Random Cooking Chemistry: Shrimp Bánh mì

Finished Dish

If ever there was a party in my mouth type of dish, this is freaking it!   Seriously, I’m loving this more than McCarthy loved that ranch dressing on SNL.  And this is all thanks to my fellow blogger over at Redesigned by M.  She was doing a food photography challenge and the gloriousness that is Bánh mì showed up.  It turns out that it’s a magical Vietnamese sandwich that’s usually made with scrumptious pork belly, pickled carrots and cukes, cilantro, basil and spicy chili aioli all on a baguette. Seriously, what’s not to love?

Now, obviously I can’t eat pork so I decided to come up with a shrimp version using the flavors that I love while trying to capture the main flavors described when I googled the sandwich.  As a warning, the ingredients list will look very long but you will probably already have most of what’s listed in your fridge or cabinet. Also, instead of pickling I decided to marinade the carrots and cukes to forgo the pickling process. I’m highly encouraging the use of all of the ingredients because this flavor combination has so many dimensions that you need to experience them all (jumping off soapbox). Well, let’s get started!

Note: This recipe yields 4 half or 2 whole sandwiches


  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Fresh basil
  • 2 demi baguettes

***Shrimp Marinade***

  • 1 lb  shrimp (frozen is fine) peeled, deveined, and raw
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp peeled & grated ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic (sliced or mashed)
  • 2 tsp of cumin
  • A dash of salt & pepper

***Marinated Carrots & Cukes***

  • 4 small carrots
  • 1/2 of a cuke (cut into matchsticks)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (slice or smashed)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/8 cup cold water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • A dash of salt & pepper
  • Optional: 2 tsp of cayenne pepper ( I used much more but please refrain if you find a 10 at an Indian restaurant spicy).

***Sriracha Aioli***

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • Sriracha chili sauce to taste


1. Add the shrimp marinade ingredients, sans shrimp, to a bowl or freezer zip-loc bag. Remove the tails and butterfly the shrimp.  Add the shrimp to the marinade, mix to combine flavors, cover and place into the fridge. Shrimp Marinade

2. Grate the carrots and cut 1/2 of a cuke into matchsticks. Add carrots and the cuke to the other marinade ingredients, mix to combine flavors, cover and place into the fridge.

Carrots & Cuke

3. Combine all of the sriracha aioli ingredients into a bowl.  Mix thoroughly to combine flavors, cover  and place the bowl into the fridge.

Sriracha Aioli

4. Take a 2 to 3 hour nap to allow for some marinading magic, thanks science. ( Min. Marination Times: Shrimp- 30 min, Carrots/Cukes- 1 hr (2-3 hrs for best results), Aioli- 1 hr)

5. After marinating, grill or saute shrimp over medium-high heat (3 minutes on each side). Then cut the baguettes in half  and lengthwise then toast.


6. Add sriracha aioli to both sides of the toasted baguette halves.  Then layer the grilled shrimp, carrot-cuke marinade, basil, and cilantro. Now serve or devour….serve and devour…..devour then serve……..devour.


Well that was easy! And this would go perfectly with the sweet potato fries recipe from one of my previous posts.

I hope you all enjoyed this mouthwatering recipe.



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