The bánh mi got its start with the introduction of the baguette in the 19th century, during the French colonial era in Vietnam. Moon Gi-duk, owner of Lie Lie Lie in Yeonnam-dong, fell in love with this dish on one of his many visits to see his younger brother, who works in Saigon. He gets to the shop at 7am and starts baking the baguettes himself. “These baguettes are lighter and airier than regular baguettes, so they take more time to rise,” he explains. Inside each loaf he layers Vietnamese ham, pickled vegetables, cilantro, Maggi sauce and mayo, to which you can also add either spicy pork or chicken (or forego meat altogether in the vegetarian version). We’d like to add a note about pâté, an optional add-on at Lie Lie Lie: Moon Gi-duk used to make his own pâté but because so few customers opted for it, he ended up throwing out batch after batch and eventually had to switch to a canned version. We highly encourage you to order your bánh mi with pâté, and moreover, give the owner some words of encouragement so that he’ll consider making it in-house again.