A Breakfast Skillet with Bread – Vietnamese Banh Mi Chao Recipe

In addition to the common Vietnamese Baguette (Banh Mi), Vietnamese people also have another interesting dish called Banh Mi Chao, which is popular across the country from Hai Phong to Saigon. Banh Mi means Baguette, and Chao means Skillet, indicating the components of the dish: A skillet of fillings with egg, beef, pâté, and baguette. Moreover, it’s a convenient dish for breakfast thanks to its short cooking time with ready-to-eat ingredients. Let’s begin.

Vietnamese breakfast skillet or bánh mì chảo

Ingredients for Banh Mi Chao

Banh Mi Chao doesn’t require many cooking steps, but it does involve a variety of ingredients according to your food preferences. In general, you should have:

  • Sausage
  • Pâté
  • Meatballs
  • Cheese
  • Beef & white onion
  • Egg
  • A bit of herbs: cilantro, spring onion, shallot, etc.
  • Tomato and tomato sauce
  • Vietnamese Baguette

The ingredient list is flexible. You can add more or remove some ingredients based on your preferences or what you have available at home. With a skillet full of ingredients, you’ll need some baguette to accompany it. The original Banh Mi Chao recipe uses Vietnamese Baguette, which is slightly different from French Baguette. Vietnamese Baguette, inspired by the French Baguette, is softer, airier, and has a thinner and crispier crust compared to the French Baguette. For me, making Vietnamese baguette at home can be quite challenging without the right equipment typically found in bakeries. Achieving the desired airiness and fluffiness of the crumb inside and a light yet crispy exterior can be tricky. However, you can use any kind of bread, whether it’s French or Vietnamese baguette.

banh mi chao with sausage, pate, beef, onion, eggs on tomato sauce.

Making Banh Mi Chao

The total cooking time for Banh Mi Chao can be just 20-30 minutes for a big family. That’s why it’s a great idea for breakfast. Let’s get started:

Step 1. Ingredients Preparation

  • Start by prepping your ingredients: chop the tomatoes, shallot, spring onion, and cilantro into small pieces. Slice the beef thinly. Also, cut the white onions into pieces for stir-frying with the beef later.

Step 2. Cook the Fillings

There are some ingredients for which you won’t have to prepare anything, such as eggs or pâté. For others, such as sausage, meatballs, beef, and onions, etc., you should cook them separately.

  • In a skillet, pan-fry your sausages for 2-3 minutes over high heat. Set them aside.
  • Continue to use this skillet to stir-fry the beef slices with onion pieces over medium heat until they are fully cooked. Avoid stir-frying for too long, as the beef can become chewy very quickly.
stir-fry the beef to add in bánh mì chào

Step 3. Making the base

The base of Banh Mi Chao is tomato sauce. You can make the sauce with either fresh tomatoes and store-bought tomato sauce or just tomato sauce.

  • In a skillet (you can use the same skillet used to stir-fry the beef), add cooking oil and chopped shallots. Fry the shallots until their aroma is released, then add the chopped tomatoes (if you are using fresh tomatoes) to the skillet. When the tomatoes turn into a thick sauce, add the tomato sauce and water, and continue to simmer them over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with a handful of chopped spring onion and cilantro.
making tomato sauce as the base of bánh mì chảo

Step 4. Adding Fillings

Once you are done with the tomato sauce base and other raw fillings, it’s time to place them all in the skillet.

  • Crack eggs onto the tomato sauce. If you like meatballs, add some as well. When they are nearly cooked, add the stir-fried beef and onion, sausage, cheese, and pâté to the skillet. Continue to let it simmer for a few minutes, then turn off the heat and enjoy!
enjoy banh mi chao with banh mi (vietnamese bread)
Banh Mi Chao with Homemade Vietnamese Baguette

How to Eat Banh Mi Chao

Before eating, you can also garnish your skillet with your favorite dipping sauce, like BBQ sauce, mustard sauce, ketchup, or sweet chili sauce, to add more flavor to the dish.

Different from the popular Banh Mi with all the fillings inside, with Banh Mi Chao, you’ll cut a loaf of baguette into pieces, then dip each piece in the skillet. Take a bit of eggs, sausage, or beef in each bite.

Eating banh mi chao with Vietnamese baguette
To eat baguette, dip baguette into the sauce.

Variations

The most common variation is Bo Ne, which usually includes beef steak, egg, onion, and sausage. The significant difference between Bo Ne and Banh Mi Chao is the lack of tomato sauce in Bo Ne, but the way to eat them is the same. Bo Ne is most popular in Saigon and some provinces in the South of Vietnam.

Storing

This dish should be served hot. I don’t recommend keeping the dish for later use because there are many ingredients added in the skillet that make it deteriorate more quickly, and the taste will also worsen. Therefore, only make the dish when you’re ready to eat it right after cooking.

banh mi chao recipe

Vietnamese Breakfast Skillet - Banh Mi Chao Recipe

Yield: 4
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Banh Mi means Baguette, Chao means Skillet, indicating the components of the dish: A skillet of fillings with egg, beef, pâté, and baguette.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Sausages
  • 100g (3.5 oz) Pâté
  • 100g (3.5oz) Meatballs (optional)
  • 50g (1.7oz) Cheese (optional)
  • 100g (3.5oz) Beef
  • 100g (3.5oz) White onion
  • 2-4 Eggs
  • Herbs: cilantro, spring onion, shallot, etc.
  • 300g (10oz) Tomatoes
  • 100g (3.5oz) tomato sauce
  • 3-6 French or Vietnamese Baguette

Instructions

Step 1. Ingredients Preparation

  • Start by prepping your ingredients: chop tomatoes, shallot, spring onion & cilantro into small pieces. With Beef, slice it thinly and marinate with salt, pepper & minced shallot. Also cut white onions into pieces for stir-frying with beef later.

Step 2. Cook the Fillings

There are some ingredients you won’t have to prepare anything such as egg or pâté. For others, such as sausage, meatballs, beef and onion, etc, you should cook them separately.

  • In a skillet, pan-fry your sausages in 2-3 minutes on high heat. Set them aside.banh mi chao recipe
  • Continue to use this skillet to stir-fry beef slices with onion pieces over medium heat until all cooked. Don’t stir-fry for too long as the beef can become chewy very quickly.banh mi chao recipe

Step 3. Making the base

Banh Mi Chao’s base is tomato sauce. You can make the sauce with either both fresh tomatoes and store-bought tomato sauce, or tomato sauce only.

  • In a skillet (can be the same skillet used to stir-fry beef), add cooking oil and chopped shallot in. Fry shallot until aroma is spread, then add chopped tomato (if you use fresh tomatoes) to the skillet. When the tomatoes turn into a thick sauce, add tomato sauce and water and continue to simmer them on medium heat. Season with salt & pepper, and garnish with a handful of chopped spring onion and cilantro.banh mi chao recipe

Step 4. Adding Fillings

Once you are done with the base of tomato sauce and other raw fillings, it’s time to set them all in the skillet.

  • Crack eggs onto the tomato sauces. If you like meatballs, add some too. When they are nearly cooked, respectively add stir-fried beef & onion, sausage, cheese, and pâté in the skillet. banh mi chao recipe
  • Continue to cook in several minutes, then turn off the heat and enjoy.banh mi chao recipe

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 200
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 485

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