The Saturday Show

Pork Banh Mi

/ 24 September 2016

 

I’m fairly convinced that as sandwiches go, few are better than this Vietnamese street food snack. It’s got everything you need; smoky, lemongrass scented pork, crunchy pickled vegetables, fresh herbs and a wicked sesame aioli. It may not be strictly traditional, and I’ve left out the pâté which I find a little overpowering, but it’s vibrant, fresh and utterly delicious.

 

Makes 4

 

Ingredients:

500g pork neck fillet

 

For the marinade:

4 cloves garlic, peeled

2 stalks lemongrass, tough outer leaves removed, finely chopped

2 spring onions, roughly chopped

1 red chilli, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

2 teaspoons light brown soft sugar

 

For the sesame aioli:

1 egg yolk

1 small clove garlic, peeled and crushed

100ml vegetable oil

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon fish sauce

 

For the pickled vegetables:

1 large daikon radish

2 large carrots

2 tablespoons caster sugar

2 teaspoons sea salt flakes

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

 

To serve:

4 small baguettes

2 spring onions, shredded

Bunch coriander, leaves picked

Bunch mint, leaves picked

 

Method:

Cut the pork into 2cm slices and put into large bowl. Combine the marinade ingredients in a liquidiser, blend until smooth then pour over the pork. Toss the pork in the marinade then cover and chill for at least two hours; overnight is even better.

Meanwhile make the aioli. Put the egg yolk and garlic into a large bowl and whisk together until smooth. Combine the oils in a jug and, whisking constantly, begin to pour the oil into the bowl in a very thin, steady stream. Continue steadily adding the oil and whisking until it’s all incorporated then whisk in the vinegar and fish sauce.

For the pickled vegetables, peel the daikon and carrots and cut into thin matchsticks. Put the vegetables into a large bowl with the sugar and salt then gently work everything together with your hands. Keep tumbling and gently kneading the vegetables for 5 minutes until they’ve softened. Drain off the excess liquid then stir in the vinegar and set aside.

Preheat the barbecue for direct grilling and remove the pork from the fridge half an hour before cooking. Grill the pork for 10 minutes until cooked through and lightly charred then remove from the grill and set aside to rest for a few minutes. Spilt the baguettes lengthways and lightly toast the insides on the barbecue. Spread the baguettes with the aioli and top with the pickled vegetables. Thinly slice the pork, pile into the baguettes and top with the spring onions and herbs.