Banh-Mi

I overheard Casey telling my parents last night during Easter dinner that he had an epic food week (thanks to me). That’s exactly what you want to overhear, isn’t it? Especially when you pour your heart & soul into feeding others. It’s not like he doesn’t tell me he loves it when I make food for him, but to hear him tell other people? Well, that’s just awesome. During this “epic” food week, I made a version of Greek salad that had tabouleh mixed in, summer rolls from scratch, some of the crispiest potatoes ever  with grilled lamb for Easter and his most favorite food ever—Banh-Mi. Whew! Epic!

I’ve never made Banh-Mi before. I’ve always wanted to but it seemed kind of out of reach. We usually go out for Banh-Mi because it’s pretty reasonable, but the last time we went out they tried to charge us $8 per sandwich. I don’t think so!

What was stopping me?  First of all, I felt like I might not be able to match all the sandwiches my husband has devoured in the last 6 years. I also thought that grilling pork would be hard (it’s NOT). I was super concerned about getting the bread right (the bread worked, but now I think I have a better source!). Pickling my own veggies seemed laborious (so super duper easy and daikon is at my local Whole Foods). I was also worried that what I made wouldn’t be super authentic (who cares when it tastes soo dang good & just like the Bahn-Mi we get out to eat?!)  All the issues were just in my head because this recipe is a snap!

The only problem is…I think I set the bar even higher when it comes to home cooked meals. Oof!

And we’re off!

It all starts with the marinade. The flavor is FANTASTIC.

Sidenote: I’m totally going to make this pork over & over again. It’s so good.

Slice up the pork tenderloin and evenly coat in the marinade. Let it sit for 30 minutes.

The key to an authentic Banh-Mi is the pickled vegetables. Carrots & Daikon.

Daikon tastes a lot like a radish mixed with jicama.

Heat the water/vinegar/salt/sugar in a sauce pan til the sugar dissolves.

Put the julienned carrots & daikon in the pan. Turn off the heat and let it sit until it reaches room temp.

It’s all about the assembly line!

Authentic Banh-Mi includes mayo. We don’t have mayo in our house because we don’t like mayo.

So I used Greek yogurt with the sriracha sauce for the spicy spread. It worked like a charm!

Heat up your grill or grill pan. Grill the meat!

Cut up the bread and get it ready to broil.

Meat’s done. Bread is in the broiler.

Now let’s build one of our sandwiches!

Spread the bottom with pâté & the spicy spread.

Now add the pork.

Layer on the cucumbers, pickled vegetables, cilantro…

And top with jalapeños.

Because my husband loves a fried egg on his Banh-Mi….

I just had to. If you’re wondering how to make a Perfect Fried Egg. Here you go!

Time to get super excited.

You’d better get in here….

Before I eat your sandwich and this is all that’s left.

Excuse me while I act like Roomba and inhale the scraps.

Banh-Mi

makes 4-6 servings
recipe slightly adapted from Mad Hungry Cravings

for the pork marinade:

      • 1/4 cup dark soy sauce
      • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
      • one 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled & minced
      • 3 cloves garlic, minced
      • 1 large shallot, minced
      • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
      • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
      • 3/4 pound pork tenderloin, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch wide pieces

for the pickled vegetables:

      • 3/4 cup white vinegar
      • 1/2 cup water
      • 2 tablespoons sugar
      • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
      • 1 cup julienned carrots
      • 1 cup julienned daikon

for the sandwich:

      • 1 french baguette
      • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt (or mayonnaise)
      • 2 teaspoons sriracha
      • 6 oz. store bought pork pâté, thinly sliced
      • 1/3 English cucumber, cut into 16 spears
      • 10 cilantro sprigs
      • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
      • fried egg (totally optional, yet awesome)

Combine all marinade ingredient in a medium bowl. Add the pork tenderloin, stir to coat evenly and let marinate for 30 minutes.

To make the pickled vegetables, bring the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the carrots and daikon, remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Preheat grill or grill pan over high heat. Grill the pork, turning once, until meat reaches 140F, about 4 minutes. Remove the pork from grill/grill pan let rest for 5 minutes, and thinly slice.

Preheat the broiler with the rack in the upper third position. Halve the baguette lengthwise. Place cut side up directly on the oven rack and broil until toasted and brown around the edges, 2 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Combine the yogurt (or mayo) and sriracha in a small bowl, then spread evenly across the bottom of the baguette. Top with pâté, pork, cucumber spears, pickled carrots & daikon, cilantro & jalapeños. If you’re down with a fried egg, add that too! Close the sandwich, cut into portions & serve.

 

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74 Comments

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  • April 1, 2013

    All the flavors and accoutrements of this sandwich sound like my kind of heaven but I don’t eat meat…but I have a lot of tempeh sitting around just asking to be marinated! Not sure what I could do for the pate but I think I need to try this at least with the other components!

