Anyone that knows me knows that my favorite food is Chinese, but what people may not know is that I have a lot of second favorites. One of those would be Vietnamese food. I have many favorite restaurants in Charleston (I mean how could you not, there are so many good places to eat), but one of those many is CO, a local Vietnamese restaurant. Some good friends of ours introduced us to this place and ever since I seriously cannot get enough! Me and the husband visited not to long ago and he got the banh mi sandwich. It did not disappoint, as usual. So good in fact I wanted to recreate this dish at home.
After some major foodqawker stalking (which if you have not been to foodqawker.com and you enjoy cooking, stop what you are doing and go right now), I came across a recipe that I thought would capture the essence of the banh mi I was looking for. Not only was this a quick meal to put together, it was delicious!! The saltiness from the pickled carrots and cucumber, combined with the spiciness of the mayo, and the freshness of the cilantro, was a mouth watering combination. This was my first time pickling vegetables. The recipe I went off of said you could wait up to 5 days or they used theirs after an hour in the jar. Mine were pickling for 4 hours and I thought it was perfect!
Now I can get my cravings at home anytime I want! However, I will say it will not stop me from visiting CO, now I can just order different things on the menu! 🙂
Pork Banh Mi Sandwich
Adapted from Use Real Butter
1. 4 thinly sliced pork chops
2. 4 tablespoons soy sauce
3. 2 tablespoons fish sauce
4. 2 teaspoons brown sugar
5. 1 teaspoon chili garlic paste
6. 3 cloves garlic, smashed
7. 1 large shallot sliced
8. 1 tablespoon olive oil
9. 1 whole wheat baguette
10. Spicy mayo (I just mixed Sriracha and mayo together)
11. Fresh cilantro (this is key, dont skip this ingredient!)
12. 1 medium cucumber, julienned
13. 1 carrot, peeled and julienned
14. 1/2 cup rice vinegar
15. 1/2 cup sugar
16. 1/2 water
To make pickled vegetables
1. Combine the vinegar, salt, sugar, and water in a jar and shake until the sugar has dissolved. Add the cucumber and carrots and store them sealed until ready to use
Pork banh mi
1. Combine soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, chili paste, garlic, and shallots in a ziploc bag. Add the pork and marinate for 1-4 hours.
2. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook on each side until done, about 3 mins per side.
3. To assemble: Slice the baguette into the size sandwich you want and then slice lengthwise. Toast the bread. Once toasted add the cooked pork, pickled vegetables, cilantro and spicy mayo. See how easy that is?!