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Divide approx. 30g of the cooked noodles to each chicken soup portion just before serving

These gluten-free Banh Mi (Bánh mì) sandwiches are the ultimate Asian crispy, aromatic and succulent sandwich out there! Each bite is a taste bomb of tender marinated pork slices followed by pâté (French influence), various condiments, simple pickled and fresh vegetables plus plenty of fresh herbs encased in soft, typical Vietnamese mini baguette.

In Vietnam, Banh Mi means bread of any kind, although it is strongly associated with the baguette, introduced by the French in the 1860s. Slowly the Vietnamese changed the French crusty baguette to a softer texture with local ingredients such as rice flour.

My recipe includes steps to make:
  • gluten-free soft mini baguettes

  • a simple pork seasoning (to replace the char siu marinade)
  • cooking two different pork cuts, fillet/tenderloin or pork belly
  • a daikon & carrot pickle
  • assembly steps to fill the baguettes

About the gluten-free soft, mini baguettes:

These mini baguettes have been adapted from my gluten-free baguette recipe. As Banh Mi typically uses softer, fluffier bread, I have added extra rice flour to achieve that texture. The results are a soft and flexible roll to easily fill and expand with the high amount of fillings needed in Banh Mi sandwiches.

About the Banh Mi fillings:

The recipe offers two versions for preparing the pork cuts – one is a healthier pork fillet or tenderloin, and the other is more fattier (but tastier) pork belly cut. You can choose between these two cuts to suit your dietary needs.

Transfer the fried pork to a place and cover with foil while frying the remaining pork.

In this recipe, I offer two pork seasoning options. For a sweet and rich flavour, you can select to make a char siu marinade for either pork cuts, or opt for a simple seasoning to sprinkle over the pork.

The Paté is a typical Vietnamese addition to the Banh Mi spread on the upper half of the baguette, but feel free to leave this out to lower your calorie and fat intake.

Mayonnaise, sweet chilli sauce and a drizzle of the coco or Braggs amino are spread and drizzled on the lower half of the baguette. The amino concoction adds an amazing and highly praised umami flavour for a typical Banh Mi flavour. Normally, Maggi Seasoning is used, but unfortunately, this is riddled with gluten!

Personally, I think the star of the sandwich is the zing from the daikon and carrot pickle. This is a great sandwich addition to many other sandwich fillings along with curries, fried rice and salads.

Allow to pickle for a minimum of 30 minutes to several days. Keep chilled once opened.

The sandwich is complete when thinly sliced cucumber, spring onions and fresh coriander & mint are topped over the carrot & daikon pickle.

Try to serve these Banh Mi Sandwiches immediately,

What is Daikon?

Daikon, also known as winter radish or mooli, is a long, white radish which can be eaten raw due to its lighter peppery taste.

 
How to assemble Banh Mi Sandwiches:

Once all the fillings are prepared, follow these steps to fill your Banh Mi sandwich:

 

Gluten-Free Banh Mi

by Sandra, Fun Without Gluten
Banh Mi is the ultimate Asian crispy, aromatic and succulent sandwich out there! Each bite is a taste bomb of tender marinated pork slices followed by simple pickled and fresh vegetables plus plenty of fresh herbs encased in soft, typical Vietnamese mini baguette. This is a super flavoured-packed sandwich that you will never forget. Give it a go, you'll know what I mean once you try this unique sandwich!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Course baking, bread, Lunch, Picnic, Snack
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 8 Banh Mi sandwiches

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Gluten-Free Soft Mini Baguettes (skip this section if using store-bought gluten-free mini baguettes)

  • 15 (4) g (tsp) dried yeast
  • 4 tsp white sugar
  • 100 ml warm water
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 250 ml fizzy water or soda water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 500 g store-bought or homemade gluten-free bread flour 
  • 70 g white rice flour
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • Rice or tapioca flour, for rolling & dusting

