I was first introduced to the Bahn Mi about three years ago when I was looking over a take out menu at work, and trying to figure out what I wanted to order. The menu had a pork meatball Bahn Mi so I figured if it came with pork meatballs it couldn't be bad. I was immediately in love after one bite and needed to learn more about these magnificent sandwiches.
I found out that Bahn Mi is a Vietnamese term for a type of bread. The French introduce the baguette to Vietnam and the Vietnamese took it from there. The Vietnamese version is more airy and shaped like a stretched out football, It still has a nice crust on it and is perfectly chewy. From there you can fill the Bahn Mi with what ever you like, anything from headcheese to pork pate and cold cuts, the meat options are endless. Most Bahn Mi sandwiches do have some standard toppings, pickled carrots and daikon, cilantro, mayo and some sort of spicy hot element, like Sriracha or here in the states Jalapenos.
I have been tossing around the idea for making my own Bahn Mi for a while and was going to try it with a headcheese I had mead but never got around to it. Then I started thinking about what other types of meat I could put in one of these sandwiches that would be a good fit. Since the French helped bring the Bahn Mi into existence I thought why not make a duck confit and use it as my meat. Then I remembered how much I enjoy the duck five spice combination I thought why not make a five spice confit.
Chinese five spice is a combination of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise and szechuan peppercorns it pairs with duck wonderfully and gives it a brilliant flavor. For my confit I mixed 1 1/2 tablespoons of five spice powder with 3 tablespoons kosher salt and 3 cloves of garlic. I rubbed the duck wings with the spice mixture and then let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours. After that I rinsed off the spice mixture and patted the wings dry and placed the duck wings in a dutch oven and covered them with duck fat and baked the in the oven at 225 degrees F for 2 1/2 hours. At this point the meat from the wings just falls of the bone and had a slightly sweet, salty flavor.
For the final assembly I put a thin layer of mayo on the Baguette some cilantro, pickled daikon and pickled carrots some thinly sliced poblano peppers, the duck confit and some sriracha for kick. This Bahn Mi was insane, it was easily the best sandwich I have ever made. The pickled daikon and carrots balanced out the fattiness of the confit and the whole sandwich just worked. Thank god there was enough for extra sandwiches, can anyone say late night snack.