Banh mi? Banh YOU.
The last time my husband and I made these, we were at the Pats vs. Bears game in Chicago. It was 4 degrees and there was a full blown blizzard that day. The pork was frozen. Solid. That was fun...NOT. Anyway, this past Sunday was a much warmer 35 degrees and sunny. A perfect day to start drinking at 8 am. I mean, a perfect day to grill outside.
Banh mi is a traditional Vietnamese sandwich that's savory, spicy, creamy and crunchy all in one.
The key to a really good banh mi sandwich is the marinade for the pork. We love adding fresh chopped lemongrass. I can't really describe lemongrass. It smells AMAZING. It's as though you mixed a chive with a fresh bright lemon. Sort of. You'll just have to try it to see why I love it so much. It's used a lot in Thai and Vietnamese cooking.
The bright, crunchy, pickled veggies add the perfect texture and flavor. I usually like to do a mixture of carrots, radishes, cilantro, and jalapenos.
And let's not forget the awesome spicy mayo and crunchy, airy bun.
1 1/4 Lbs Pork Tenderloin
1/4 Lemongrass, chopped
1/2 Cup of Teriyaki Marinade
1 Tsp Sesame Oil
1/2 Cup of Shredded Carrots,
15 Radishes, Sliced Thin
3 Jalapenos, Sliced in Matchsticks
1/2 Cup of Rice Vinegar
1/4 Cup of Water
3 Tbs of Sugar
1/3 Cup of Mayo
1 Tbs Soy Sauce
2 Tbs of Sriracha*
1/2 Lime, Juiced
4 Small Hoagie Roll
1 Large Bunch of Cilantro
Slice the pork into half inch slices. Remove the top third of the lemongrass stalks and the outer layer before chopping. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pork and marinate overnight. Throw all of the veggies into a bowl and add the water, sugar and vinegar. Let the veggies stand for 1-2 hours before serving. Grill the pork until medium well. Generously spread spicy mayo on each hoagie roll. Add grilled pork, veggies, and a few fresh sprigs of cilantro.
Vegetarian? Swap out the pork for tofu. Don't like pork? Chicken or beef works awesome here too. We've tried (and love) it all. Pork just happens to be our favorite.
*Sriracha is a hot sauce made from red chili peppers, used often in Asian cooking. It's much thicker than traditional hot sauce and has a unique flavor that goes great with other Asian ingredients. You can find it in the Asian aisle at your grocery store.