Carrot & Daikon Pickle

  • 2 large carrots
  • 1/2 large daikon or mooli
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 250 ml water
  • 125 ml white vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 50 g white sugar
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 fresh lemongrass optional, ends removed and smashed slightly
  • 1 red chilli optional, split in half partially
  • 1 garlic, peeled and smashed slightly

Char Siu Pork Marinade (skip this section if using the simple seasoning mix recipe below)

Simple Pork Sesaoning Mix (Substitute the char siu sauce with this simple seasoning instead)

Pork Cut

  • 500 g pork fillet or tenderloin, or
  • 500-700 g pork belly, remove any bones or boney nuggets

Extra

  • 8 store-bought mini baguettes, if not baking my fresh soft mini baguettes
  • vegetable or sunflower oil, to brush the frying pan
  • tsp sea salt, to sprinkle on pork belly skin

Banh Mi Sandwich Fillings

  • 50 g veal, chicken, pork or mushroom paté
  • 4 tbsp low fat or regular mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tbsp coco aminos or Braggs liquid amino
  • 3 spring onions, ends removed & sliced in thin slivers then soaked in iced cold water for extra crispiness
  • ½ cucumber, unpeeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 red chilli, sliced thinly, seeded to lower spiciness (Optional)
  • ½ handfull fresh coriander and mint leaves, removed from stalks and left whole

Instructions
 

GLUTEN-FREE SOFT MINI BAGUETTES (skip this section if using store-bought gluten-free mini baguettes)

    Preparing the soft baguette dough

    • Activate the yeast by mixing it with the sugar and warm water in a glass measuring jug and allow it to rise for 10 minutes in a warm place.
    • Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites, salt and oils to the bowl and whisk lightly.
    • Add the yeast mixture, increase the speed and whisk well.
    • In a separate bowl, mix the bread flour, rice flour and xanthan gum together.
    • Change the whisk attachment to the dough hook and mix half of the flour mixture into the whisked yeast mixture.
    • Mix the fizzy water or soda water with the lemon juice in a separate jug.
    • While the stand mixer is mixing at a low speed, gradually add half of the fizzy lemon water. Increase the speed as it starts to combine.
    • Once well combined, add the remaining bread flour, followed by the rest of the fizzy lemon water.
    • Knead the dough at low speed and then gradually increase the speed to medium-low for 5 minutes. If the dough appears and feels too sticky, add a few tablespoons of flour at a time and continue kneading until the dough feels soft but not sticky.

    Shaping the soft baguette dough

    • On a lightly rice/tapioca flour-dusted surface, tip the dough out of the bowl and start dividing the dough into equal portions and shaping each piece into approx. 15cm baguette logs.
      Shape each gluten-free soft mini baguette into 15 cm logs
    • Sprinkle some rice/tapioca flour on a baguette baking tray or regular baking tray. Place each baguette on the tray and sprinkle the baguettes lightly with rice flour. Cover the baguettes with oiled plastic wrap and a tea towel.
      Sprinkle some flour over the gluten-free soft mini baguettes and allow to rise
    • Rise for 2 hours In a warm place.

    Baking the soft baguettes

    • Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
    • Pour some boiling water in a roasting tray and position it on the bottom shelf of the oven. This will create a perfect steamy environment for the baguette to bake well in.
    • Using a sharp knife or blade, score a line down the centre of each baguette.
      Using a sharp knife or blade, score a line down the centre of each gluten-free soft mini baguette.
    • Sprinkle the top of the baguette with some rice/tapioca flour.
    • Place the baguettes on the middle shelf and bake for 15-20 minutes.
    • After 15 minutes, check the baguettes. The baguettes are ready when they appear slightly golden and sound hollow when tapped. If not, bake for another 5 minutes.
      The gluten-free soft mini baguettes are ready when they appear golden and sound hollow when tapped.
    • Cover the baguettes with a clean tea towel and allow them to cool down on the baking tray for 30 minutes before slicing and filling the baguettes.

