Banh Mi in a Hurry

 Hunger Games is out! My sister has mentioned that she’s read all three books in a matter of 2 weeks I think and she pretty much planted an interest in me. I have not managed to read the book…however I just went to see the show! I can’t judge just yet if I loved it or not…I knew what it was about but somehow was hoping for a little more…I think one must read it before reviewing it. Anyway, this post isn’t about the movie…it’s about the pre-movie dinner in a hurry kind of post. And nothing gets better than a toasty sandwich stuffed with charred lemongrass pork, quick pickled carrots and radishes, sriracha mayo and an amazon of cilantro. If you aren’t following…I am talking about the holy grail of sandwiches… the banh mi. This is minus the pate but its still scrumpdililumpcious GOOD.

I used the 2 extra grilled pork chops that I had already grilled from last nights dinner for this banh mi. It was marinated in a thick paste of smashed up lemongrass, garlic, asian shallots, kecap manis, and fish sauce. I had it all planned…except for the rush to the movies part. All I needed was 10 minutes for my pickles and another 5 to get all the other elements. I imagine this would be excellent with a fried egg on top.

Banh Mi

2 center cut pork chops (bone or no bone)
4 stalks lemongrass (dry leaves hulled, tender bits chopped)
5 cloves garlic
3 asian shallots
1/2 C kecap manis
1 T fish sauce
2 loaves soft French baguette
½ cucumber sliced into thin strips
2 carrots thick julienne
5 radishes sliced (or 1/2 daikon thick julienne)
large bunch of cilantro (leaves and tender stems only)

Pickling Liquid

1 C apple cider vinegar
1/2 C sugar
1/2 T salt

Sriracha Mayo

¼ C good mayo
Sriracha to taste ( depending on how spicy you want it)

Make your marinade by placing lemongrass, garlic, shallots, kecap manis and fish sauce in a food processor till its thick and pasty.
Place your pork chops between two sheets of plastic wrap and with a mallet or in my case a rolling pin pound it lightly till its just beginning to break some of its fibres. Place your marinade and pork into a ziploc bag, release all the air and let it sit for 2 hours or overnight. Cook your pork on a hot grill to achieve those lovely charred marks...cook for 3-4 minutes of each side and don't overcook it as pork tends to get pretty dry. Let it rest on your cutting board before you slice it into 1/2 inch thick slices.
For the pickling liquid, just combine all ingredients and stir to incorporate the sugar in. Submerge your julienned carrots and radishes in and set aside. Make your sriracha mayo and set aside.

Assemble you banh mi by slicing your loaf (like those subway ladies do it). I dont like too much bread in my sandwiches so I hull out the top loafs inner bread. Spread a healthy dollop of sriracha mayo on the bottom, arrange a nice layer of pork, then on with you cucumbers, pickled carrots and radishes, then stuff with cilantro! Feel free to squirt on more sriracha as I did!


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