Showing posts with label maggi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label maggi. Show all posts

Eat Drink Style Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwich + Panini Machine = Banhmi-ni


At least once a month, J & I will take her mom down to Little Saigon to go play. Our routine is usually to either eat:

Pork Lemongrass Soup Noodles at Bun Bo Hue So 1 (bun bo hue)
Rice flour crepes stuffed with ground pork at Tay Ho (banh cuon)
Grilled cured-pork spring rolls at Brodard (nem nuong)
Grilled dill & turmeric fish at Hanoi Restaurant (cha ca)
Rice vermicelli soup with tomato & crab at Vien Dong (bun rieu)

Decisions, decisions, decisions. Even when we're full to the brim from the food of Little Saigon, there's always one last stop: vietnamese sandwiches at Banh Mi Che Cali (Garden Grove location by the 22 freeway). The sandwich is decent, as I prefer it much over the ubiquitous Lee Sandwiches, but they do offer the 3 for $5 deal which even makes old frugal, asian people do a double-take and say, "Damn, that's cheap. how do you live?!"

For those new to the Vietnamese sandwich "banh mi", it's a mix of French and Vietnamese. During the French colonization in Vietnam, they brought the bread and pate. The Vietnamese completed the equation with their selection of meats, pickled vegetables and chili. And its a great snacky snack.

Banh Mi Che Cali is an interesting place. J cannot stand going here, so her mom & I do the work. But you know what, if you have the patience, it's actually fun to watch. At least for me. It's kind of like being in a DMV or a post office that dispenses Vietnamese food. The customers AND employees are sometimes irate and within a few seconds away from giving you a fist or elbow stamp. So you have to have patience here. The customers, will sometimes try and cut in the front, carefully watching the workers wrap up the sandwiches like hawks, making sure that they don't mess up an order or give it to the wrong person. 12 types of sandwiches, you're bound to get the same order as someone else. One time I was in line with J's mom and this lady started to nudge in like she was invisible, and I just looked at her. But she turned her head and gave me an "I'm old, hungry and not moving" look. BMCC can resolve all of this by creating something called LINES or offer service numbers. It usually takes about 15 minutes to make a transaction here, but when you get out with the goods, you're happy.

Back at home, I was about to eat my 3-for-$5 sandwich, and to tell you the truth, I immediately became uninterested in it. It looked so boring. Bread. Meat. Cilantro. Zzzz. Boring because I've been eating it for so long.

And then I thought about J's panini machine.

Hmm... I wonder.

I dressed up my sandwich with the usual pickled carrots/daikon, cilantro and jalapeno. Argh. Where's the Maggi sauce? They really skimp on the Maggi dosage so you're better off adding it yourself. As the self-appointed curator of the Maggi Museum in Los Angeles, I happily went to my cabinet and picked out my standard asian Maggi and doused it. *Sigh* The aroma.

I plugged in J's Krups panini machine and threw the sandwich in. Sorry buddy, time to get a tan. Is the panini machine not a monumental step in the culinary world and cure for those with mageirocophobia? The fine-engineered rivets that sink into the bread with a very faint sizzle. The ergonomic handle that allows you to either gently toast the bread or pulverize the sandwich to an unrecognizable pulp. The sweet timer that reminds you that bread can also cause severe house fires. I decided to smash the crap out of it b/c I wanted it thin. And right away, my maggi sauce and liver pate squeezed out of the sandwich and began to caramelize, creating an interesting smell. I held that handle down for a good 1 minute then let Mr. Krups do the rest of the work. After about 3.5 minutes, I had a new product that I proudly named with teary eyes... the "Banhmi-ni".


How did it taste? Quite good. It was all about the warm contents and the texture of the bread. As I bit in, I felt the warm headcheese, pork and pate coat my teeth. The maggi, daikon/carrots and cilantro were also warm which was bleh. Next time around, I'll add the veggies and jalapenos AFTER I've completed the "Banhmi-ni". If you're tired of Lee Sandwiches or any other joint, take it to the next level with a simple panini machine and experience the "Banhmi-ni" for absolutely no extra charge! Plus, you can buy a lifetime supply of sandwiches and pop them in the freezer, and resurrect them with the genius panini machine. You won't be cut off by old ladies or receive an elbow to the ribs any longer.

Thanks for reading. I also recommend the $3 'hu tieu' noodles available for take-out. Good price!

