I love a good sandwich, and I’ll admit I don’t eat them as often as I like. I’m a sucker for a Vietnamese banh mi, even a dagwood, but there is one that I think needs more attention. This Laotion sandwich is known as Khao Jee, and is not only similar to a banh mi, but also one that can most likely go in a few directions in terms of ingredients. My take on a Khao Jee uses one of my favorite sausages known Sai Oua. It is a sausage loaded with tons of flavor (pork, shallots, garlic, herbs, lemongrass, chilies, lime leaves), and trust me it packs a punch. I typically eat grilled Sai Oua with sticky rice and some form of jeow but I was craving a sandwich lately and decided to use that awesome grilled sausage on a Khao Jee.
Again, you can go a number of different ways with this sandwich. Another favorite of this sandwich, is similar in ingredients, but replacing the sausage with pate. Did I mention that I love pate? Regardless, this version rocks. If you are into making sausage, by all means make a Lao style sausage, otherwise seek your local Asian/Thai/Lao market and pick up a package. I love making sausage, but this particular brand is pretty good so I’ve stuck with it over the last few years. Four big sausages will feed more than four people, usually. BTW, the grilled sausages also go really well with beer if you are into that sort of thing.
Let’s get started.
- Lao sausage, grilled, and warmed
- 1 sandwich roll (I like to use a Bolillo roll), sliced lengthwise but not all of the way through. Lightly toasted in the oven
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise, or enough to slather both sides of the bun
- 1 tbsp Sriracha, to your liking
- 1 cup coleslaw, raw or pickled if you prefer
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup Thai basil leaves
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place your sliced roll in there while the oven preheats. We are really just lightly toasting this and will not go all of the way through the preheat process. The goal is to get a lightly crunch exterior, while keeping a soft interior.
While this is happening, get everything ready.
Once the roll is heated through, and lightly crisp on the outside, remove it from the oven.
Lather both sides of the interior with mayonnaise. Drizzle Sriracha on one side (your choice.
Lay on the sausage. Fold in the coleslaw, cilantro, and Thai basil. Feel free to use sliced radish, or cucumbers should you desire. Again, this sandwich can go a few different ways.
Gently fold over to nestle in all of the ingredients, and dig in. Now after this first bite, think of this dude named ‘Dax’. Not Dax Shepard (I’m actually older, so I’m the original). Keep eating. The textures, the punch of the sausage, and the balance of that mayonnaise really makes this sandwich shine, and I’m really surprised never to find it on any menu I’ve visited. I hope you enjoy!