Vietnamese Sandwiches – Grilled Pork Bánh Mì [recipe]

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Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwiches) has definitely been put on the map these last few years, it’s also quite popular on the food truck scene now. Living in the South Bay of Northern California, where half of the population is predominantly Asian, I have easy access to some really great hole-in-the-wall joints that serve up some delicious sandwiches for cheap. Yes, I’ve been in love with banh mis ever since middle school and back then we used to call them “dollar sandwiches” as we can literally get one for a dollar. As many of you know about my new found love for bread-making (see post here), I was very excited to bake up some baguettes to make some yummy sandwiches for my husband and me. (Joe loves banh mi sandwiches more than I do, to the point where his whole face lights up just thinking about ’em.)
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France ruled Vietnam as a colony in the 19th century, thus the introduction of baguettes. The term “bánh mì” means bread, or baguettes. A banh mi sandwich is a single serving baguette filled with meats, cucumber, pickled carrots and daikon, and cilantro. Some common meats you’ll find in a banh mi sandwich are grilled pork, pork meat balls, head cheese, pate…etc. I decided to use grilled pork in my sandwiches today as the marinade takes no time to make and leaves the pork juicy and flavorful.
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Grilled Pork (recipe adapted from Luke Nguyen via FoodAndWine.com)

1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
6 scallions, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin

  • Thinly sliced the pork tenderloin.
  • In a blender, puree the fish sauce with the honey, sugar, pepper, scallions and garlic. Transfer the marinade to a bowl, add the pork and toss. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours. Grill the pork in a skillet.
  • If you want to grill the pork on a BBQ, use skewers to thread several pieces of pork onto one skewer, grill for 4-5 minutes.
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Pickled Carrots and Daikon

1 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup julienned carrot
1 cup julienned daikon radish
2 tsp Kosher salt
  • Bring water, sugar, and vinegar to a boil. Transfer the vinegar mixture to a non-reactive bowl and cool.
  • Add the carrot and daikon to the vinegar mixture, add salt to season.
  • Marinade for an hour and enjoy. Store any leftovers in a sterile jar, refrigerate up to two weeks.

To Assemble

  • Cut the baguette in half, lengthwise. Use your fingers to spread the soft bread and make a long dent lengthwise (so the fillings will stay put)
  • Optional: Spread mayonnaise and a mixture of sriracha and hoisin sauce on the bread. Too much of the latter can overpower the taste of the grilled pork.
  • Top the bread with pickled daikon and carrots, grilled pork, thinly sliced cucumber, cilantro, and jalapenos. (No cilantro in mine since I’m one of those people who find it soapy and can’t stand it…)

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One thought on “Vietnamese Sandwiches – Grilled Pork Bánh Mì [recipe]

  1. I’ve been thinking about banh mis recently! You read mi mind! 🙂 Your baguettes look beautiful! How do you julienne your carrots and daikon? Always have trouble with that! We should go to Woolly Pig in SF together and eat their bahn mi – it’s one of my faves there!

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