These Vietnamese Pork Banh Mi sandwiches are some of the best sandwiches I have ever had. And I don’t say that lightly. I am a big sandwich lover and have tried all kinds of sandwiches.
If you have never had a Banh Mi sandwich (specifically a pork Banh Mi sandwich), let me tell you.. you are missing out huge. These sandwiches are bursting with flavor. They are just so fresh and delicious! First you have your smoked pork (amazing). Top that with Vietnamese pickled veggies (don’t be scared, they are just veggies soaked in rice vinegar for a few minutes.. it just adds to the all-around awesome flavor). Then you have a little jalapeño and cilantro sprinkles in the mix with some Sriracha-mayo. The blend of all these flavors wrapped in a crusty French bread is just heavenly.
Now the word “Banh Mi” is actually a term used for “bread” in Vietnamese (thank you Wikipedia). That being said, no matter what you put IN the sandwich, it can still technically be a “Banh Mi” sandwich. You can use anything from pork or chicken to eggs or even sardines. I would say the most popular kind of Banh Mi is the pork Banh Mi, but really you can put whatever meat you prefer in it (I think grilled chicken would actually be a decent substitute for pork if you aren’t a pork fan).
Now I have seen some recipes for Pork Banh Mi sandwiches call for shredded pork. The place where we like to get our sandwiches makes the pork the way we are doing it here in this recipe. The pork is done “Chinese BBQ pork” style. I honestly can’t say which way is more authentic (I have never eaten a sandwich in Vietnam) but I can tell you this way is the best tasting (IMHO). You can read all about the pork in this post HERE.
*For the daikon– sometimes this can be hard to find. If you are unable to find daikon, don’t stress. Just add a little more carrot and cucumber to make up for it. The sandwich will still be delicious, I promise.
*For the bread– you are going to want to get a nice, crusty french bread (not one of those huge loaves you make garlic bread with). You will want it to be closer to a baguette bread. Some baguette breads may be too thin/small. You want to be able to make a sandwich on it so it needs to be the right size. Get a great that is around 2″-3″ wide.. like the size of your fore-arm. Try to get a sense for the size of the bread from the pictures above and below. Hopefully you can get a good idea about what I am talking about.
- Prepare pork as indicated in the linked recipe above.
- Peel carrots, daikon, and cucumber and cut into small match-sticks (or you can shred into large shreds).
- Place cut vegetables in a quart-sized canning jar along with the sliced jalapeño.
- Combine vinegar, water and sugar and stir oil dissolved.
- Pour mixture over the vegetables in the jar and seal (make sure all the vegetables are covered with the liquid). Refrigerate at least 10 minutes.
- Combine mayonnaise and Sriracha. Slice bread lengthwise cutting down just one side (try not to cut all the way through, you will want to just slice it open so it lays flat-- kind of like how they slice bread at Subway)
- Spread mayo mixture over the baguette.
- Cut pork into thin slices and place on bread.
- Drain vegetables and place evenly over the pork.
- Sprinkle a little cilantro over the top of the veggies and serve.