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From bao to banh mi: How to make spicy Asian sandwiches at home

From bao to bánh mì, Asian sandwiches are the taste sensations we’re queuing to savour. But you can go DIY...
Asian sandwiches are the taste sensations we’re queuing to savour. But you can go DIY... Credit: Haarala Hamilton

Food you eat out of your hand, rather than with a knife and fork, always seems the most delicious. Lamb and chilli sauce in pitta bread at the end of a night out, a bocadillo de tortilla when you get off a Spanish train – I remember occasions when I’ve eaten these (though have forgotten many Michelin-starred dinners). 

Despite the multitude of alternatives to sandwiches (boxes of soy-doused noodles, sushi, quinoa salads), we still love something good between slices of bread. 

If you haven’t heard about bao buns, for example, you must have been living in a cupboard. They’re Taiwanese, pillow-soft, slightly sweet and filled (usually) with spiced melting pork belly, peanuts and cooling herbs. The London outlets of bao are so thronged you almost lose the will to live before you get to the head of the queue. (Almost).

Before bao buns it was bánh mì, a Vietnamese sandwich (a product of the colonial...

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