South Grand Vietnamese restaurant Banh Mi So #1 (4071 South Grand Boulevard; 314-353-0545) will be closed for more than five weeks beginning today, April 22, for renovations. Owners Thomas and Lynne Truong announced on Facebook yesterday that they will reopen Banh Mi May 28 "with bright eyes and bushy tailed."
We've awarded Banh Mi "Best Vietnamese Restaurant" no less than four times over the last ten years (it opened in 1994), so we're glad it's not closing for good. Unfortunately, we couldn't reach the Truongs to see what changes they have in store.
Five weeks is an awfully long time to go without someplace as great as Banh Mi So #1, but here's Lynne's recipe for bun ga xao to hold you over until May.
1 serving of rice vermicelli noodles 1/3 of a medium chicken thigh 2 slices of white onions 2 cloves of garlic 3 tablespoons of prepared fish sauce 2 green leaf lettuce 1 tablespoon of shredded carrots Sriracha chili sauce to taste 6 roasted peanuts crushed 1 tablespoon of onion flakes Olive oil to taste 1/2 cup of bean sprouts 3 spearmint leaves 3 Thai basil leaves
Mince cloves of garlic and slices of white onion and set aside.
Add olive oil to small sauce pan under medium heat, add onion flakes to pan and gently stir until onion flakes become crispy; pour fried onions and olive oil into a condiment bowl.
Bring 3 cups of water to boil; add roll of vermicelli noodles to boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes, drain and place vermicelli noodles in a medium size eating bowl.
In a medium pot bring water to boil, reduce heat to medium and add chicken thigh and cook until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Set cooked chicken aside and let cool.
Once chicken has cooled, use fork to shred chicken thigh.
Chop green leaf lettuce along with spearmint and Thai basil leaves and set aside.
Place the rice vermicelli noodles in a medium bowl and add fresh bean sprouts on one side of the bowl and add the chopped lettuce and mints next to the bean sprouts.
In a small sauce pot, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil under medium heat. Add both minced garlic and chopped onions to small sauce pan.
Add shredded chicken to pan and sautee for 45 seconds.
Top vermicelli noodles with sauteed chicken, fried onions, shredded carrots, teaspoon of Sriracha and crushed peanuts.
Serve with side of 3 tablespoons of prepared fish sauce.