Updated: Oct 24, 2018
Bánh mì made lectin-free with all the flavor of the traditional Vietnamese sandwich, lemongrass grilled pork, lectin-free sourdough baguette and sweet, pickled veggies.
Bánh Mì Thịt Nướng (Bon-mee-tit-nong) is a Vietnamese sandwich with French influence, often sold by street vendors for $1 or less in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). But famously, one restaurant sells a premium bánh mì with whole-truffle aioli for $100.
The sandwich is made with savory grilled pork, pickled root vegetables and served on a toasty, chewy French baguette. My LFG recipe is inspired by the bánh mì at the Salt Lake City restaurant called Indochine, my go-to joint when I'm feeling Vietnamese.
French-Vietnamese fusion food is as a result of a period in time during which regions of Vietnam, known as French Indochina, were governed under France. The French brought their art of baguette making to the area.
As a result, we have amazing asian-fusion dishes like bánh mì to enjoy. Vietnamese flavors shine through in the grilled pork marinade, which includes lemongrass, garlic, ginger and soy sauce. Sweet pickled vegetables give it a second Vietnamese nod that this is indeed the food of Vietnam. But then you have the delightfully, toasty, chewy, French baguette to hold it all together — oooh la la! The Indochine restaurant, where I had my first banh mi, goes as far as serving theirs with French fried shoestring potatoes.
LUCKY US that the French carved themselves some space in Vietnamese cuisine, because Indochinese food is delicious. Now let's get to making it!
(Makes 2 sandwiches)
LFG Bánh Mì Thịt Nướng
1 Pasture Pork Loin Chop
1/8 C Fresh Lemongrass chopped finely
2 Cloves Fresh Garlic minced
1 Shallot minced
1 T Fresh Ginger grated finely
2 T Fermented Soy Sauce
2 T Sesame Oil
1 t Red Boat Fish Sauce
1 t Raw Honey
LFG Sourdough Baguette
Sweet Pickled Vegetables
1 Daikon or Watermelon Radish
1 Slice Red Onion
1/2 Cucumber (peeled and seeds removed)
1/2 C Rice Vinegar
1/2 C Water
1 T Xylitol
1/2 t Salt
2 T Mayonnaise (use compliant mayo or make your own out of avocado or olive oil)
1 t Sriracha
Julienne slice the carrot and radish. Slice the cucumbers. In a small bowl, add the julienned sliced carrot and daikon, cucumbers, red onion slice, vinegar, water xylitol and salt. Cover and let soak for at least 4 hours, or overnight if you can.
Next, marinate the pork. Slice the pork very thin and long. Place in a zipper baggie. Add lemongrass, garlic, shallot, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, fish sauce and honey. The tiny bit of fish sauce gives it that distinct flavor and the honey helps with the char while grilling. Zip it and place it in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight if you can.
TIP: If you can make the pickled veggies and marinate the pork a day in advance, you'll experience more flavor.
Next, grill the pork on high heat until it is cook through and has a nice char, but it's still juicy. This should take about 5 minutes. You can use your outside grill, but I use my Cuisinart Griddler and Panini Press. On high heat, I get the char I'm after.
Now, assemble your sandwiches. On 4 inch cut of LFG sourdough baguette sliced in half horizontally and schmeared with Sriracha aioli, layer the grilled pork, drained pickled veggies and top with a generous amount of cilantro.
Enjoy with Champagne, of course! Một, hai, ba, dô! (One, two three, in!)