According to Andrea Nguyen, author of Into the Vietnamese Kitchen (Ten Speed Press, 2006), the baguette for this iconic Vietnamese sandwich "should be light and airy, with a very delicate crumb that does not fight you, but just frames the sandwich." This recipe first appeared in our April 2011 special Sandwich Issue with Nguyen's article Street Hero.
Yield: serves 4
For the Seasoned Pork
- 1 tsp. canola oil
- 1 tbsp. finely chopped yellow onion
- 12 oz. ground pork
- 2 tbsp. hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> tsp. Asian-style hot sauce
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> tsp. red food coloring
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>4</sub> tsp. onion powder
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>4</sub> tsp. garlic powder
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>4</sub> tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
For the Slaw and Serving
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>4</sub> cup distilled white vinegar
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>4</sub> cup sugar
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> cup julienned carrots
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> cup daikon radish
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 4 10" Vietnamese baguettes or Portuguese rolls, split
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> cup mayonnaise
- 8 1/8"-thick slices Vietnamese-style pork roll (cha lua) or bologna
- 8 1/8"-thick slices Vietanmese-style salami or ham
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> cup cilantro sprigs
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> medium English cucumber, cut lengthwise into 4 thick slices
- Asian-style chile oil, to taste
- Make the slaw: Bring vinegar, sugar, and ½ cup water to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over high heat; transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in carrots, radish, and salt, and set the slaw aside for 30 minutes. Drain.
- Make the seasoned pork: Heat oil in a 10″ nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add pork, hoisin, 2 tsp. soy sauce, sesame oil, hot sauce, five-spice powder, food coloring, onion and garlic powders, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until browned, 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Heat oven to 400°. Place baguettes on a baking sheet and spread 1 tbsp. mayonnaise inside both halves. Bake until hot and slightly crisped, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and divide seasoned pork evenly between baguettes. Top each with 2 slices pork roll, 2 slices salami, 1 tsp. soy sauce, ¼ of the cilantro, and 1 cucumber slice. Season with more pepper and chile oil, and top with the slaw. Close sandwiches.
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