At the end of May, it’s British Sandwich Week, and I must confess that a good sandwich is one of my favourite things. Sourdough with strong cheddar and chutney, brown bread with smoked salmon or crab, and simple everyday white for a Sunday morning bacon butty – I love them all.

I started looking at sandwiches from other countries and that’s where I’ve gone with this months’ recipes. All delicious in their own way and ideal for a lunch or light supper. These are my interpretations of some classics.

Great British Life: Banh MiBanh Mi (Image: Julie Friend)

Bánh Mi recipe

The Bánh Mi sandwich is a Vietnamese/French hybrid street food, served on a crusty baguette. It is said to have been created in the mid-19th century when Vietnam fell under French colonial rule. Meat-based fillings, such as marinated pork belly, paté or chicken, are often used, but this vegan version with tofu is also very popular. Pickles and chilli are a must.

Makes 2

• 2 small French baguettes or pieces of baguette

• 100g firm tofu (I like smoked)

• 2 radishes halved and then sliced, thinly

• 1 large carrot, grated

• 2 spring onions thinly sliced (please use the green and white parts and save a little green for topping)

• 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

• 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar (cider vinegar will work)

• 2 tbsp seasoned flour (mix plain flour with salt and pepper)

• 2 tbsp vegetable of sunflower oil

• Lime for squeezing

• 8 long slices cucumber

• ½ red chilli, sliced

• Sriracha mayonnaise (optional)

1. First prepare your quick pickled vegetables (you could do a larger amount and keep these for another time although they won’t be as crunchy) Sprinkle the spring onion, carrot and radish with a little sea salt. Mix them together in a bowl or jar with the sweet chilli sauce and the vinegar. Leave while you prepare your tofu.

2. Cut the firm tofu into pieces to fit into the sandwich. Toss in the seasoned flour to lightly coat each side.

3. Warm the oil in a pan on a medium/high heat and fry the tofu until it is golden on each side. Drain on kitchen paper and squeeze the lime over it.

4. To assemble your sandwich, slice your bread along the top rather than along the side and place the cucumber slices down one side. Pile on the pickled vegetables.

5. Add the tofu and finish with slices of fresh chilli and a few snips of spring onion.

6. If you like an extra chilli hit, add Sriracha mayonnaise.


Great British Life: Po' BoyPo' Boy (Image: Julie Friend)

Po’ Boy recipe

A Po’Boy, is a sandwich from New Orleans, literally meaning ‘Poor Boy’, as it was deemed to be a cheap, workers snack. Ironically the ingredients often used were hardly what we would consider frugal, mostly being fried oysters or shrimp, but I guess these were available in abundance in the South.

The fried ingredients are pretty much always served with shredded lettuce, sliced tomato and a punchy remoulade sauce reminiscent of a ‘Marie Rose’ dressing. Add a few fries or spiced wedges and you have a typical lunch from Louisiana.

Makes 2

• 2 long rolls (I think the softer, sub style rolls work best)

• Raw king prawns (approx. 140g or about 7 or 8 each sandwich)

• Panko breadcrumbs (around 25g)

• 1.5 tsp Cajun Seasoning (available in supermarkets and delis)

• 1 large tomato (sliced thinly)

• Wedge of iceberg lettuce, shredded

• 2 or 3 tbsp sunflower (neutral) oil

For the remoulade:-

• 2 tbsp mayonnaise

• 1 tsp tomato ketchup

• 1 level tsp Cajun seasoning

• Squeeze of lemon

• Pinch of salt

1. First make your remoulade sauce by mixing all the ingredients together ready to compile your sandwich.

2. Mix the panko breadcrumbs together with the Cajun seasoning. (I always give them a little extra crush in a pestle and mortar as they can be quite chunky, and I want a sightly smoother crumb, or you could pop them in a plastic bag and just go over them with a rolling pin)

3. Put the crumbs in a bowl and one by one coat the raw prawns.

4. Pour the oil into a frying pan on a medium heat and start to fry the prawns, a few at a time, until they are all cooked through and a light golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm.

5. To assemble your sandwich, spread each side of the roll with the remoulade sauce. Lay on the shredded lettuce and tomato slices (which I always season with a little salt) and then add in your hot prawns. Dot on any remaining sauce if there is any.

6. A wedge of lemon wouldn’t go amiss to serve.


Great British Life: Bacon NaanBacon Naan (Image: Julie Friend)

Bacon Naan recipe

The bacon naans served at the Indian restaurant chain Dishoom in London has become the breakfast to have. This is my version, and the naan makes a tasty alternative to regular sliced bread. It might not be as fluffy as the real thing, made in a tandoor oven, but serves as a tasty flatbread that could be a vehicle for lots of fun fillings. Best eaten straight after making.

Makes 2 large (or 4 small)

For the Naan:-

• 150g Plain flour

• ½ tsp salt

• ½ tsp baking powder

• 1 tsp seeds (I use a mix of Nigella, poppy and sesame but any small seeds will do)

• 2 tbsp natural yoghurt

• A little oil for the bowl

• Warm water to combine

• 2 tbsp melted butter


• 2 or 3 slices of smoked back bacon (or 4/5 if using streaky)

• 1 tbsp cream cheese

• 1 tbsp tomato chilli jam/chutney (plenty available in supermarkets or if you refer back to our December issue, I have a great recipe there)

• A few coriander leaves

1. To make the naan mix your flour, baking powder, seeds and salt together in a bowl (you can do this by hand or in a stand mixer if you have one) Then stir in the yoghurt.

2. Start slowly adding the warm water until you have just enough to bring the dough together into a ball. You don’t want it to be wet, but you do want it to feel soft and not floury or crumblike.

3. Then either tip onto a lightly floured surface to knead or use your dough hook on your mixer and knead for a few minutes until it is springy to the touch and smooth.

4. Oil the bowl, put the dough back in, cover and leave at room temperature for about 1 hour.

5. When you are ready to make your sandwiches start frying or grilling your bacon and keep warm.

6. Divide your dough into 2 equal pieces. Using floured hands or a rolling pin, flatten the ball and shape into an oval (like a pitta shape) You want it quite thin, only around ½ cm thick.

7. Heat a flat griddle pan (or large frying or pancake pan) and when it is nice and hot place on a naan. You should see it slowly start to puff up.

8. Check the underside and when it has some nice colour on it, flip over and cook the other side. Brush one side with melted butter. Repeat with the second ball of dough.

9. To assemble your sandwiches spread 1tbsp cream cheese onto the warm naan, followed by the chutney. Add a few coriander leaves and then your bacon. Fold over and cut into 2.