Banh Mi (Vietnamese-Style Sandwich)
With its spicy pork hash and bracing, crunchy slaw, the banh mi sandwich is one of Vietnam's most popular exports.
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
- 1⁄2 tsp. Asian-style hot sauce
- 1⁄2 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
- 1⁄2 tsp. red food coloring
- 1⁄4 tsp. onion powder
- 1⁄4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1⁄4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
For the Slaw and Serving
- 1⁄4 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 cup julienned carrots
- 1⁄2 cup daikon radish
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 4 10" Vietnamese baguettes or Portuguese rolls, split
- 1⁄2 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
- 1⁄2 cup cilantro sprigs
- 1⁄2 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.