Lemongrass Pork Banh Mi

Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someonePrint this page

Sooo… remember that chicken liver pâté I made? Yeah…I made that *just* so I could make this.

Don’t judge me.

I have a love/hate relationship with sandwiches. For most of high school I worked at Subway as a “sandwich artist”, and now I can’t walk past a Subway without dry heaving. True story. Ask my friends. I didn’t (and still can’t, really) have those types of deli sandwiches without gagging. No Quiznos, no Port o’ Subs, no Jersey Mikes.

iTried. iCan’t.

However, I do love me a good Vietnamese sammich, so I thought it was a good time to try my hand at some homemade banh mi.

Is it easier to just go down to one of a million banh mi shops here in San Diego and spend $2.50 and get a bangin’ ass sandwich? Yes. Will it be as good as this one? NOPE.

All the ingredients to marinate the pork and pickle the veggies: sugar, vinegar, fish sauce, sesame oil, sweet soy sauce, cilantro, extra thin pork chops, pepper, jalapenos, shallots, turnip, garlic, lemongrass (note: my grocery store was out of fresh lemongrass so I went with the tube stuff. It's not bad, actually), carrots and sugar.

All the ingredients to marinate the pork and pickle the veggies: sugar, vinegar, fish sauce, sesame oil, dark soy sauce, cilantro, extra thin pork chops, pepper, jalapenos, shallots, turnip, garlic, lemongrass (note: my grocery store was out of fresh lemongrass so I went with the tube stuff. It’s not bad, actually), carrots and sugar.

The marinade: lemongrass, sugar, fish sauce, fresh ground pepper, shallots, garlic, sesame oil, vegetable oil, dark soy sauce

The marinade: lemongrass, sugar, fish sauce, fresh ground pepper, shallots, garlic, sesame oil, vegetable oil, dark soy sauce

Throw this pork + marinade in the fridge overnight if you can. I marinated for 2 hours and it was still delish.

Throw this pork + marinade in the fridge overnight if you can. I marinated for 2 hours and it was still delish.

Pickled veggie time!

Sprinkle sea salt on the veggies and massage the salt into the carrots and turnip reaaaally good. You'll start to feel the water come out of the veggies and feel them become more pliable. Once you can bend a veggie stick in half without it breaking, you're done massaging. That sounds weird. You get it, tho.

Sprinkle kosher salt and sugar on the veggies and massage the salt into the carrots and turnip sticks reaaaally well. You’ll start to feel the water leach out of the veggies and feel them become more pliable. Once you can bend a veggie stick in half without it breaking, you’re done massaging. That sounds weird. You get it, tho.

So, normally this recipe is for carrots and daikon radish, but I didn't feel like trekking all the way to the Asian market just for daikon, so I substituted a turnip (because I also couldn't find radishes -_____- ). Anywho, after you rinse the veggies, throw them in the brine and let them get all happy and pickle-y while you're prepping the rest of the sandwich. Wait at least an hour. I didn't because I'm greedy and impatient. But you should.

So, normally this recipe is for carrots and daikon radish, but I didn’t feel like trekking all the way to the Asian market just for daikon, so I substituted a turnip (because I also couldn’t find radishes -_____- ). Anywho, after you rinse the veggies, throw them in the brine and let them get all happy and pickle-y while you’re prepping the rest of the sandwich. Refrigerate and wait at least an hour. I didn’t because I’m greedy and impatient. But you should.

Grill the marinated pork. I don't have an outdoor grill, so I use my trusty Le Creuset grill pan.

Grill the marinated pork. I don’t have an outdoor grill, so I use my trusty Le Creuset grill pan. Holla at my grillmarks tho!! *insert strong arm emoji*

Butter the bread (I used the good butter we spoke of in the pate post) and throw it in grill pan to get it toasty and crunchy and nomnomnomy.

Get a good crusty French baguette. A good one please. It should be crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy inside. Or, one better, if you have a Vietnamese/French bakery around, grab one of those baguettes. Those are bomb dot com. Butter the bread (I used the good butter we spoke of in the pate post) and throw it in grill pan to get it toasty and crunchy and nomnomnomy.

Time to build the sammich.

Mayo on one side of the bread.

Mayo on one side of the bread.

Sprankle sprankle a few drops of Maggi on the side of the bread you spread the mayo on. Completely optional, but for me, totally necessary.

