Easy No-Cook Summer Tomato Sauce

"No tomatoes were harmed during the production of this sauce."

Ahhhh.... it's the summer. Which means heat, humidity, more heat, more humidity, and heat. Who wants to turn the stove on more than necessary, just to make a spaghetti sauce? Well, now you don't have to. You just need access to fresh tomatoes, and a food processor. Choose nice, ripe fresh tomatoes for this one, because you're going to taste it.


tomatoes, as needed (3-5)
herb(s), fresh or dried (ie. basil, chives)
onion, small dice (do not throw in food processor)
garlic, mashed (see instructions here for mashing garlic)
salt, to taste
olive oil, 3-4 T


Throw the tomatoes in a food processor, along with the mashed/chopped garlic, herbs, salt and olive oil. Process a few seconds, until you have a texture that resembles the above photo. Mix in the onion, and stir your favorite pasta with the sauce.


Carrot Top Quiche

Ever buy carrots or radishes (or beets), with the tops still on them? And then you throw the leaves out, because you don't have a pet rabbit? Did you know there's tons of nutrients hiding in those leaves? That they're not poisonous? That you can eat them, and have them be good for you? And that they can even taste good, if you know how to make them that way? Yuppers on all of that.

This recipe will show you one delicious way to use your fresh carrots, radishes, beets, etc. to the max, without wasting a bit, and boosting your health to boot. In no way does this quiche taste "healthy", though! Because it's quite delish. Even my four year old grandaughter loved this quiche. And trust me, there ain't nothing and no one pickier in the world than this four year old.


4 eggs
1 c flour
1/4 c good vegetable oil
carrot tops (leaves from one bunch of carrots)
radish leaves (leaves from one or two bunches of radishes or beets, etc)
basil leaves
garlic cloves

Pie crust

This one's easy. Mix 1c flour (preferably white pastry) with a pinch of salt and about a teaspoon or two of sugar. Add about 1/4c good quality vegetable or olive oil, mix. Now add just enough cold water to help combine the mixture; only a couple of tablespoons or so. You want a firm and relatively dry mixture, not a mushy wet one. Finally, I like to knead this a bit (inside of a large bowl), ie. a few times, so that it stays together when lining the pie plate.

You can if you wish grease up the pie plate with a tiny bit of oil, but its usually not necessary, given the oil in the crust. You also have the option of rolling the dough out before lining the pie plate with it. But this too is not necessary. You can simply mash the dough against the bottom of the plate (with a closed fist), and smush it out and up the sides. Then finish the crust by pinching around the rim of the pie plate, or flatting it with the tines of a fork. (I prefer the pinch method, as flattening can make the crust difficult to remove from the plate). You can poke holes at the bottom with a small knife or fork if you wish, to prevent air pockets. (If you use organic sifted pastry flour as I did, the dough may be too dense to worry about this).

Cook the pie crust at 375F for about 10-15 minutes, until it is dry. Remove from oven.

Egg Mixture

For the carrot and radish greens, you will need to cook them in advance, to remove bitter flavors.

Carrot Tops: Chop the carrot tops off the carrots, then rinse well (many times) in a bowl/colander of cold water. Finally chop the leaves finely. Chop and mash a large clove of garlic, with salt (see article on how to chop garlic, on this blog). Next, blanche the leaves in a pot of boiling water, with just enough water to cover the leaves by a few centimetres. After the water starts to reduce, add the garlic and a bit of salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until water is nearly evaporated, stirring often.

Radish Leaves: The preparation will be similar to the carrot leaves, but without the blanching stage. n.b. Radish leaves are especially 'sandy', so should be rinsed in several changes of water, ensuring no dirt remains in the bowl of water, when rinsing out. Once rinsed, chop the leaves into pieces, and place the drained but still wet leaves in a heated pan that has olive oil and butter. Fry the leaves on a moderate heat, along with mashed garlic (as described above), adding s&p to taste, until they are cooked down to the consistency of spinach.

Basil leaves: I added some fresh basil to my quiche, as well, to compliment the tomatoes. You only need to rinse and chop the basil, before adding to the egg mixture.

