Celebrity Sandwich with Jerry Mai

Join us for episode five of Celebrity Sandwich, where Jerry Mai shows us how to make a Saigon Breakfast banh mi.

Celebrity Sandwich

Watch some of your favourite chefs whip up a sandwich in their own kitchen - and follow along to make it yourself!

9 minutes

As the name suggests, this banh mi is very popular in Saigon (aka Ho Chi Minh City) for breakfast.

Traditionally the meat is served on a hot plate, the salad and baguette, served on the side so you can add as much or as little as you like as you go.

At Pho Nom we’ve made it easier to eat by placing everything in the banh mi. That said, when you’re eating a Saigon breakfast, watch out for the runny yolks; they have a habit of escaping from the roll and making their way down your arm.

Saigon Breakfast Banh Mi

For the banh mi:

  • 2 banh mi rolls, from a Vietnamese bakery
  • 2 x 100g sirloin or scotch fillet steaks
  • 4 free-range or organic eggs
  • 8 sprigs of coriander
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, quartered lengthways
  • 2 pieces of spring onion, green part only, cut to the length of the banh mi
  • 2 chilies, sliced


  • salt and pepper
  • light soy sauce

For the Carrot pickle:

  • 3 carrots, peeled
  • 1 small daikon, peeled
  • 800ml warm water
  • 400g sugar
  • 500ml white vinegar
  • Butter mayo
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 300ml vegetable oil


  1. Make the carrot pickle first so it has time to pickle overnight. Shred the daikon and carrot in a food processor using the medium disc, or shave them into fine ribbons with a peeler, a sharp knife or a mandolin.
  2. Stir together sugar and warm water until the sugar is dissolved, add the vinegar and pour the liquid to cover the vegetables. Leave the pickle in the fridge overnight.
  3. To make the butter mayo, crack the eggs into a bowl, beat them with a hand mixer, slowing adding the oil with the mixer running until it thickens and looks like soft butter. (The trick here is to add the oil nice and slow in a thin stream; adding too much at once will make it split.)
  4. Now to put it all together. When you’re ready to eat, cook the steaks and egg.
  5. Heat a small pan over a medium heat. (If you have a barbecue or another way you prefer to cook steak, go for it.) Season the steaks well with salt and pepper then fry in the pan with a little oil for 2 minutes on each side (or till they’re cooked how you like them), then remove them from the pan to rest
  6. While the steaks are resting, add more oil to the pan and fry the eggs sunny side-up till the edges are crisp.
  7. To assemble your sandwiches, cut the banh mi lengthways and spread the base with butter mayo and the pâté. Slice the steaks across the grain and add them to the banh mi followed by the egg, cucumber, pickles, coriander, chillies and spring onion. Season with soy sauce, salt and pepper. Enjoy!

About Jerry Mai

Jerry’ Mai’s cooking tells her family’s story through flavour. The food at her restaurants is predominantly Vietnamese, with more than a little inspiration from Thai and Cambodian cuisine, reflecting the places her parents were born, raised and lived before settling in Australia with her two brothers in the 1980s.

Jerry spent her early years in the kitchen at some of Melbourne’s best-known and most respected Asian-accented restaurants, Longrain, Seamstress and Gingerboy among them, and also cooked with David Thompson at his Nahm restaurant in London, as well as at the izakaya Zuma. You’ll find her food at Annam on Little Bourke Street, as well as at her Pho Nom fast-casual outlets and Bia Hoi, her Glen Waverly beer hall, and you can follow her adventures in and out of the kitchen on her Instagram.


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