Thursday, April 7, 2011

Banh Mi - Vietnamese Sandwiches

A Banh Mi sandwich... cool, salty, crunchy, spicy, fresh and delicious is the best of all worlds-  Vietnamese, French and now American! I love these sandwiches, so yummy to eat and cheap to buy, but ever since I first heard about them, I wanted to make them at home. This was my first try, and I know I have taken some liberties with some of the traditions, but I think it translated very well.

One thing that the French donated to this traditional sandwich is the baguette, of course, as well as the liver pate spread.  I did not use the pate on this sandwich, but if I had one in the fridge I would have!  Even though my Mom taught me to make a pretty awesome chicken liver pate I usually can't keep it on hand as my husband loves it.  While I'm not the biggest fan of liver pate, but it would be great on the sandwich if  you happen to have it. It would add a nice salty, rich dimension to the sandwich. I know, I know... really, how many people have liver pate on hand???  Exactly!  That's why I feel fine leaving it off of this recipe.

This recipe is pretty simple, but there is a bunch of steps, so I'm going to simplify it below.  The good news is that some of them could be done ahead of time (*)
  1. Cut up and marinate carrot pickle (*)
  2. Cut up (*) and marinate pork
  3. Cook pork
  4. Prep veggies (*)
  5. Make spicy mayo (*)
  6. Assemble sandwich
  7. Eat and enjoy

Serves 4-6
2 French baguette
1 lb. marinated pork (below)
1/4 bunch cilantro
1-2 cucumbers, Persian or English, sliced thinly on the diagonal
1 jalapeno, sliced into thin slivers, seeds & white pith removed
1-2 cups Shredded Romaine, or arugula
Carrot pickle (below)
3-4 Green onions, sliced thin in long 2" pcs
1/2 cup Mayo
1 Tbsp. Sriracha hot sauce
2 Tbsp. Soy sauce

Prep veggies by washing and slicing the cucumbers, jalapeno, green onions and romaine.  Mix mayonnaise with sriracha hot sauce.  Cut baguette almost in half, leaving one side still attached.  Remove excess bread filling by pulling out with your fingers.  This gives you more room for all the terrific fillings and will keep the sandwich together better.... plus, you probably don't need so many carbohydrates!!!  Here is the order I assembled the sandwich, but any order would work!
  1. Spicy mayo
  2. Sliced, cooked pork
  3. Carrots
  4. Cucumbers, green onions and jalapenos
  5. Romaine or Arugula
  6. Cilantro
  7. Drizzle of Soy Sauce

1 lb Pork Loin Roast, sliced into thin slices about 1/4" thick
1 lime,  juiced
2 tsp. fish sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tsp garlic chili paste, or sriracha
1 Tbsp garlic
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp sugar

Marinate one hour, but because the pork is thin, don't go too much longer or your pork could be too salty.


Cook over medium heat in a grill pan for 4-5 minutes.  Don't overcook, you want it to be tender!

Carrot Pickle (Do Chua)

2-3 small carrots, cut into small, thin matchsticks
     (Daikon radish is also traditional in this, but I didn't have any, so I skipped it!)
1/3 cup vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1-2 tsp salt
1/3 cup lukewarm water
Cut up the carrots in small thin, matchsticks. 

Add the cut carrots in a small jar, or other container, with a lid. 

Add the salt, sugar, white vinegar and the water.  Shake to dissolve the sugar and salt.  Let sit at least an hour before you use, but this should last up to a month in the fridge to use for more sandwiches, or Vietnamese Spring Rolls.

No comments:

Post a Comment