That title is a mouthful. Literally! I’m that person that thinks about a Vietnamese banh mi probably once a week. I’m not the guy that is thinking of that (IMHO) six inch sub that lacks all sorts of every taste just so I can make…
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You might not be familiar with the title of this post and you are probably thinking ‘what the hell?’. Don’t worry, that’s why I am here. It basically translates to ‘awesome sandwich’, or better yet ]Chinese barbecue pork tucked into everything amazing with a Vietnamese…
You should probably know by now that I could live off of tacos, pizza, or for that matter bacon. Many of these favorites of mine have some pork product in them. I love pork, and pretty much every piece of the pork. As much as I try a lot of new things, I stick to my standards when it comes to pork; ribs, chops, bacon, ham, shoulder. So this past week, I already knew I wanted slow roasted pork. At first, I was thinking tacos, but then the Asian influence stumbled upon me and I could not get the taste of a Banh Mi sandwich out of my mind.
This is when I came up with the Banh Mi taco. It was so worth it.
- Pork shoulder, cut into large chunks, browned and slow roasted
- Pickled carrots and daikon
- 1 large cucumber, peeled, and sliced lengthwise, seeds removed
- Fresh cilantro sprigs
- 1 large jalapeno, seeds removed, thinly sliced
- Fresh corn tortillas, warmed
- Soy sauce, optional
Simple ingredients. Huge flavors.
At first my wife asked if we had these tacos before. I asked her why, and she said the pickled carrots and daikon really reminded her of something. She had her mind on the pork tinga that I had made for a family gathering some time ago. Granted, the pork tinga was delicious, and the pickled red onions were a great balance, it had nothing on the sweet, heat of these delicious tacos.
I’ll admit it now. I love Mexican and Asian flavors, and this taco married the two, and it was apparent to both my wife and I.
When your pork shoulder is fully cooked, and basically falls apart, make sure you shred it, much like you would handle pulled pork. Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium heat, and add enough of the cooked pulled pork to fill your tacos. The goal here is to get a bit of texture, a bit of light crisp if you will, on the pork.
Remove the lightly crisp pork, and arrange your tacos. I always double up my corn tortillas. I love the texture of two, plus they hold up well when being loaded with ingredients.
Add the pork, drizzle with a bit of soy sauce if you want, add the cucumber strips, pickled daikon and carrots, cilantro sprigs and a couple of the thinly sliced jalapenos.
Trust me, these bring out some really great memories of a Bahn Mi, while at the same time really satisfying your taco cravings.
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!