Sometimes, I strive for authenticity—with frantic Google image searches, cookbook consulting, crowdsourcing—but other days, I’m just out for delicious flavors coming out of my kitchen in various iterations.
Last night I went the banh mi route, using a baguette and carrots I had delivered by Indie Plate here in Baton Rouge. There’s much debate about the right bread for banh mi, but you should be well off with a baguette from the local bakery: delicate crust, soft, chewy interior. Err on the lighter side.
For the vegetable spread, I grated my vegetables finely that they spread onto the bread slices with ease after marinating in the sugar and rice vinegar. Fine by me!
Finish with a slick of sriracha mayo, press it all together, and chow down.
Next time: Need to find a good side. Anyone for kimchi fries?
Pork Meatball Banh Mi
Yield: 2 servings
For the meatballs:
8 oz. ground pork
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
2 teaspoons sriracha
1/2 tablespoon flour
3 green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons fish sauce
Salt & pepper
2 tablespoons sesame oil (for cooking)
For the sandwiches:2/3 cup carrots
2/3 cup radishes (I used regular because Whole Foods didn’t have daikon)
2/3 cup cucumber
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup mayo
1 tablespoon sriracha
1, 2-foot baguette, sliced into four sections and halved
2 oz. fresh cilantro
1/4 cup thinly sliced jalapenos
For the meatballs: 1. Mix together all ingredients except sesame oil in a large mixing bowl. Form into 1.5-inch balls and set in a baking pan covered with plastic wrap. Cover and chill for 20–30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 300. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add meatballs and brown on both sides for 15 minutes. Then put the meatballs on a baking pan covered with foil and place in oven for 10 minutes to finish cooking.
For the sandwiches:
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine vegetables, rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Stir and let sit at room temperature for one hour, stirring occasionally.
2. In another bowl, combine mayonnaise and sriracha. Cover and chill until ready to use.
3. To make sandwiches, Spread one slice of each sandwich with sriracha mayo, then top with cilantro and jalapenos. On the other slide, spread vegetable mixture and then top with meatballs. Press slices together and serve.