Tomatoes: These just need to be sliced.

Combining the mixture: Beat the 4 eggs in a large bowl until combined, add about 1/4t - 1/2t salt (depending on how much salt you added to the carrot and radish leaves). Add the fresh basil and sauteed carrot and radish leaves (and optionally, add some more salted mashed garlic, as I did). Add a bit of water to bring the liquid mixture to just about or just above 4 cups of liquid (beat the mixture again, after adding the water). Pour the liquid mixture into the pre-baked pie crust, until it is just below the rim. Use a fork to spread the greens around, distributing them evenly. Top with numerous (thin) slices of fresh tomato, until the top is covered with tomato slices. Top that with enough grated cheese to completely cover the top of the quiche (about 1 1/2" from a 400g block of cheese, or 1/2c - 1c). Top that with a generous sprinkling of paprika, across the top of the quiche.

Bake at 375F for about 40 minutes. (Check with a toothpick in the centre, to see if it comes out cleanly).

Welcome to The Recipeless Cook

Saluté. I created this blog to document some of the meals I throw together for myself, on occasion. The focus is on simple, healthyesque, no frills meals that can made quickly and easily, at a low cost. I call this formula "Recipes for the rest of us". Because fancy meals that cost a fortune are a lot easier to do. Which must be why those recipes are much easier to find. So welcome to the new economy, in the new world order.

I originally conceived of sharing only recipes that have no recipe as such. The idea was to start with a base of what can be thrown together to make a meal, and encourage you to modify that to your heart's content, with suggestions to start you off. This way, it's easier to remember a recipe if it's built around a simple idea, and you don't have to remember specific measurements. Hence the name of the blog, The Recipeless Cook. 

By the time I actually started writing the blog, I realized this would be too limiting. Sometimes things can go wrong if measurements are not given, and I appreciate recipe measurements myself. I can't very well say "Throw in some rice and whatever quantity of water 'feels right' " and expect perfect results from those instructions. So I expect some recipes to be "recipeless" (categorized as such), and others will be traditionally structured. Above all, you are encouraged to change the recipes to suit your habits and tastes.

I warn you, I'm not big on red meat these days (especially as my girlfriend's a vegetarian). In fact, I don't often cook meat in general lately, so I probably won't have too many recipes featuring the stuff. It's not against my religion. It's just that I'm slowly starting to think about making healthier decisions in my diet, and red meat and related do much more bad for you than good (if any). I'll eat chicken if I need a meat fix, but I plan to forego including the skin or fat henceforth. So unfortunately, healthy biases might find their way into the recipes, but that shouldn't spoil much of the fun.

Happy Cooking,

Gilbert Grape
The Recipeless Cook.

Cast Iron Pizza

"One broccoli volcano with lava cheese coming up!"

What if I told you that "you could have anything in the world"? And what if I told you "so long as that thing is pizza"? What kind of pizza would it be? Gourmet pizzeria pizza from a restaurant that serves wood fired-pizza perhaps? What if I told you that you could make something like that at home? In under 3 minutes? Impossible, right? Well, in the kitchens of The Recipeless Cook... nothing is impossible!

This recipe is to pizza what the no-knead recipe is to bread. Not just a revelation, but a revolution. Using no special tools other than a vessel that was invented hundreds of years ago: a cast iron pan. You don't need a pizza peel, you don't need a pizza stone, you don't need a wood-oven, you don't need a Kitchenaid mixer... have you got a bowl, a spoon, a 12" cast iron pan and pizza ingredients? Then you're good to go, mister. Get ready for the revolution, we're gonna make making pizza exciting again!....



1 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 cup water (warm)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour


pizza sauce


RISE: Mix all the dry ingredients for the dough in a large bowl, add the warm water, and mix with a spoon until combined. You can olive oil to the dough and/or inside of the bowl to help the rise. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place for about an hour, until approximately doubled in size.

