|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 92g||118%|
|Saturated Fat 31g||156%|
|Total Carbohydrate 63g||23%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||13%|
|Total Sugars 28g|
|Vitamin C 23mg||114%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Meat, pickles, vegetables, chili, and mayonnaise on an airy, crusty baguette—these are the elements of a classic banh mi sandwich.
The best banh mi is the one you grab on the streets of Vietnam, or from the little cafe you ducked into seeking shelter from the monsoon. It's ready in moments, doesn't cost much, and tastes all the better for it. At home, it's better to buy precooked ingredients, so that you don't find yourself working for half a day in the kitchen just to make a sandwich. The fully cooked pork belly from Trader Joe's, for example, is excellent for banh mi, and requires only slicing and a quick crisp in the frying pan. If you must make everything from scratch, do it over the course of a few days. Make the pickles first so they have time to, you know, pickle. Roast the pork for dinner. Make the pâté some Sunday afternoon. Then, when the time is right, pick up a fresh baguette and assemble your lunch.
Speaking of the baguette, it's very important. If possible, stay away from sourdough or levain baguettes for banh mi. Those styles are crusty and chewy, but you're looking for light, airy and crispy. The crust should be thin and the crumb should be soft, yielding easily to the fillings and holding them in place. If you can't find the right baguette, look for fresh bolillo rolls, which are available in many supermarkets.
The pâté should be soft and spreadable to lend moisture to the sandwich. Typically it is made of chicken liver, a flavor of mellow intensity that contrasts beautifully with the pickles and fresh vegetables. Some styles of banh mi are made with pâté alone.
Besides roast pork and liver pâté, banh mi can also be made with cold cuts, meatballs, barbecued pork or beef, and even vegetarian pâté.
“The bahn mi sandwich is flavorful, impressive-looking, and full of quality ingredients. The brine comes together quickly and the sandwich is easy to assemble. I packed them up and enjoyed them with friends who thought I was a genius. The recipes is, not me!” —Mary Jo Romano
For the Pork:
2 cups warm water
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
1 medium onion, quartered
3 medium jalapeños, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup fish sauce
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed
For the Sandwich:
1 French baguette, 22 to 24-inches long
1/2 cup store-bought or homemade pâté
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup store-bough or homemade pickled carrot and radish mixture, fresh julienned radish, or daikon
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced, seeded if desired
3/4 cup thinly sliced seedless cucumber
2/3 cup packed fresh cilantro sprigs
Steps to Make It
Make the Pork
Gather the ingredients.
Add the water, salt, and sugar to a bowl large enough to hold the pork shoulder and other ingredients. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Alternatively, use a 2-gallon zip-top bag.
Add the garlic, peppercorns, onion, jalapeño, soy sauce, and fish sauce to the bowl. Stir to combine. Add the pork and enough cold water to completely submerge the meat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400 F. Remove the pork from the brine and pat dry. Discard the brine. Place the pork on a rack in a roasting pan and roast until the internal temperature reaches 145 F on an instant-read thermometer, about 1 hour, 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and rest for at least 30 minutes before cutting into 1/4-inch thick slices.
Assemble the Sandwich
Gather the ingredients.
Cut the baguette into 4 equal-size pieces, about 5- to 6- inches long.
Divide the pâté evenly between the sandwiches, spreading it on 1 side of each baguette. Divide the mayonnaise evenly between the sandwiches, spreading it on the other side of each baguette.
Divide 1 pound of pork slices equally among the 4 sandwiches. Reserve any remaining pork for another use.
Layer in the pickled vegetables, jalapeño, cucumber, and cilantro. Serve immediately.
- For an extra crispy crust on your bread, lightly spray your baguette with water and warm it in a 350 F oven for about 10 minutes before using it for the sandwiches.
- If you can't find a 22- to 24-inch French baguette, buy two smaller baguettes, or look for fresh bolillo rolls, which are available in many supermarkets
How to Store
Leftover pork can be refrigerated for up to 1 week, or wrap tightly and frozen for up to 3 months.