‘Banh MY?’: Food blogger sparks outrage for whitewashing a Vietnamese dish — again

‘Banh MY?’: Food blogger sparks outrage for whitewashing a Vietnamese dish — again
via @halfbakedharvest

Tieghan Gerard, the influencer behind Half Baked Harvest, first came under fire in 2021 for making “pho” with crispy caramelized chicken

March 9, 2023
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Two years after drawing a massive backlash for putting her own spin on Vietnam’s national dish, phở, food blogger Tieghan Gerard is under fire once again for tinkering with another Vietnamese favorite.
This time, the influencer behind Half Baked Harvest is accused of culturally appropriating bánh mì (pronounced as “bon-mi”), a sandwich dish made with a short bread roll that is split lengthwise and filled with savory ingredients such as meats, vegetables and sauces.
Bánh mì literally translates to “bread” and may also be eaten plain, often as a breakfast staple. Gerard, however, decided to opt out of tradition and turn it into a rice bowl.
In her recipe, titled “25 Minute Ginger Sesame Banh Mi Rice Bowls,” Gerard prepares her ground chicken with olive oil, maple syrup and pickled vegetables, while a companion Persian “Cucumber Herb Salad” comes with Thai basil, lime juice and a whole cubed avocado, among other inclusions.
The cook described her work in an Instagram reel Wednesday:

25 Minute Ginger Sesame Banh Mi Rice Bowls. These have ALL the flavor. Chicken in a sweet salty chili sauce, lemongrass rice, herb salad with chunks of avocado + spicy mayo. It’s everything altogether, SO GOOOOD. The flavors just “hit” as my brothers say.

Gerard’s recipe has since drawn a wave of criticism from Instagram users, some of whom identified themselves as Vietnamese and accused her of whitewashing. 
Others also took offense to her mispronouncing the dish as “ban-my.”
“As a Vietnamese gal, I’m triggered by this video,” one wrote. “This is nothing close to bánh mì, including the ingredients/flavor profile.”
“Maybe take out the words ‘bánh mì’ then you have a perfect rice dish,” another advised. “No one will say anything. Including me, a Viet born and raised.”
“WTF is banh MY. God damn,” another commented. “If you’re gonna steal recipes, at least pronounce them correctly.”
Gerard, who has 5.2 million followers on Instagram, has yet to respond to the latest backlash. 
“You can’t even pronounce bánh mì and seem to ignore the comments of Vietnamese followers even as you peddle their culture,” another user wrote.
The blogger faced similar negative feedback in February 2021 after she published a “phở” recipe that used crispy caramelized chicken and a “sweet, spicy, tangy sesame chile sauce.” She later renamed it to “Easy sesame chicken and noodles in spicy broth.”
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      Carl Samson

      Carl Samson
      is a Senior Editor for NextShark

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