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Aug 16, 2014 11:50 AM

Where to source Banh Mi Buns in Toronto?

We're planning a big party (50 people) and need to source Banh Mi buns. Here is the thing. The party is in Stratford on a Sunday night, and we're leaving TO on Friday night. One option is to make our own, but there is a lot of other prep going on during the day Sunday for a wide variety of fillings, so that would complicate things, but is probably plan A for now.

It would be great to be able to skip that step, if we could somehow source premade ones that are reasonably good. My guess is anything sourced fresh of Friday would be crap by Sunday, unless they freeze really well. If there are good pre-frozen ones somewhere, that might work.

Any ideas or do we just get up extra early on Sunday to make buns?

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  1. Not in your area but I think baguettes make an acceptable substitution. Have a great party!

    4 Replies
    1. re: c oliver

      baguettes are not an acceptable sub!

      1. re: frogsteak

        Allow me to quote from Andre Nguyen's (noted cookbook author) Banh Mi Handbook:

        "Examples of breads that work wel:

        French or Italian rolls
        Mexican bolillo
        Cubano rolls
        etc. (she gave five more examples)

        And to avoid "pricey rustic breads with a strong, thick crust, etc."

        She gave a great recipe for the rolls which I've made but is quick to say that other things are "acceptable."

        1. re: c oliver

          so you're saying that a ciabatta is an acceptable substitute for a vietnamese baguette?

          1. re: frogsteak

            Did I say that *I* was saying that? Nope. Is it as good? No. But it's an "acceptible" substitute. Hell, one night I made a banh mi on lightly toasted sourdough :)

    2. I find keeping them airtight for the two days and then giving them a few minutes in the oven to remove any taken on water helps keep older ones tasting really good.

      1. This is going to sound ridiculous, and a lot of people are going to yell at me for it but, here it goes. A good option is parbaked baguette without baking it! Just let it defrost and come to room temp. The crumb can be a little thick, but the crust is perfect. Many bahn mi shops in the city do this. While not authentic people seem to keep patronizing them. Again this is a large party last minute thing to do. :)

        1. In my experience toasting the banh mi buns makes a world of difference. You should try it. Buy some buns from your favourite shop. Wait 2-3 days and then toast in an oven or toaster oven.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sweetie

            Thats what i do...if I have leftovers ....after a couple of days I toast it in the oven and it tastes as good...

          2. You can call up a Vietnamese bakery and pre-order from them. Most of them will be open on Saturday and may even be open early on Sunday.


            6 Replies
            1. re: h3llbringer


              Tung Hing has excellent Banh Mi buns at rediculous cheap prices (I think they are 5 for $1). Buy 'em fresh, freeze them for a day or two and crisp them in an oven if possible. Do it all the time at home and they are fantastic.

              Tung Hing Bakery Company Ltd
              1700 Wilson Av (in the mall on the N side, W of Jane)
              North York, ON M3L 1B2, Canada

              1. re: PoppiYYZ

                This sounds like the right option. What about steaming them to reheat them?

                1. re: WillinTO

                  Oh, it's the crisp that makes BM work for me. Very slight nuke if in a rush to thaw, but followed by a few minutes in a hot oven makes for the crispy bun exterior (best to pre-cut the buns, crisp, then assemble the sandwich).

                  The only two things one should never try to eat in a car are a really good fresh flaky croissants and great crispy BM. Crumbs everywhere !!

                  1. re: PoppiYYZ

                    Steaming is a bad idea....soggy buns.

                    1. re: PoppiYYZ

                      Well, I'm sure there are many other "saucy" things. Much harder to clean out than dry crumbs.

                2. re: h3llbringer

                  Considering the OP said they were leaving Friday night, being open on Saturday is of little use I suspect.

                  However, you may want to ask them how to keep them fresh. Heck, maybe they can package them for you for optimum freshness.