Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Easy Pork Bánh mì (Vietnamese Sandwiches)

In the US, we use the term to refer to the ridiculously delicious, traditional Vietnamese submarine sandwich, however, Bánh mì is actually just the Vietnamese term for bread or baguette. They exemplify umami flavor at it's best. I would eat three a day if I could.

Quick Caramelized Pork Banh Mi 
(Makes approximately two large subs or four sandwiches)

Slaw Topping 
1/2 cup julienned carrots
1/2 cup julienned daikon radish or kohlrabi
2 Tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar

Seasoned Pork (Vegetarians may substitute firm tofu, seitan or scrambled eggs)
8 oz. Pork (cut of your choice) thinly sliced
1 garlic clove minced finely, almost to paste
1 scallion thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 Tablespoon soy sauce­
2 Tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder (optional)
½ teaspoon (or more) Sriracha or hot chili sauce/oil

cucumber sliced into thin rounds
cilantro leaves
thinly sliced scallion
thinly sliced jalapeños (fresh or pickled)

Crusty Baguette or bread of your choice that can hold up to heavy ingredients.

Mayonnaise (optional but recommended)

Preheat your oven to 400°F.

To make your slaw, combine all three ingredients and set aside to marinate. Use the julienne setting on a mandolin slicer for a quick, easy julienne.

Slice the pork thinly and set aside. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add oil, fish sauce, soy sauce, garlic and honey to the hot pan or wok. Add Chinese five-spice powder and Sriracha or chili sauce if using. Wisk the sauce together and increase the heat to high. Once the pan is very hot and your sauce is bubbling, but not smoking, add the pork. It will sear up quickly and soak up most of the sauce. Remove to a plate.

Slice the baguette lengthwise and spread with a mayonnaise (if using). Bake for about 5 minutes until toasty and crusty.

Assemble sandwiches with cucumbers, pork, some pan sauce, slaw, and garnish with cilantro and optional ingredients as you wish!