PREPARATION:  Punch the dough down, and flour a work board so the dough does not stick to it while you are working on it. You will be forming the dough roughly the diameter of the interior of your cast iron pan. Start by rolling it into a ball. (If the dough does not form into a smooth ball but shows cracks, you can smooth things out by kneading the dough a bit. Using the palm of your hand, mash and stretch the edge of the dough against the work surface, fold it back in, give the dough ball a quarter turn, and repeat the process until the dough is smooth enough to stretch into a pizza round).

To stretch it into a pizza round, start by pinching the edges and pulling them out (being careful not to stretch the center too much). This process goes faster if you hold the dough in mid-air by the edges, then turn it rapidly so that gravity causes the dough to stretch farther out. But once you have started to increase the size of the round, you should complete most of the stretching using this traditional method: place the somewhat-stretched dough over your two closed fists. Then give the round of dough a turn, repeating this motion. You can also separate your hands just slightly, to help the dough stretch a bit farther. This process will again cause the edges of the dough round to fall by way of gravity, and the center will stretch out. (Again, take care not to stretch the center too much, to avoid creating holes). You'll be finished when you have stretched the dough out to about or nearly the size of the interior of the pan. WARNING: Read the entire next section before you put the toppings on!

Making pizza dough is easier than it sounds, usually, but if it is not your thing, ok, just go out and buy a pizza dough!
TOPPING: I don't like to put too much on pizzas, because the ingredients won't cook properly, and they'll make the pizza too mushy. So put your favorite ingredients, but don't go crazy with that! I consider pizza sauce and cheese, and perhaps olive oil as necessary base ingredients. For the pizza pictured above, I used an usual pizza sauce: roasted red pepper spread (aka vegetable spread).  I like to smear olive oil all over the naked dough before placing the rest of the ingredients. Possibly dried herbs as well. Then the pizza sauce, then the vegetables, then a generous amount of cheese (the pizza pictured is swiss cheese and broccoli).

You are now ready to dress your pizza. But do not add any "hard" ingredients yet. You can start with the base of pizza sauce, oil, herbs (as shown in the picture). But you should wait until the pizza is in the pan before you add the rest of the ingredients. If you add everything at once, then when you try to put the pizza into the pan, everything will roll off and create a big mess! So get the rest of the ingredients completely ready and be prepared to add them very quickly! Timing is very important in this recipe!


The blob that ate San Francisco,
when it was only 6 1/2 months old.
Heat the cast iron pan (dry) on your biggest stovetop round at medium high heat. (Placing the palm of your hand a couple of inches above the pan to feel the heat will let you know when it is ready). While you are waiting for the pan to heat up, turn the broiler on (high), making sure the oven rack is in the top position ( a few inches below the broiler element). Now you will need a way to slide the pizza into the pan. You can use a wooden, glass or plastic cutting board (as I did, shown), the back of a jelly roll pan or similar, or if you have it of course, a wooden pizza peel. Whichever tool you use, make sure the surface is well floured, to make the pizza easier to slide. Remember the pan will be hot, so you must not touch it! Now slide the pizza dough into the pan by shaking the board it is on over the pan. If the edges fold after it enters, you can leave it as is or try to flip them back over. To avoid burning the bottom of the pizza, remove the pan from the heat and place it on a heatproof trivet. Then working quickly, toss in the rest of the ingredients you made for your pizza, and top it off with cheese. Then quickly place it under the broiler. Now the fun begins!

Leave it under the broiler for one minute, turn the pan 180 degrees, and let it cook for another minute, watching carefully. Take it out and have a look. It will be done just as it is starting to turn dark brown, and/or slightly scorched (black) in places. Be careful to use oven mitts to remove the pan from the oven, and then remove the pizza from the pan with a metal spatula. Cut and enjoy!

Vegetarian Stuffed Cubanelle Peppers with Baked Rice

If you bother yourself thinking about it, there are a lot of dangers in travelling to Mexico these days. Particularly small towns in deep in the heart of the land. Between the drug warlords, the stinging fire ants, the scorpions, the scorching heat, the lack of potable water, the careless disregard for refridgeration, and not to mention confusing wastepaper baskets for toilets..... there's a lot to be concerned about. So one might ask themselves "why would anyone visit the place?"