    Carrot & Daikon Pickle

    • Peel the carrots and daikon. Cut them to equal lengths.
    • Julienne (slice into matchstick shapes) the carrots and daikon then place them in a medium glass or ceramic bowl.
      Julienne (slice into matchstick shapes) the carrots and daikon
    • Sprinkle the sea salt over the vegetables and using clean hands, massage the salt into them gently. Cover and allow to rest for 20 mins.
      Sprinkle the sea salt over the vegetables and using clean hands, massage the salt into them gently. Cover and allow to rest for 20 mins.
    • While resting, the salt will draw the moisture from the vegetables, collecting liquid at the bottom of the bowl. Discard this liquid.
      While resting, the salt will draw the moisture from the vegetables, collecting liquid at the bottom of the bowl. Discard this liquid.
    • Test to see if the vegetables are ready to be pickled by bending several daikon and carrot pieces. They should bend easily without snapping in half.
      Test to see if the vegetables are ready to be pickled by bending several daikon and carrot pieces. They should bend easily without snapping in half.
    • Prepare the pickling liquid by combining the water, vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat.
      Prepare the pickling liquid by combining the water, vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat.
    • After 5 minutes, whisk the liquid and once the sugar has dissolved and the liquid appears clear, turn the heat off and allow the pickling liquid to cool down for 5 minutes.
      After 5 minutes, whisk the liquid and once the sugar has dissolved and the liquid appears clear, turn the heat off and allow the pickling liquid to cool down for 5 minutes.
    • Fill a large sterilised glass jar with the daikon and carrots pieces.
    • For extra flavour, add a lemongrass, whole split red chilli and a smashed garlic clove to the sides of the jar.
      Fill a large sterilised glass jar with the daikon and carrots pieces.
    • Pour the pickling liquid into the jar until it reaches the top. Push down the vegetables with a clean spoon to submerge them in the liquid. Close the jar with a lid.
      Pour the pickling liquid into the jar until it reaches the top. Push down the vegetables with a clean spoon to submerge them in the liquid. Close the jar with a lid.
    • Allow to pickle for a minimum of 30 minutes to several days. Keep chilled once opened.
      Allow to pickle for a minimum of 30 minutes to several days. Keep chilled once opened.

    CHAR SIU PORK MARINADE (skip this section if using the simple seasoning mix recipe below)

      USING PORK FILLET OR TENDERLOIN

        Marinating the pork fillet or tenderloin

        • Blend all the marinade ingredients together in a food processor or with a stick blender.
        • Wipe the pork cut dry with paper towels and slice the pork very thinly. Transfer to a glass or ceramic bowl.
          Wipe the pork cut dry with paper towels and slice the pork very thinly. Transfer to a glass or ceramic bowl.
        • Pour the char siu marinade into the bowl and mix the pork, coating each slice with the marinade. Cover and chill for at least one hour or overnight to develop more flavour.
          Pour the char siu marinade into the bowl and mix the pork, coating each slice with the marinade. Cover and chill for at least one hour or overnight to develop more flavour.

        Frying the pork fillet or tenderloin

        • Remove the pork from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for 20 mins.
        • Heat a griddle or heavy-bottomed pan to high heat. Brush some vegetable or sunflower oil on the pan.
        • Working quickly, place each pork slice flat on the pan and fry for 2 mins on each side.
          Working quickly, place each pork slice flat on the pan and fry for 2 mins on each side.
        • Transfer the fried pork to a place and cover with foil while frying the remaining pork.
          Transfer the fried pork to a place and cover with foil while frying the remaining pork.

        USING THE PORK BELLY CUT

          Marinating the pork belly

          • Dry the pork belly with paper towels. Place a foil sheet under the meat section of the pork belly and scrunch up the sides to encase the pork. Lift the pork out of the foil "basket" and pour the char siu marinade into it. Return the pork skin side up, brushing the marinade along the sides, avoiding the skin section.
            Dry the pork belly with paper towels. Place a foil sheet under the meat section of the pork belly and scrunch up the sides to encase the pork. Lift the pork out of the foil "basket" and pour the char siu marinade into it. Return the pork skin side up, brushing the marinade along the sides, avoiding the skin section.
          • Chill uncovered for at least one hour or overnight. Leaving it uncovered, dries the skin further resulting in a crispy crackling.

