Pork Banh Mi

in

This French-Vietnamese hybrid by Chef Joshna is an example of all the best things a sandwich can be: full of flavour and texture, a balance of richness and sourness, and the perfect bun-to filling relationship. The little surprise explosions of chili are easily her favourite bit. You can leave the pate out if you wish, but it really takes the sandwich to another level.

Pork Banh Mi

Makes 4 sandwiches

Ingredients

For the pork:
5 cups simmering water
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled
1 medium thai chili, crushed
2 tbsp black peppercorns, cracked
1½ lb boneless pork butt

For the pickled carrots & daikon:
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
3 medium carrots, peeled and julienned on a mandolin (about 1½ cups)
4-inch piece daikon, peeled & julienned on a mandolin (about 1½ cups)

To assemble:
4 Vietnamese sandwich rolls
4 tbsp good quality store-bought mayonnaise
10 ounces pork pâté or butter (optional)
½ English cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
2 thai chilies, very finely chopped
8 tsp light soy sauce

Directions

1. Pour 1 cup of the simmering water into a 6-quart heatproof container with a tight-fitting lid, then remove the remaining water from heat. Add salt and sugar to the heatproof container and stir until dissolved. Add garlic, chiles, peppercorns, and pork. Top with remaining 4 cups of now-tepid water to fully cover the meat. Submerge the meat if necessary with an upside down plate. Cover and refrigerate 12 hours or overnight.

2. When the pork is ready, remove from the liquid, rinse, pat dry with paper towels, and place fat side up in a roasting pan. Allow to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Roast pork until the internal temperature reaches 165°F, about 1 hour 45 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, at least 45 minutes, then slice thinly, about 1/8 inch thick.

For the pickled carrots:

3. Combine vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once sugar and salt have dissolved, remove from heat, add carrots and daikon, and stir to coat in pickling mixture. Let stand until vegetables have softened, at least 30 minutes or overnight. Drain well and set aside.

To assemble:

4. Slice each of the buns lengthwise in half, taking care not to cut all the way through. Spread 1 tablespoon of the mayonnaise evenly on one side of the bun, and spread a generous tablespoon of pate or butter on the other side of the bun.

5. Fill with sliced pork (there may be some left over), cucumber slices, cilantro leaves, pickled carrots and daikon. Garnish with a few bits of chili and drizzle 2 tsp soy sauce over each sandwich.

 

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