...For these little black pearls. They were brought back from a trip to Nayarit.They look like large peppercorns, but they're not. The package says they are "Azafrán", which means "saffron" in English. But they're not saffron either. Not even close. This hard to come by spice also goes by the name of "Azafrán bolita" or "Azafrán de bolita". Far as I know, it is only cultivated in certain regions of Mexico. They may also be known as "faux saffron", as safflower products are. But they are related neither to saffron or safflower. However, like saffron, they are used to color rice (but they do not have the flavor of real saffron). Put a few pods in the boiling rice and there you go. (Like nutmeg, azafrán pods are said to be mildly hallucinogenic if eaten straight. I'm not going that route, however). First time out trying them, I'm throwing a couple in with the rice, and we'll see what's what.....

Mexico is also a country that is very fond of peppers, and it's not unusual to find them being served on the street as street fare food. They have mastered the art of stuffing peppers, and what follows is my crude interpretation of what might more or less resemble a stuffed pepper. That is, if you weren't in Mexico and didn't quite have all the ingredients or time that you needed.

The Peppers

We start this business with a few peppers, and I'm going for Cubanelle peppers. A mid-mild pepper which is perfect for this dish. But you could use any pepper you fancy. After cutting the tops off, I tried stuffing them whole, but found that didn't work too well. So I cut a slit lengthwise (without completely separating them), opened them up, and stuffed them like that.

The Stuffing

I was going to use masa harina to stuff the peppers. Which is a type of Mexican corn dough, often used to make tamales. But, it was too cold outside to get this, so I decided to make some polenta. (You might also try a stuffing of seasoned bread, such as used for turkey). Polenta is just corn meal that you cook to create a stuffing out of. The one I used was an Italian mix that had truffles in it, so it certainly provided enough flavor for the peppers. It's very easy to make. Boil about 800ml of water, tossing in a tablespoon of butter. Then slowly add about 175g of corn meal in several spurts, until all the corn meal has been added. Other recipes call for a whisk, but while I have many, I can't be bothered. A wooden spoon and some quick stirring each time you add the cornmeal is all that's needed. Stir constantly and lower the heat way down when the polenta starts to bubble and boil and spurt all over the place. Continue cooking and stirring occasionally, scraping the bottom, until it is thick and firm. (Remember, the more you cook it down, the more flavour you get). 

Finally, when the polenta is cooked, mix in about a quarter pound of your favorite grated cheese.

The Rice

Set a skillet on medium heat, add some vegetable oil (I used avocado oil, but you can use olive or other), and a chopped onion or two. I like to throw in some seasoning here (I used about a teaspoon of "Adobo seasoning with cumin") for flavour, but you can just add salt if you want. Mix the seasoning in well as the onion fries, until it starts to brown. Then add a cup of rinsed rice, stir that around, and you are ready to add water. Add enough water to cover the rice about a half inch. (Here is where I tossed in the azafrán pods!). Let the rice boil, then when most of the water over the surface has begun to evaporate, reduce to low and cook covered about 15 minutes, until tender. 

The Assembly

Cut the peppers as described above, stuff with the polenta, then place the rice in a shallow baking tray.  Place the peppers over top of that and cook in a 350F oven for an hour or so. We want the rice to be crunchy with some brown edges, the peppers to be soft and changed in color, and the stuffing to be firm. Now, dig in! Serve with salad if desired.

Green Curry Vinaigrette

Need a quick fix to dress your salad tonight? How about something a bit off the beaten path? I decided to get a little creative this time with the salad dressing, and thought I would try throwing in some green curry paste, that I had in my fridge. It looks like this, the kind you use in Thai or perhaps Viet Namese dishes.

You can find it in the international foods aisle, or at your Asian grocers. But look, this is the way of the Recipeless Cook. So don't marry yourself to green curry paste. Use red curry paste if you have it! Ok, you probably don't have that either.... well, let's have a look-see... what do you have? Indian style curry paste? No? How about just curry powder then? Whatever it is, the idea is to spice things up a little! (Not too much, just a little....)

