macgyver tried but did not conquer
Today we celebrate “A Sandwich a Day” day. Honestly speaking I have no idea why it is but T said it had something to do with the Earl of Sandwich…I think that’s what he said. So in tribute to this day, I made yet another banh mi! It’s been long overdue so any excuse to make it, I’ll take! This time around I made pork belly banh mi. OH YES I DID. Meltingly tender, layers of unctuous drippings, flavorful and heavenly.
I used the same marinade as my original banh mi recipe just used a different cut of pork, I didn’t have any radishes at hand or cucumbers for that matter but the sriracha mayo, pickled carrots and fresh cilantro brought it all together anyway. I also picked up cubano bread instead at my local grocery store, it’s a great substitute! Not a rough palate ripping crust and soft and chewy in the inside which held up great to all the juices and mayo. (no soggy banh mi here!)
Pork Belly Banh Mi
3 1 ½ inch slabs of pork belly (skin on or off)
4 stalks lemongrass (dry leaves hulled, tender bits chopped)
5 cloves garlic
3 asian shallots
½ C kecap manis
1 T fish sauce
1 cubano roll (mine was about the length of a French baguette)
½ cucumber sliced into thin strips
2 carrots thick julienne
½ daikon thick julienne
large bunch of cilantro (leaves and stems)
Pickling liquid (carrots and daikon)
1 C apple cider vinegar
½ C sugar
1 T salt
½ C good quality mayo
2 T sriracha (or more to your liking)
Juice of half a lime
Combine the first 6 ingredients into a blender or a food processor and process till it creates a thick paste. Marinate your pork belly slabs in a Ziploc bag with your marinade for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Once they’ve had time to marinate pre-heat your oven to 450F and place your pork bellies on a foil wrapped tin. Discard extra marinade. Bake them for 45 minutes and you can baste occasionally, I basted once. Once the 45 minutes are up, bring the temperature down to 250F and continue to cook for 2 hours. Basting occasionally again, if you happen to pass the oven. Meanwhile make your carrot and daikon pickles and prepare everything else. After the 2 hours are up just turn the oven off and pop your bread in to get warm. When you are ready to serve slice up your meat and discard any fat (unless you like it) slice your bread lengthwise, slather a generous amount of sriracha mayo, layer your meat on, then add your cucumber, pickles and cilantro. EAT!