Truth: I’m basically smitten by anything that includes both bread and pulled, saucy meat.
Truth: “Banh Mi” is actually the Vietnamese term for all types of bread and baguettes but it’s evolved and now refers to a meat-filled sandwich found in Vietnamese bakeries.
Truth: Vietnamese food rocks
Truth: I’ve taken some liberties with this recipe and don’t claim this as an authentic banh mi.
Truth: It’s amazing.
The meat starts off in the slow cooker where it slow-roasts for hours and gets fall-apart tender. The sauce it’s cooked in is a combo of sweet chili sauce (click here to learn a little about it), lime juice, and fish sauce. Fish sauce is a key ingredient in Thai and Vietnamese cooking and doesn’t actually taste as “fishy” as one would think. While I fully encourage you to give it a go, soy sauce can be substituted if you can’t get past the name.
Stir up the sauce and pour over the pork in the slow-cooker. I usually like to use a pork shoulder, but this time I used a pork sirloin roast which is a good choice if you want something a bit leaner.
While the pork is cooking, let’s put together a little cool, crisp, slaw. One of the main components of this slaw is daikon and if you haven’t had it it’s a super mild white raddish that you can find in most produce sections. Sometimes it’s called Japanese raddish but you’ll be able to spot it because it basically looks like a long, giant root.
Shred some daikon and carrot, throw in some fresh cilantro and toss with a dressing made of rice wine vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, and a little salt. It’s okay if you get this put together a few hours before you’re ready to serve because the carrots and daikon hold their crunch really well.
After 6-8 hours your meat should be full cooked and ready to go. Take the pork out of the slow cooker and place on a plate to easily shred. Pour the cooking liquid from the slow cooker into a separate bowl, skim the fat off the top and combine 1 cup of that liquid with another 1/4 C of sweet chili sauce. Toss the shredded meat with the cooking liquid sauce and you’re ready start making sandwiches!
Before starting to assemble the sandwiches, mix a dollop of mayonnaise with a squirt of sirracha and spread each side of a toasted baguette with it. From there, pile high with the hot pork, a spoonful of the slaw, and top with a few thin slices of cucumber.
Take a bite and enjoy the crunchy, smooth, cool, and spicy-ness. Yup- it’s good.
- 3 lb pork shoulder
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 C sweet chili sauce
- 1/4 fish sauce
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/4 C sweet chili sauce
- 1 1/2 C shredded carrots
- 1 1/2 C shredded daikon
- 1/2 C fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- cucumber, thinly sliced
- mayonnaise mixed with sirracha to taste
- french baguettes, sliced and toasted
- Season pork shoulder with salt and pepper and place in a slow cooker.
- Combine fish sauce, ¼ sweet chili sauce, and lime juice in a small bowl and pour over the pork. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the meat shreds easily. Remove meat from cooking liquid and shred.
- Pour cooking liquid into a separate container, skim off fat and combine 1 C of this skimmed liquid with the remaining ¼ of sweet chili sauce. Toss the meat with this sauce and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl combine daikon, carrots and cilantro. Whisk together the vinegar, sesame oil, salt, and sugar and pour over the veggies. Toss to combine and set aside.
- Spread each baguette with the sirracha mayo, a few slices of cucumber, and a spoofull each of the meat and slaw.
by Heather Cheney
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