Banh Mi Che Cali Bakery
13838 Brookhurst St.
Garden Grove, CA 92843
(714) 534-6987

Eat Drink Style The Sriracha Cookbook

Thoughts on the new Sriracha cookbook? To be honest, it's like selling a book called "Food You Can Add Hot Sauce To". I don't really know many things that would taste worse with the addition of Sriracha. But the truth is, Sriracha is a universal and magnificent sauce and I love the story of the Tran family. In some restaurants, you'll find this on the table instead of ketchup. It's THAT mainstream. Even Latino restaurants use this as a "quickie" salsa. Growing up in college, I added Sriracha to my beef franks and called them "chili dogs". To really make your "Italian" food taste better, a few shots of Sriracha really boosts up your tomato/pasta sauce. And my favorite, Sriracha and Maggi sauce on fried eggs - amazing. That'll be the day when I publish a book on Maggi sauce.

Eat Drink Style My Love for Maggi Seasoning Sauce - Maggi Sauce

Maggi Family

From Wikipedia
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - is a psychiatric anxiety disorder most commonly characterized by a subject's obsessive, distressing, intrusive thoughts and related compulsions (tasks or "rituals") which attempt to neutralize the obsessions.

The phrase "obsessive-compulsive" has worked its way into the wider English lexicon, and is often used in an offhand manner to describe someone who is meticulous or absorbed in a cause (see "anal retentive"). Such casual references should not be confused with obsessive-compulsive disorder; see clinomorphism. It is also important to distinguish OCD from other types of anxiety, including the routine tension and stress that appear throughout life. Although these signs are often present in OCD, a person who shows signs of infatuation or fixation with a subject/object, or displays traits such as perfectionism, does not necessarily have OCD, a specific and well-defined condition.

Yes, but I know I have OCD for sure and I am proud of it. Just refer to the picture above. Yesterday, I got an email from Wandering Chopsticks concerning a VERY IMPORTANT matter: the main difference between all the various Maggi seasoning sauces from different parts of the world – which inspires me to write this posting. On a side note, before I went to Mexico, I thought all Maggi sauces tasted the same. And I couldn't be more wrong. I'm sure my fellow foodies, Steamy Kitchen and Guilty Carnivore, would also agree!

First a little history about this sauce that most people incorrectly refer to as a variation of soy sauce – its wheat. Maggi is a Swiss company well known for producing dehydrated stock cubes, instant noodles and soups since 1872. The Maggi family sold most of its products to factory workers who were too poor, occupied by long hours of work and for people that weren't getting enough nutrition in their food. They made headlines with the invention of the bouillon cube. For the impoverished, a simple soup could be made with leftover vegetables, some water and 2-3 cubes of Maggi's bouillon cubes. And today, the most popular product is the seasoning sauce, which is sold in a dark brown bottle with a thick, yellow cap. A few dashes in your soup, steak or eggs, and you're food is taken to another level. Is it healthy? Probably not. Even the bottle warns you to 'add just a few drops'. They aren't kidding because you're dealing with some serious sodium levels. For sure it has monosodium glutamate, but damn, it's good. My favorite way of eating this is over fried eggs with a few dashes of Sriracha. In fact, I'll have some now...

Ok, I'm back from eating my Maggi eggs. *Sigh* So good. Anyway, I just wanted to share with everyone one of the many outlets for my OCD. I started collecting Maggi seasonings after I had lunch with a Chicago-based foodie of Polish descent. We met for lunch at Mien Nghia one day in Chinatown, and as a gift, he brought me a bottle of Polish Maggi. You could imagine my surprise when I learned that Asians weren't the only ones to share this lovely sauce. The label was printed completely in Polish and the only thing that I understood was the distinctly shaped red cap w/ the pinpoint spout and dark brown glass. I asked if I could open it and try it out. I ripped off the seal and used my fingernail to pry open the tiny cap. I looked at the tiny spout, meant for minimal dashing upon food, and dabbed a little on my finger. I then took a whiff expecting it to smell familiar – but it was different... almost stronger and more sour. I brought my finger to my mouth and tasted it. Wow. Delicious and completely different than the sauce that sat in the kitchen of my parents' house since the day I was born. Right then, I knew that I wanted to try all of the Maggi seasonings of the world. Refer back to the definition of OCD at the top of the posting if you've suddenly forgotten what this posting is about.

The Maggi Family Portrait, from Left to Right

A. Maggi Inglesa from Mexico
- tastes like a dumbed-down version of Worcestershire Sauce. I don't recommend it, go with Worcestershire Sauce.

B. Maggi Garlic Seasoning from Manila
- probably my 2nd favorite Maggi that I own. Has a great garlic punch that I've used on fried eggs and food revived by the microwave oven. I bought this at the filipino market, Seafood City. I highly recommend!

