I was little frightened when my room-mate Nathan told me I was going to be in charge of cooking something for “Ethnic Potluck 2014”, a potluck with all the kitchen staff from Ayden Kitchen & Bar. Naturally it’s a little intimidating cooking with chefs of that level, and knowing I had to make a dish from another country didn’t help! Fortunately I got Vietnam, which I felt was one of the less intimidating submissions amongst places such as Peru, Croatia, Morocco, & more. After doing some research, given my love of sandwiches, I knew the Banh Mi was the way to go!
With my research and a little consultation from Nathan, I was ready to prepare my feast of Banh Mi! The end result was delicious! Although I have never actually had a Banh Mi, I think I did pretty darn good, and everyone else seemed quite satisfied with my contribution.
Banh Mi Sandwich
- BBQ Pork
- 1.5 kg pork shoulder thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup lemon grass finely minced
- 4 Kaffir lime leaves finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 2 large shallots minced
- 3 tbsp sesame seeds
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp pepper
- 2 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Zest of 1 lime
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 2 tsp fresh grated ginger
- Do Chua Pickled Vegetables
- 1 large carrot
- 1 large daikon radish
- 4 cups warm water
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp salt
- 6 tbsp rice vinegar
- Banh Mi Sandwich
- 2 large baguettes about 2 feet long
- Japanese mayonnaise
- 150 grams of head cheese
- 200 grams pork liver pate
- Fresh ground pepper
- 1 Cucumber sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
- 1 jalapeno
- 1 bunch of cilantro
- Juice of 1/2 a lime
- Grated ginger
- To make your pork shoulder easier to slice, put it in the freezer for about 30-45 minutes, then remove it and cut it into thin strips.
- In a large sealable bowl or bag, combine pork and other ingredients, mixing and marinating for 24 hours in the refrigerator.
- Cut your carrot and daikon into skinny strips about 3-4 inches long.
- Add salt, sugar, and rice vinegar to warm water and stir until dissolved, then add vegetables and let pickle for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
- Once everything has been marinated and pickled, dump the Do Chua in a strainer to allow all the pickling liquid to drain. While Do Chua is draining, cook the pork on the barbecue on medium-high heat about 10 minutes until cooked through. If pork is too thin for the barbecue grill, you can either skewer the pieces, or cook on a grate fine enough so the pork doesn't fall through.
- If you don't have a barbecue, spread pork out on a pan and broil on high until cooked through.
- Once pork is done, squeeze juice of half a lime, and grate fresh ginger on top, then let it rest.
- While the pork rests, slice the baguettes in half, spread with butter, and broil in oven until lightly toasted.
- Once baguette is toasted, spread a generous amount of Japanese mayonnaise on both halves of the baguettes.
- Spread 100 grams of pork liver pate on the bottom slice of each baguette, grind fresh pepper on the pate if it's not very peppery.
- Place a generous amount of cilantro on the baguette, lots of cilantro is important! It should have a good covering of cilantro after you're done.
- Place enough cucumber to cover the sandwich (I used two long slices per baguette).
- Follow up with a generous amount of Do Chua.
- Place the BBQ pork on next, then the head cheese, and finish with jalapenos to taste (I ended up doing one with no jalapenos) and your top slice of baguette.
- Slice in to individual pieces and enjoy!
Well that was the longest recipe I have typed up in a while! The Banh Mi is a fairly complex sandwich with a lot of different elements, but they are all worth it, making for one awesome sandwich! For those who might see things like “Pork Liver Pate” or “Head Cheese” and think “eeeew i’m gonna skip those”, DON’T! Each component works together for the greater good, and that greater good is this delicious sandwich!!