          Roasting the pork belly

          • Preheat the oven to 140°C/280°F.
          • Sprinkle the salt evenly over the skin and place the pork on a heavy bottom oven tray.
          • Roast the pork belly for 2 hours, making sure the foil basket is snug around the sides of the pork.
          • Increase the oven to 220°C/428°F. Roast for a further 20 to 30 minutes to crisp up the skin. Check often to make sure it doesn't start to over-crisp and turn black. The skin is ready when it sounds hollow and crisp when tapped with the tip of a knife.
            Increase the oven to 220°C/428°F. Roast for a further 20 to 30 minutes to crisp up the skin.
          • Transfer the pork to a heatproof surface and allow to rest for 15 mins before removing the foil basket. Pour the marinade and pork juices into a jug to drizzle over the pork for extra flavour.
            Transfer the pork to a heatproof surface and allow to rest for 15 mins before removing the foil basket.
          • Slice the pork in long stripes using a sharp knife, trying to keep the pork crackling intact with the pork belly meat. Arrange on a platter to add as a Banh Mi filling option.
            Slice the pork in long stripes using a sharp knife, trying to keep the pork crackling intact with the pork belly meat. Arrange on a platter to add as a Banh Mi filling option.

          Assembling the Banh Mi Sandwiches

          • Slice each mini baguette in half but not all the way, so that is opens like a clam to be filled easily with the following Banh Mi fillings.
          • Scoop some of the lower baguette bread out to allow for some room for the fillings. Discard the breadcrumbs or store in a snap lock bag to freeze to make gluten-free breadcrumbs at a later date.
            Scoop some of the lower baguette bread out to allow for some room for the fillings
          • Start off by generously spreading the upper half of the mini baguette with the paté.
            Start off by generously spreading the upper half of the mini baguette with the paté.
          • Spread the mayonnaise on the lower half of the mini baguette followed by the sweet chilli sauce and a drizzle of the coco or Braggs amino. This concoction adds an amazing and highly praised umami flavour for a typical Banh Mi flavour. Normally, Maggi Seasoning is used, but unfortunately, this is riddled with gluten!
            Spread the mayonnaise on the lower half of the mini baguette followed by the sweet chilli sauce and a drizzle of the coco or Braggs amino.
          • Layer a generous amount of either warm or cold char siu/simple seasoned pork fillet/tenderloin slices or pork belly slices on the lower half of the mini baguette.
            Layer a generous amount of either warm or cold char siu/simple seasoned pork fillet/tenderloin slices or pork belly slices on the lower half of the mini baguette.
          • Place several pieces of daikon and carrot pickle on top of the pork slices.
          • Top the daikon and carrot pickle with plenty of thinly sliced cucumber, slivered spring onions, fresh chilli slices (optional) and fresh coriander & mint leaves.
            Top the daikon and carrot pickle with plenty of thinly sliced cucumber, slivered spring onions, fresh chilli slices (optional) and fresh coriander & mint leaves.
          • Try to serve these Banh Mi Sandwiches immediately, otherwise wrap the baguettes in damp tea towels and store in the fridge for no longer than 24 hours. Naturally, serving them straight away is better.
            Try to serve these Banh Mi Sandwiches immediately,

          Notes

          Soft Mini Baguettes
          • Keeps for 2 days. Refresh by spraying water over the baguettes and heat up by either air-frying or oven baking them briefly.
          • Suitable to freeze once baked.
          Carrot & Daikon Pickle
          • Keeps for one to two weeks chilled in a sterilised glass jar. 
          Char Siu Marinade
          • Keeps for 3 days chilled
          Pan-Fried Pork Fillet or Tenderloin
          • Keeps for 2 days chilled
          • Suitable to freeze
          Roast Pork Belly
          • Keeps for 2 days chilled
          • Suitable to freeze
          Keyword gluten-free baguette, gluten-free banh mi, gluten-free sandwiches
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