C. Grandpa Maggi from My Mom's House - that is the largest size allowed by the FDA because of its potency. Anything larger than that can be categorized as a weapon of mass destruction to your kidneys. It takes a LONG time to use up this Costco-sized Maggi. If you've used up more than 5 of those in your lifetime, you're probably already dead and have somehow managed to catch free wireless in heaven to read this posting. This is the version you'll find at any Chinese/Vietnamese/Thai market. I don't think Koreans or Japanese use this sauce – it's a Southeast Asian thing. Even my relatives with the worst English comprehension know the word Maggi – pronounced "mack-key". Overall, it's very light in color and taste compared to its international cousins.

D. Maggi Jugo from Mexico (Spicy) - jugo is spanish for 'juice', or in this context, 'sauce'. I was overjoyed when I saw the icon of a chili pepper on this mini Maggi bottle. It definitely has a little spice to it, but I could use about 10x more picante. In Latin American cooking, Maggi is used mostly with soups (caldos) and braised stews such as posole, caldo de mariscos and machaca shredded beef. Mexican Maggi is WAY different than any Maggi sauce I have tasted – it is extremely thick, rich and dark. It's as dark as oil from a car that's 8,000 miles behind on an oil change – like mine. We put 2 drops on a tortilla chip, and the taste sustained for a few seconds. Awesome.

E. Maggi Jugo from Mexico (Plain) - this one has an icon of a pan boiling some food. I don't know what to infer from it? Again, it is thick and rich but not as good as the spicy version.

F. Maggi Jugo from Mexico (Soy Sauce) - this one had an icon of a sushi roll and it is what it is – soy sauce. Tastes like Kikkoman.

G. Maggi from Germany - at nearly $20 a bottle, this is the bourdeaux of Maggi Sauces. Freaking expensive but worth the money – it tastes better than Asian Maggi. I would trade this for a bottle of Mexican Maggi.

H. Maggi Jugo from Mexico (Lime) - it is what it is, Maggi with a dash of lime. Think of it as Maggi Sauce on vacation in Mexico, drinking a Corona on a white sand beach. If you don't have limes to go with your Mexican soup, this would do just fine. Tastes great on tortilla chips too!

I. Maggi from Poland - Poland gets the Silver Medal in the Maggi Olympics, closely behind Mexico and with a good lead ahead of Manila's Garlic Maggi. Sharp and pungent, this is a lapdance for your tongue. Love it, thanks again to ErikM. I use this SPARINGLY.

J. Maggi from France (Not Pictured) - this isn't pictured for a simple reason... I have it at work! Many coworkers give me the "WTF" look when I pull this out and douse my food with it. J gave me this as a gift and I love that she wants to destroy my kidneys. The French version is a little more concentrated than the Asian Maggi and has more taste in my opinion than the German version.

Here at Eat, Drink & Be Merry, we only discuss SERIOUS global issues like this. If you've tried an international version of Maggi, share your thoughts on this destructive yet delicious sauce. I've heard that Ethiopian cuisine employs a lot of Maggi Sauce, yummy. By the way, more evidence of the Maggi brand in other countries. Tonight, J & I watched the Jamaica episode of No Reservations and guess what we see in the background...

Maggi Sauce in No Reservations Jamaica Episode

Maggi Sauce in No Reservations Jamaica Episode

Maggi Sauce in No Reservations Jamaica Episode

Thanks to Charlene Collins for this awesome photo of Maggi real estate. Has escrow closed on that? If not, I'm bidding $500 on that.

More Maggi Militia here...
Guilty Carnivore

Steamy Kitchen
Wandering Chopsticks
Epicurious Online

Thanks for reading. Support the Maggi Family!

Eat Drink Style Maggi Christmas & Mexico

Nothing says 'Christmas' to me more than receiving a fine bottle of my most favorite sauce in the world – Maggi Sauce. J's mom gave me what I thought was a wine bottle in a bag. But upon lifting it out, I saw the red (usually yellow) cap I've become all too familiar with. This one is from Germany! And you know what, it tastes totally different than the U.S. version. Now I can add this German edition to my collection of Maggi sauce from the U.S., Switzerland, Poland (thanks Erik) and the Phillipines. Woohoo. If you guys know of any other foreign editions, please let me know where I can find them. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all that have laid eyes on this site. Thank you for your support and a year of solid readership. I couldn't be more happy. J & I are off to Mexico!!!

And I've got this bathing suit in 5 different neon colors, ready to go.