This is one of the dishes I love to order at Vietnamese restaurants. And second to Pho, one of the main dishes that made me fall in love with Vietnamese food. Call me cliche. But not many things satisfy more than noodles or a legit sandwich. And I have expanded my horizons since I first fell for this kind of food. But Banh Mi's will always hold a special place in my heart.
Here is the deal... They're delicious and filled with vegetables. Pickled vegetables to be even more specific. I loooooooooooove pickled things. It is kind of one of those, "You had me at hello" moments. AS if the crunchy baguette and marinated meat weren't enough, now I get picked vegetables! My husband might think I am complicated, but I am also really quite simple. Feed me and tell me I am pretty. It's not hard.
If you're anything like me, sometimes you want to switch it up, save some calories. If you want to cut out the carbs, turn it into a salad. Or if you want the carbs but not the gluten, turn it into a rice noodle bowl. I did both! Anyway, every version turned out awesome. But the traditional Banh Mi is my favorite. I mean It isn't a BANH Mi without the banh.
The most simple protein for this scrumptious sandwich is chicken thighs or pork chops. It is amazing with pork belly and a whole bunch of other things. But stat small, grow tall here people. Unless out ninja me with your culinary skills, then have at it. School me friends!
6-9 boneless skinless chicken thighs -or- 1-1 1/2 lbs thin cut pork chops
1/2 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 limes, juiced
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tbsp chili pepper paste
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1.In a mixing bowl, combine the marinade ingredients and stir. Add the meat (if you opt for pork chops, I hit mine with a meat tenderizer a few times first)
2. I had made this many times before, and I already know that I love the flavor of the marinade. So I like to marinate my meat overnight. You can obviously get away with less. But I would allow it at least 2 hours.
3. When you are ready to cook your meat, toss it on the grill and cook until done. This is roughly 5-7 min/side for the chicken, and 3-5 minutes per side for the pork.
You know how I told you above that I love pickled vegetables? Well I have actually given them their own blog post. Here is the hyperlink... Asian Pickled Vegetables
Other Ingredients/Putting it all Together:
(romaine, a little more soy sauce and rice wine vinegar if you want to make a salad... Or rice noodles for a noodle bowl)
1. Slice the bread down the middle and toast golden brown. Spread on mayonnaise and drizzle with Sriracha if you please.
2. Slice the cucumbers and lay on the bottom half of the bread.
4. Top with meat.
5.Using a slotted spoon, add pickled vegetables to the op of your meat.
6. Sprinkle a few cilantro leaves on top and close the bread.
-If you want to make a salad just chop up some romaine, add some meat, cucumbers and pickled vegetables. Add a sprinkle of salt and a tsp of rice wine vinegar and a tsp of soy sauce. Toss and eat.
Below is the pic from the original post from December of 2014. How different my pictures look. I am including it so you can see my salad photo. :)