Sprankle sprankle a few drops of Maggi on the side of the bread you spread the mayo on. Completely optional, but for me, totally necessary.

Remember that chicken liver pate? That goes on the other side of the bread. Again, completely optional and totally necessary.

Remember that chicken liver pate? That goes on the other side of the bread. Again, completely optional and totally necessary.

Top the pate with as many thinly sliced jalapenos as you like. I like mine spicy.

Top the pate with as many thinly sliced jalapenos as you like. I like mine spicy.

Add cilantro to the mayo/maggi side of the bread. I like to leave some stems in as well.

Add cilantro to the mayo/maggi side of the bread. I like to leave some stems in as well.

Grab your pickled veggies out of the fridge. Drain what you need and place on top of the cilantro.

Grab your pickled veggies out of the fridge. Drain what you need and place on top of the cilantro.

Add the sliced lemongrass pork and fold 'er up. OMG are you drooling? I actually ate this shit and I'm STILL drooling.

Add the sliced lemongrass pork and fold ‘er up. OMG are you drooling? I actually ate this shit and I’m STILL drooling.

I can't eat a sammich without cutting it on the diagonal first, so that's what I did. Totally worth squishing it.

I can’t eat a sammich without cutting it on the diagonal first, so that’s what I did. Totally worth squishing it.

Lemongrass Pork Banh Mi

adapted from rasa malaysia and viet world kitchen
makes 4 sandwiches

Ingredients

For lemongrass pork

2 lbs boneless pork butt or thinly sliced pork chops (cut into 1/4-inch thick slices, 8-inch length by 2 1/2-inch width)
1/2 cup minced lemongrass (about 6-8 stalks)
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons ground black pepper
3 shallots, peeled and minced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons roasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

For pickled veggies

1 1/2 cups carrot, peeled and cut into thick matchsticks
1 1/2 cups turnip*, peeled and cut into thick matchsticks (see note)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons plus 1/2 cup sugar
1  1/4 cups distilled white vinegar
1 cup lukewarm water

To assemble sandwiches

1-2 good crusty baguettes, depending on length
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves
5 jalapeno chilies, de-seeded and thinly sliced
Mayonnaise
Maggi seasoning (optional)
Chicken liver pate (optional)

Directions

For the lemongrass pork

Lightly pound the pork slices with a mallet/back of the kitchen knife. In a bowl, mix all the marinade ingredients well. Put in the pork slices and marinade for at least 1-2 hours, overnight if possible. Discard excess marinade before use.

Preheat grill until ready to use. Wipe off excess marinade and gently arrange marinated pork slices onto the grill. Grill until the pork is nicely charred on both sides and meat is thoroughly cooked. If use indoor broiler oven, broil for 5-7 minutes on each side or until the meat is completely cooked and nicely charred.

For pickled veggies

Place the carrot and turnips in a bowl and sprinkle with the salt and 2 teaspoons of the sugar. Use your hands to knead the vegetables for about 3 minutes, expelling the water from them. They will soften and liquid will pool at the bottom of the bowl. Stop kneading when you can bend a piece of turnip so that the ends touch but the turnip does not break. The vegetables should have lost about one-fourth of their volume. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water, then press gently to remove extra water. Transfer to a 1 quart container.

Combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, vinegar, and the water and stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour over the vegetables. The brine should cover the vegetables. Let the vegetables marinate in the brine for at least 1 hour before eating. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.

 

To assemble the sandwiches

Cut 6″ length of baguette and split lengthwise. Slather both sides in butter and place on grill until toasted. Spread mayonnaise on one side of the toasted bread, followed by a few sprinkles of Maggi. Spread other side of baguette with chicken liver pate and top with thinly sliced jalapenos.

Back on the mayo/Maggi side, add cilantro leaves and well-drained pickled veggies. Top with lemongrass pork.

Scratch up the entire roof of your mouth with this sandwich. It’s totally worth it.

 

Notes

The pickled turnips should really be daikon but I couldn’t find any at my local grocery and didn’t feel like trekking to 99 Ranch. You can use radish, daikon, turnip, whatever you can get your hands on. You can also just buy pre-made pickled veggies from the store (but you see how easy the recipe is… just make it yourself n shit).

Maggi is optional. But I love that stuff.

Pate is totally optional. But I love that stuff.

Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someonePrint this page
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply