Bánh Mi

Bánh Mi has to be one of my favorite sandwiches. These sandwiches pack a flavor punch as no other sandwich can. The combination comes from the richness of the pulled pork and the tangy pickled vegetables, it’s going to be so good! I’m cooking my pork butt in the slow cooker today so this will give me plenty of time to get all the other ingredients together for this dish.

If you love any type of Asian food, you know that getting all your prep done is super important. Let’s get started with preparing the pork for the slow cooker.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Yields: 4 Bánh Mi sandwiches
Equipment: slowcooker (crockpot), chef’s knife, tongs, paring knife, spoon, whisk, Microplane (zester), plastic squeeze bottle (optional), pastry brush, large plastic container with a tight-fitting lid, 2 small mixing bowls, rimmed baking sheet pan

Tip: The pickled vegetables and the lime mayonnaise can be made the day before.
 I asked my butcher to roll and tie my pork butt for even cooking.
Note: Allow the pork butt to come to room temperature before cooking.
Note: If you’re using a squeeze bottle for the lime mayonnaise, cut the top large enough for the lime zest to pass through.

1 (3-pound) pork butt, rolled and tied
3 large yellow onions, quartered
5 large cloves of whole garlic, quartered
1 (3-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled, cut into coins
1 cup Coca Cola
1/2 cup chicken stock, unsalted
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
2 cups of finished cooking liquid, reserve

Once the onions and ginger are in the slow cooker, sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

1 (6-inch) Daikon radish, peeled and julliened
1 Hothouse (English) cucumber, seeded and julliened
1 cup of carrots (any kind you have on hand) cut and julliened
1/2 cup of radishes, thinly sliced
1 Fresno chili, seeded and sliced into rings
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced into half-moons

4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, unseasoned
4 tablespoons of granulated sugar
4 tablespoon water, room temperature

3 tablespoons soy sauce, low-sodium
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons of water, room temperature

2 limes, zested
1 lime juiced, approx. 1 1/2 tablespoons
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt
Pinch of fresh ground black pepper
1 lime juiced (approx. 1 1/2 tablespoons) fresh lime juice

4 (6-inch) hoagie rolls, buttered and toasted

The Pork Butt:

Start by using a paring knife to cut slits on both sides of the pork butt. Insert the quartered garlic cloves into each of the holes. Season the outside of the pork with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper on all sides. Set aside.  Peel and quarter the onions. Using a spoon peel and slice the fresh ginger. Throw the onions and ginger into the slow cooker. Season with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Place the prepared pork butt on top. Time to add the liquids. Pour in the Coca Cola and chicken stock. Put the lid on and set the timer for 4 hours on high.

The Pickled Vegetables:
What’s great about this dish is that you have plenty of time to get all the slicing and dicing done while the pork is cooking, no stress! I start with a large Tupperware container to put all my veggies in. Follow my ingredient list above to see how each of the veggies are prepped. Now you could use a food processor to shred the vegetables where they’d be super thin but I like mine to be a little thicker so they keep more of their bite once they’ve been pickled. This is totally up to you!

In a seperate bowl add the rice vinegar, sugar, and water. Continuously whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved. Pour the pickling liquid over the vegetables, toss to combine. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and let sit out on the counter for 30 minutes, toss again halfway through. Next, transfer the pickled vegetables to the frig to chill. Once the vegetables have had more time to work their magic (remember you won’t need them until the pork is done) in the pickling liquid, use a pair of tongs to transfer the pickled vegetables to a smaller container that has a tight-fitting lid for storage. At this point, I discard the pickling liquid.

The Lime Mayonnaise:
In a small container or bowl, add 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, lime zest, lime juice, Kosher salt, and black pepper, whisk to combine. Transfer the mayonnaise to a squeeze bottle and transfer to the frig until ready to use.

Soy-Fish Sauce:
Finally it’s to make the soy sauce mixture. Add soy sauce, fish sauce, and water to a small bowl, whisk to combine. Set aside.

Once the pork is fork tender, remove the pork from the pot. Shredd the pork, using two forks, and transfer to a large container. Fish out the ginger coins from the pot, they’ve done their job. Using a pair of tongs, transfer all the onions to the shredded pork. Add the cooking liquid to the shredded pork, toss to combine. Set aside.

Slit the hoagies leaving the very ends attached. You want to be able to fill the ingredients without them spilling out of the rolls. Butter and toast the hoagies.

Assemble The Bánh Mi:
Start by liberally brushing the soy fish sauce mixute onto one side on the hoagie. Then, using a squeeze bottle, on lthe same side as the soy mixture, add the lime mayonnaise. I like to use a butter knife to spread the mayo evenly over the bread. Add a good amount of the pulled pork with those delicious cooked onions. Top with another good helping of the pickled vegetables. Finally, garnish with fresh cilantro and mint leaves. 

There you have it, my Bánh Mi.