    • Dani
      April 2, 2013

      Ellen–I’ve made it with tempeh before and used avocado as a spread instead of pate…yum! I love this post! After a week of no bread for Passover I am READY to make this ASAP!! Thanks for the post Tracy! :D

  • April 1, 2013

    WOAH! Egg?! Game changer!
    My husband came back from LA last year banging on & on about Banh Mi’s. I can’t eat pork, so I adapted it & made a chicken version using that exact marinade. Trying to find a daikon in the UK was near impossible (we call them Mooli apparently!) but i eventually did and BAM – hands down my favourite meal now ever!

    But Egg….ah man! Thank you!

  • i LOVE that you made a banh mi at home. this still feels a little intimidating to me – even finding and buying pate at the store!?! but it looks delicious!

  • April 1, 2013

    You are hilarious! That last scraps bit made me laugh so hard! I am totally going to make this!
    Thank you for sharing!
    xoxo

  • April 1, 2013

    This post is gorgeous. Did you have an epic photography week too? ;) Absolutely stunning! I’m about to take a bite out of my laptop screen.

  • Mmmm, YES. I have always been intimidated by the idea of making my own banh mi at home but this looks WAAAY too good to pass up!

  • Nooooo DJ Roomba!!! (Gosh I hope you watch Parks and Rec) I laughed out loud when I read that Roomba comment! This doesn’t look that intimidating. Thanks for making it approachable!

    • Tracy
      April 1, 2013

      I do!!! I almost typed DJ Roomba but didn’t know if others would get it! HAHAHAHAA

  • Jane M
    April 1, 2013

    This is 3 meals under 1 roll! Looks like I’d need a bath after inhaling this delight!

  • April 1, 2013

    Wow, this is a must try. We order them so much at home that I have developed a personal relationship with the delivery man! Looking forward to cutting that mildly awkward friendship from my life.

    • Tracy
      April 1, 2013

      That’s hilarious! This will cut down the awkwardness by 100%.

    • rachael
      April 1, 2013

      it’s true, tracy! maddy is my sister and she literally hugged the delivery man when she ran into him!

      on another note, can’t wait to recreate our family’s favorite sandwich at home!

  • I fell in love with bahn mi the first time I had and every time I go to the restaurant, I always order it. You make it sound so easy, authentic and delicious.Will def try it soon :) thanks

  • Leslie
    April 1, 2013

    For those of you that don’t eat meat, tofu is a traditional ingredient. Marinate and bake it. I don’t like mayo either, but I will eat Veganaise if it is mixed with something.

  • April 1, 2013

    Oh man, I definitely need to try this! Although I would probably go for marinated tofu instead of pork, personally. :) I bet the pickled daikon and carrot would be good for little last-minute rice bowls with toasted sesame seeds, too.

  • April 1, 2013

    Holy @#$&$(@#(#* this looks amazing!!!! I LOVE Banh Mi, and like you, I just assumed it woudl be WAY too hard to make at home. Thanks sooo much for sharing!! I want my husband to say we had an epic food week! That is the best compliment ever! Especially since he’s a better cook than me! :)

  • April 1, 2013

    Wow, that sounds incredible! I hadn’t heard of Banh Mi before but you’ve made it look so delicious. It doesn’t look too challenging to make either. Great idea!

  • April 1, 2013

    YUM! I have things like that stopping me from making recipes too! I’m glad you pushed through because these look super delish.

  • Perber
    April 1, 2013

    These sandwiches look delicious!! I was in Vietnam in the fall and I had one over there. Super cheap, probably about $1 and I’m sure I was overcharged for being a tourist :)

    The link you posted to frying an egg has changed my life!! Thank you!!! It came out perfect this morning!

  • April 1, 2013

    …you make dreams come true! thank you for this!

  • so many flavors and yumminess going on here.

  • April 1, 2013

    That’s the problem with cooking delicious meals- you always set the bar higher! That bread looks amazing on its own. I’ve never even seen a restaurant that serves banh-mi, but maybe I’m not looking in the right places. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Kathy T
    April 1, 2013

    Your photos are amazing. Forget the sandwich I NEED a perfectly fried egg right this minute. Great recipe, thanks for sharing.

  • baker_d
    April 1, 2013

    We make ours with grilled lemongrass-marinated tofu slabs (and homemade aioli). We never thought about a fried egg before. This changes EVERYTHING, Tracy. Like, my banh mi brain just exploded a little. We can still get good ones here in Philly for $5 but enjoy the fun of putting them together at home from time to time. Especially if a crispy-edged, runny yolked egg is in the picture. Heck yeah.

  • April 1, 2013

    I never had banh mi anywhere before. I think I’ve made it myself twice but then, I didn’t have a comparison except for what I’ve made. I might just have to try one outside and compare with the ones I’ve been making. I find myself turning away from mayo more and more these days. Greek yogurt would be a fab substitute. Did Cooper try this one?

    • Tracy
      April 1, 2013

      Cooper tried the pork & ate the bread. There’s not much else in there that he likes!

