Vietnamese Banh Mi

This is one of those things where i'd seen it forever and not gotten around to it, and it turned out to be an instant classic. It takes a bit of prep work but it is so, so, worth it. I learned a few key points while researching this Vietnamese classic.

First off there has to be a fat source on the the bread or at least in the sandwich. Sriracha mayo is common, and what I used, but avocados are also a nice choice.

Second is the abundance of vegetables. That list of must-haves is cucumbers, jalapenos, pickled carrots, which I cut smaller for the sandwich that I did in my original recipe just for eating, and copious amounts of fresh cilantro. Don't forget to start the pickles the night before if making your own or check your local Vietnamese market for some pre-made pickles.

The third point is a protein. Here I made mine with grilled pork but anything goes. Grilled chicken is also popular, as is pate. This is also a fun way to have a leftover-makeover and use leftover grilled...anything really, in place of the pork.

And last but not least is the bread. If you are lucky enough to live near a large Asian market or bakery like I am the proper banh mi roll is super soft and airy on the inside with a thin and chewy exterior. That bread will be the best for this sandwich but it's not a deal breaker. If you don't have the exact bread don't let it stop you! Grab some rolls at your local supermarket and keep going with the recipe.

1 pork loin
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. ginger paste
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp. black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 c. mayo
1/4 c. sriracha 

1 jalapeno, sliced
12 sprigs cilantro
1/2 English Cucumber, sliced
1/2 c. Do Chua (carrot pickles)
4 Banh mi rolls, split

Combine the pork, soy, brown sugar, lemon juice, ginger paste, 4 cloves garlic, and black pepper in a large zipper bag. Let sit for at least 4 hours. Grill until cooked through and then slice. 

Place the 2 cloves minced garlic in a mortar and pestle. Crush until pasty, add the lemon and keep crushing slightly. Combine the garlic lemon mix, the mayo, and the sriracha. stir to combine

Split the rolls in half and drizzle with sriracha mayo. Top with the sliced pork, cucumber, jalapeno, cilantro, and pickled carrots. 

Enjoy right away!


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