 1/2 t. Green curry paste
1 T. soya sauce
1 T. lemon (or lime) juice
3 T extra virgin olive oil
a few cloves of garlic, mashed with salt (see "How To Mince Garlic" on these pages)


After you have nicely minced and mashed your garlic, throw it in a small mason jar, add the rest of the ingredients, and... rock n' roll!

Végé-pâté Supreme

"It's a cake for vegetarians!"

This is my third végé-pâté (aka "veggie paté") spread recipe. It's the latest and greatest, and the last. Of the three, it is closest to the "Classic Végé-pâté" recipe found on this blog. But it's a bit more ambitious than the other two, so after you've tried the "Classic Végé-pâté" recipe, this is a good one to move on to. Although a bit more laborious, it's an attempt to make a vege-paté of perfect taste and texture. Light, smooth, creamy and flavourful, reminiscent of liver paté, and comparable to store bought versions. It's the one you'll want, if you could only choose one...


    1 1/2 c raw unsalted sunflower seeds, soaked in water
    3/4 c ground flax seed (substitute: whole wheat or spelt flour)
    3/4 c nutritional yeast (I used redstar yeast flakes)
    1/2 t sea salt
    1/2 c vegetable oil (I used cold-pressed sunflower oil)
    1 lemon, juice of
    1 potato, peeled and chopped
    1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
    1 onion, chopped
    1 stalk celery, chopped
    1 clove garlic, peeled and mashed
    1/4 c tamari (substitute: soy sauce)
    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
    1/2 teaspoon dried sage
    1/2 teaspoon dried savory
    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon ground basil
    1/2 teaspoon oregano
    1/2 teaspoon ground dry mustard (substitute: wet)

Sunflower seed paste
Sunflower seed mixture
(added yeast, spices, etc.)

Soak the sunflower seeds in cold water overnight if possible, otherwise soak for however long possible. Drain and transfer to bowl of a food processor, with a bit of water - enough to make a wet-ish paste when the seeds are chopped up by the processor. Process until you are able to achieve a relatively smooth, creamy, fairly thick paste. 

Végé-pâté mixture
(fully combined, ready 2 bake)
Toss in the nutritional yeast, ground flax seed (you can substitute flour if you don't have or won't get flax), and all the herbs, mustard and salt. Process until these are mixed, then remove the mixture from the bowl. Throw in the chopped onions, garlic and tamari sauce, and process until liquified (add a bit of water if necessary). Throw in the vegetables, oil and lemon juice. Process further until it is all homogenous and liquified; about a minute or so. Combine this vegetable mixture by hand with the sunflower seed mixture you set aside. Mix well until both mixtures are fully combined. The resulting mixture should be wet-ish and fairly thick. If it's overly dry, slowly mix in some water. 

Végé-pâté spread fully baked
Grease a 7" x 11" x 2" baking pan with olive oil. Pour in the combined mixture. Bake at 350F degrees in the middle or high rack of your oven, for about 55 minutes, until top is dry, brown and the edges are dark brown and crispy. Check that a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Let cool, cut in equal pieces and keep in refrigerator.

Green Tea Cookies

"It pairs equally well with game, foie de gras, Neufchâtel, and green tea cookies".

What cookies could be better with tea, than cookies with tea?!  These are not your usual butter/sugar cookies, because they employ the use of green tea leaves, to add an unusual twist on a popular and fundamental cookie recipe. You're more likely to find something like this in Asian cuisine, in the style of Chinese or Japanese deserts. But they might often use Japanese "matcha powder", which is a type of green tea in powdered form, that is used in many ways, including as an ingredient in recipes. This is what can give such deserts a green colour. Matcha powder however, is very expensive to produce, and even more expensive to buy. Not to mention not easily available outside of specialty shops outside of Asia. So instead, I use what I already happened to have in my cupboard: green tea bags. You cut them open, add them to the flour, and away you go. That's why these green tea cookies are not green. They're "green tea" cookies. Not "green" tea-cookies. Get it? Sure you can make them green by adding food color. Please don't. Food coloring is gross and best left for making Play-dough or fake food in your child's Easy Crocker Bake n' Shake Oven. 

