Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bahn Mi

This is one of my favorite summer sandwiches. The term Bahn Mi is Vietnamese for bread in general, but this style of sandwich has come to define the name Bahn Mi. In my many lifetimes, I have had opportunities to work in strange parts of Atlanta (and New York for that matter). One of my favorite was an office right off Atlanta's Buford Highway, a road that gives our city its international reputation. There are a number of blink-and-you-might-miss-it restaurants from virtually any country you can imagine. My co-workers and I would frequent one Vietnamese place in particular (just down the shopping strip from our favorite Chinese restaurant) owned by a feisty woman named Suzanne. She married an American soldier and came over after the end of the war. She would tell the best stories about her resourcefulness and we could not disagree. Gang members would try to shake her down and failed. Come for the pho, leave with a story. Here's one of the sandwiches she served to perfection. 

Bahn Mi

2 baguettes, sliced lengthwise, but not completely through (you will stuff the sandwich)
1 l lb. pork tenderloin
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup grated peeled daikon radish
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
3 Tbsp. chili garlic sauce 
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 cucumber thinly sliced
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1 thinly sliced jalapeno pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (optional)
1/4 cup mayonnaise

(Vegetarian option: Use tempeh instead of pork)

Combine shredded carrot, daikon, vinegar, sugar and 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour (or up to a day before). Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare a baking pan with cooking spray or oil to prevent sticking. Mix the 1 1/2 tsp. sugar and chili garlic sauce together and spread 2 Tbsp. of the mix over the meat. (I leave a little at the end without the chili for the children). Bake the tenderloin for approximately 20 minutes, or until the meat thermometer registers 155 degrees). Remove meat from the oven and allow to cool. Once cool, cover it and refrigerate. Mix mayonnaise and the remaining chili mixture and refrigerate. When ready to prepare the sandwiches, spread mayonnaise and chili sauce on the sides of the baguette. Slice the pork and arrange in the bread along one side. Drain the carrot/radish mixture and place some in each sandwich. Continue with cucumbers, jalapenos, cilantro and green onion. Cut each sandwich into equal portions. Should serve 8. If you're cutting carbs, make this as a salad without the bread. 

Rub pork tenderloin with chili garlic sauce and sugar before cooking

This is the chili garlic sauce I use

Daikon, carrot, vinegar and sugar

Fixings for the Bahn Mi

The perfect spicy summer sandwich

No comments:

Post a Comment