  • megan
    April 1, 2013

    This looks delicious! I know what I’m making for our dinner guests this Sunday.

    • Tracy
      April 1, 2013

      Lucky dinner guests!!!!!!

  • April 1, 2013

    I can not believe you made this! I have been saying I am going to make one of these for weeks! I am so excited about your recipe, your photo make me want one so bad!

  • laura
    April 1, 2013

    This sandwich looks amazing. If you are ever in the city you must try Dinosaur’s – it’s in the Castro. Pretty darn good banh mis and their bread is amazing. Thank you Tracy!

    • Tracy
      April 1, 2013

      I can’t wait to check it out! Thanks for the tip.

  • Bethany
    April 1, 2013

    I have been following your site for a few months now. You are great! I love your stories and your quirkiness. You rock.

    And DAMN, that sandwich looks good.

    Keep it up.

  • Jenny
    April 1, 2013

    Looks so much better than the ones I buy! I will have to try making my own because I get cravings all the time. Thanks for an easy recipe!

  • Bravo, lady! My husband would completely love this. Must try it out!
    Heidi xo

  • April 2, 2013

    This looks crrrrrazy good! Looks like a lot of work for a sandwich but I’m so making this.

  • April 2, 2013

    I didn’t want to look at this post because I love Banh Mi’s. Yours looks very good. The shop we go to they only charge $3.50 and it is worth every penny.

  • April 2, 2013

    That marinade looks like it will quickly become a go-to in our household! And I love your idea of mixing sriracha and greek yogurt in place of mayo- well done!

  • April 2, 2013

    This sandwich looks amazing!! Love how you replaced the mayo (yuck!) with greek yogurt!

  • Jessica
    April 2, 2013

    Hi Tracy! For the pate, did you use the trader joe’s version??

    • Tracy
      April 2, 2013

      I did (which is actually chicken liver w/truffles). it was SUPER GOOD.

  • Ryann
    April 2, 2013

    Can I make these and serve them for fishermen? My husband is taking some people fishing and I thought these would be a fun on the river lunch….do they save well? YUMMY in my TUMMY :)

    • Tracy
      April 2, 2013

      I think they’d be good!!

      • Ryann
        April 3, 2013

        I feel like a RockStar that I got you comment. I made the sandwich “stuff” will put them together tomorrow and my honey who can’t stop eating the meat will serve them tomorrow on the cool rivers of Montana! Thank YOU!

  • April 4, 2013

    I love banh-mi! It’s always felt out of reach to me, too, as I feel like each component takes so long to prepare, but the flavors are well-worth it. Also, it’s the best when your husband raves to other people about your cooking :) xoxo

  • megan
    April 7, 2013

    Thank you SO much for this recipe, Tracy, and for dispelling the myth that Bahn-Mi would be so hard to make at home! My husband, and two year old (who chooses to the very basics usually) totally devoured it all and asked me to make it again the next day! It’s a new staple in our weekly menu – just in time for summer! Hooray! Thank you!

  • April 8, 2013

    Made this last night with tofu instead of pork (using vegetarian fish sauce in the marinade). SO FREAKING DELICIOUS!

    • Tracy
      April 8, 2013

      Holy Moley! That sounds great. I’m so glad you were able to make a vegetarian version, Cate!! YAY!

  • April 9, 2013

    I cannot tell you how much I LOVE banh mi! I make little mini ones for par-tays!

  • Mackenzie
    April 17, 2013

    This is such a beautiful post! You have officially de-mystified making banh-mi, and for that I thank you very much:)

    • Tracy
      April 17, 2013

      I hope you make them!

  • Veronica
    April 21, 2013

    Just made the Banh-Mi for mu husband and I. We have been searching for a good Banh-Mi around the neighborhood, and finally found it in our house! LOVE this recipe!!!! Thanks so much!

  • May 2, 2013

    I made these two weeks ago and ended up eating a sandwich every day. This recipe is amazing. I’m actually getting ready to make up another batch.

    I wasn’t able to get daikon so I just increased the carrots, still turned out great. Thank you for the recipe!

  • October 21, 2013

    thanks for the recipe. looks easy and so delicious.

  • karen
    October 30, 2013

    Made this the other day except did not have a baguette made with pizza dough instead. Sooooo good! Great appetizers.

  • Jenn
    March 25, 2014

    I love the idea of using this with pizza dough as appetizers!I subbed whole wheat bread, since I had it on hand and tofu and miso to replace the pork and fish sauce, since I’m vegetarian. Very messy, but very good. (Vegetarian fish sauce is pretty readily available, but I didn’t get a chance to pick any up, and the miso was an excellent stand-in.)

  • Bern
    June 11, 2014

    #ChickenshawarmaonTurkishpidebread. this is a heavy weight contender to banh mi as I know it.

  • Elizabeth
    June 11, 2014

    Damn you, Tracy! Pickled daikon/carrots will now forever be in my salads. So damn delicious!

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