These cookies have a nice flavour, and are a good option, I think, for a party. I made small squarish ones on this batch, my first time out making these things. I watched them carefully as they browned, but they still turned out a little dark, because they were unevenly cut, and I wanted to be sure none would be underdone. Depending on the sturdiness of your baking tray and eveness of your oven heat, it may also be important to turn the tray every few minutes, to ensure even baking.  The next time I would try a more traditional form, a larger, round cookie (or perhaps a larger square). Of course, a larger size would necessitate a longer cooking time, and vice versa. They're a bit on the sweet side, so I think I would also avoid dipping them in sugar, for my second attempt.


1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
3 bags green tea
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (or peppermint extract liquid)
1 teaspoon water
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chopped into small cubes
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar for coating (optional)

Preheat your oven to 375F. In a food processor, mix the dry ingredients on pulse. Add the vanilla, water, and butter. Pulse just until a dough forms. Roll the dough into a log onto a piece of wax paper. Wrap the paper around and shape the log until it is smooth (round or squarish, , long or short, whichever your preference.) Chill for 30 minutes before baking (cookie dough can be frozen up to a few months ahead, for later baking).

Slice the log into 1/3" thick pieces. Dip each cookie in a bowl of sugar to coat the top. Place on baking sheets and bake at 375F until the edges are just brown (about 10 minutes). Let cool on wire rack.

Kiwi Custard Pie

The story is, I had some kiwis lying around, that really needed tending to. Besides eating them straight, there are few things you can do with a kiwi, that are worthwhile. Putting them on a tart is probably the best one. Kiwis already have a "tart" flavour, so they make a great match. But rather than putting them on any tart, I decided to try them on a French style custard tart. And you're not married to the kiwis, either. This is the recipeless cook, so you can substitute many other types of fresh fruit here. This recipe is a bit more work than my usual fare, though for what it is, it's still relatively easy. I won't have you fuss with separating egg yolks from their whites; just throw everything in there. All told, it's (almost) every bit as good as those delicate little custard tarts you find in the French patisseries. Well, let's just say it's very reminiscent of that....


Pâte Brisée Pie (or tart) Shell

1 cup flour
6 T cold butter
1/8 tsp. salt
1 T (full rounded) plain sugar
1/4 cup ice cold water
1 egg, beaten


Preheat oven to 425°F.  Put flour, salt and sugar into a food processor. Pulse very briefly a second or two to mix the ingredients. Add the egg, pulse briefly a couple of seconds to mix. Now take the butter out of the fridge, and scoop 6 tablespoons into the food processor (dropping them in separate areas of the processor bowl). Pulse briefly again, just until the mixture starts to clump up to one side of the processor bowl. Working quickly, empty the processor bowl into a pie plate, and press the dough around the bottom with the underside of your fingers, then work the dough up the sides of the pie plate, until it reaches the top. (Alternatively, you can use a metal tart shell if you have one). If you are not immediately ready to bake the pie shell, leave it in the fridge so that the butter does not melt. Otherwise, bake the shell for 20 minutes.

Custard Filling

2/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 tbsp. butter
2 tsp. vanilla


Fill a small pot halfway with water, and put it to boil. Meanwhile, pour the sugar, flour and salt in a small metal or heat resistant glass bowl, and stir well with a heavy spoon. Stir in a portion of the milk, and stir around in the centre, to incorporate the liquid, until you get a smooth thick cream like consistency. Repeat with another portion of milk, and again, until all the milk is incorporated. Lower the heat to medium-medium high, to bring the pot to a slow boil. Place the bowl with the milk mixture over the pot, and using a wire whisk, whisk the mixture, particularly at the bottom, to prevent the flour from clumping up.  Continue whisking constantly about 10 minutes, until well thickened. During the latter half of this, when it starts to get too thick, use a metal spoon instead to stir the mix. Remove from the heat when done.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs. Take a couple of spoonfuls of the heat milk mixture and stir well into the beaten eggs. Then off the heat, scrape the egg mix into the bowl with milk mixture and stir well with the spoon. Return the mix over the pot of slowly boiling water and continue to stir over the heat, until the egg has set and the mixture well thickened. Remove from heat, stir in the butter and vanilla, and let cool a bit, then fill the pie shell with the custard.



