear of egg salad adds the benefits of mayonnaise and whatever it is that makes an egg so bad. The white bread I know has zero health benefits since it’s basically just processed flour, but at least they were thoughtful enough to cut away the crusts.
So creamy egg salad, fried shrimp, mayo, a creamy hot sauce, and white bread…what more can a guy ask for in a 75 cent sandwich? I hear a collective groan over at Men’s Health right now as they scour Saigon for an “Eat This” substitute. That’s ok. I think every once in a while I think I can fall off the diet wagon and slip one of these bad boys into my lunch rotation. It’s all about moderation, right?