In the past few years, no other ethnic food has risen in popularity as dramatically as the Vietnamese sandwich.
Vietnamese delis have popped up all over the country, and at the heart of the hype is the popular bánh mì sandwich: a mouthwatering, messy layering of juicy pork, cucumber, and sweet and tangy do chua, a slaw made with pickled carrots and daikon radishes.
And the drooling doesn’t have to stop at your favorite Vietnamese deli. Now you can bring the sandwich craze to your kitchen with our yummy bánh mì recipe.
For the roasted seasoned pork:
1. Mix black pepper, salt and sugar in a heatproof container with a lid. Then add the chile and garlic. Stir in warm water until sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the pork, and if you need more water to submerge the pork, add more. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
2. Remove the pork from the liquid, pat it dry and place it on a roasting pan. Let it sit for about a half hour so it returns to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place pork in the middle rack of the oven and roast for about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and let it cool for about 20 minutes. Slice thinly.
For the pickled daikon and carrots (aka do chua):
Daikon is a mild-flavored, large, white radish from East Asia packed with vitamin C and extremely low in calories. We’re hoping you know what carrots are. The pickled daikon and carrots are part of what makes banh mi so unique and adds the tang and extra crunch to the sandwich. You’ll need jar with a tight lid — a mason jar is perfect.
1. Combine the salt, sugar, water and vinegar in a bowl (preferably one that can be used to easily pour the mixture into the mason jar) and mix until the sugar and salt dissolve. (This is why you needed warm water.)
2. Blot the carrots and daikon radishes with paper towel to dry — because we’re sure you washed them well — and place them in the mason jar(s).
3. Pour the salt-and-sugar liquid mixture over top of the carrots and daikon radishes, covering them completely.
4. Put the lid on the jar(s), and store in the fridge for at least an hour. The longer you let it marinate, the more sour the taste. Eat within a week.
For the sandwich:
1. Slice only one side of the baguette so you have a pocket for the filling.
2. Spread mayo on the baguette. (We prefer both sides.)
3. Add pork, cucumber, pickled daikon and carrots and cilantro. Lightly sprinkle with soy sauce.
4. Eat up!