3 kiwis

n.b. Your kiwis should be ripe, and not too difficult to peel. This ensures they'll have some sweetness). Peel and slice the kiwis and cover the surface of the custard pie in a spiral pattern, or otherwise. (Alternatively, use strawberries, blueberries or other berry fruit, mangos or peaches, or simply no fruit. It's also delicious as is!).

Serve at room temperature or, better, chill in refrigerator and serve.

n.b. You can also try making this in a muffin tin, as individual "tartelettes". Just remember to adjust the baking time for the crust.

Bánh mì (Vietnamese Fried Egg Sandwich)

"Eat quick, before more vegetables escape!"

The bánh mì (pronounced "bun me!") sandwich is Viet Nam's answer to the Subway chain. Actually, it dates back to the 40's, and the influence of Viet Nam's French colonialists, among others, is clearly seen in this dish. The sandwich can be found in hawker stalls all over the streets of Viet Nam. It's popularity has seen it spread to Western countries as well, who often don't make it to code. The bánh mì  is normally a meat-filled sandwich, and the meat usually revolves around twenty thousand variations of pork. I'm porky enough as it is, so I'm not about to pork things up any further. This variation, with eggs, would be more considered a breakfast bánh mì. But unless you're planning on plowing the fields yourself because the ox have taken ill, this would be considered a pretty heavy breakfast. I made it for supper, instead.

Another way I did not follow tradition, is by using an Italian ciabatta bread for the base. It is chewy and flavorful, with a soft crust. The opposite of a vietnamese baguette, which is drier and has a thin crispy crust. I did so because it had simple ingredients, without the usual fillers and junk the local French versions carry. To more closely follow the bánh mì, you'll want a nice, large, short, fat, French baguette. Which more closely resembles the Viet Namese baguette. (The viet namese baguette is actually made of a combination of rice and wheat flours, and may or may not be found at asian shops in your area). 


crusty (ie. French) bread (short baguette)
2 eggs
coriander (cilantro), fresh (not chopped)
salt, pepper


soy sauce (or Maggi sauce)
rice vinegar
sesame oil
chili oil

Julienne (or shred) the vegetables. Toss the vegetables in a large bowl, and sprinkle over top with the various vinaigrette ingredients (in the quantities you desire for each ingredient). Mix.  In a non stick pan, fry the eggs sunny side up until they are crisp around the edges (I prefer to turn them over at the end of cooking and fry a minute or two, to set the yolk). (n.b. You can add onions here, if you like. Also, I sprinkled my eggs with a bit of soy sauce and sesame oil). Remove. Cut the baguette in half (ensuring you do not cut too close to the bottom). Spread mayonnaise on the bottom half. Then the vegetables, then eggs, top with cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

"Waiter! More napkins please!"
Vary the vegetables, if you like. Green peppers can be added, or more exotic ingredients like daikon or jikama, if you can find it (or store purchased pickled vegetables). The eggs can be scrambled or omelet-style if you prefer.  They can be substituted entirely for fried tofu or seitan. The acid can be red wine vinegar, if you don't have rice vinegar, or prefer otherwise. The soy sauce can be Maggi-brand sauce. I used chili oil, because that's all I had that would work. But the hot stuff can be anything hot (particularly asian) that can be mixed or better still, spread on the bun. Sriracha or garlic-chili sauce would work well, for example. You can also add in some cold rice vermicelli noodles. Finally, you can drizzle the vinaigrette ingredients on the bun directly, as many "banh miers" do, instead of mixing it with the vegetables.

The one thing I would maintain is the coriander. Without the fresh coriander, it's just a submarine sandwich!

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