This fresh and zingy banh mi baguette is an easy and delicious recipe for leftover turkey, with quick pickled carrots, herbs and – optional – chilli, all piled into soft and crunchy bread to make the ultimate sandwich.
This turkey sandwich is packed with flavour – and for not much effort, or cost. Two very important things in my mind – especially around Christmas time. But what sets this apart from a regular leftover turkey sandwich, is the inclusion of pickled carrots, fresh coriander, fiery red chilli (leave out for the kids’ sandwich!) and a tangy salty sauce drizzled over the top of everything.
Banh mi is the Vietnamese word for bread, and often refers to the baguette type bread it is traditionally made with. In this recipe, I have used a crunchy baguette, just a cheaper one from the supermarket, which is enough for 4 portions (and they’re pretty filling portions!). You could use four smaller baguette-shaped loaves if you prefer.
Traditionally, banh mi sandwiches are made with pork or chicken, and pate, and are commonly sold by street vendors. If you love pate, and have some lying around then it would make a lovely addition, but as neither myself of Mini Jones likes it, I have left it out here.
Enjoy this Vietnamese sandwich as part of your Boxing Day lunch, or as a light dinner. Or make smaller ones and enjoy as part of a buffet, together with cheese gougeres which can be cooked from frozen, and these baked crispy garlic mushrooms
This banh mi recipe is such a delicious way to enjoy leftovers: you could add a smear of leftover chicken pate, a slice or two of leftover ham, some finely sliced raw cabbage. Basically, use this banh mi sandwich as a basis to what you have to hand – and to avoid cooking! If you have leftover roast potatoes and cooked vegetables, then try these turkey fritters.
A Few Notes about the Banh Mi Ingredients:
Bread: A simple baguette, soft in the middle and crunchy on the outside, is the perfect vessel to stand up to the large amount of filling, and absorb all those delicious juices. You ideally don’t want the baguette to be too chewy. If you didn’t want a trip out of the house to get fresh bread, you could use part baked rolls and make smaller sandwiches.
Turkey: both leftover thigh or breast meat works well. Sliced or shredded.
Pickled carrot: Shaved carrot is pickled in rice wine vinegar, a pinch of sugar and pinch of salt. It’s sharp, sweet, salty and crunchy, and adds another layer (quiet literally…) to the finished baguette.
Soy dressing: The mix of salty soy sauce and slightly sharp, fishy Worcestershire sauce is such a delicious element. If you can’t find Worcestershire sauce, then just use soy sauce.
Radishes: Traditionally, daikon radish are used, but I have used radishes – whilst daikon radishes are not quite as peppery, other than that they are pretty much interchangeable. It depends what you have in the fridge (or garden :))
To make this for kids/toddlers: I leave out the chillis and coriander, and then serve the radishes on the side. Some days Mini Jones eats them, some days he doesn’t. But at least that means he always eats the sandwich itself – and the cucumber!
Extra spice: Add some pickled chillies to your turkey baguette.
Leftover Turkey Banh Mi Baguette
- 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon white sugar
- ⅓ teaspoon salt
- 2 small carrots peeled
- 1 baguette cut into 4
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 300 g cold roast turkey sliced or shredded
- 1 Lebanese cucumber or 10cm/ 4" telegraph/English cucumber
- 2 radishes thinly sliced
- 1 red chilli optional
- ½ bunch fresh coriander
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- In a small plastic or glass bowl, whisk together the rice wine vinegar, sugar and salt and leave a couple of minutes until the sugar and salt have dissolved.
- Meanwhile, take a vegetable peeler and run it down the carrot to make carrot ribbons. (You can also grate the carrot or cut into small matchsticks if you prefer.)
- Mix the carrot ribbons into the pickling liquor and leave to one side. (This step can be done up to 24 hours before.)
- Slice the cucumber into batons/matchsticks.
- Whisk together the soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce, if using.
- Slice a quarter of the baguette lengthways, and spread ¼ of the mayonnaise over both cut sides.
- Add ¼ of the turkey, then top with ¼ cucumber, ¼ radishes, ¼ pickled carrots.
- Drizzle over 1 teaspoon of the soy-Wocestershire sauce.
- Sprinkle over some fresh coriander and red chilis.
- Repeat with the other 3 pieces of baguette.
- Eat and enjoy!