Recipe: Vietnamese Grilled Pork Sandwich

This one's for Eating Our Words commenter Meriwether, who likes to be sopped up with a biscuit. Before any road trip or day trips to Galveston, my family would load up our 40-gallon cooler with dozens of banh mi, which I also call the Vietnamese pacifier. "Banh mi" (pronounced "bahn me") refers to a sandwich that typically consists of a French baguette filled with pickled carrots and daikon, wedges of cucumber, generous sprigs of cilantro, chopped peppers, buttery pate, mayonnaise and some sort of meat. The meat can be cold or hot. Today, we'll make banh mi thit nuong (pronounced "tit noong"). This recipe is courtesy of the Ravenous Couple.

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Sandwich

  • 1 ½ pound pork shoulder, thinly sliced, 1/4 inch or so (too thin and it will dry out when grilled)
  • 1/4 cup minced lemongrass (check the frozen section of your favorite Asian markets)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoons ground pepper
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 shallots, minced
  • 3 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon thick soy sauce (Unlike regular soy sauce, this has molasses, making it thicker and darker. If not available, use a caramel sauce. Both can be found at your favorite Asian market)
  • 2 loaf of french bread or 6 demi baguettes
  • 1 cucumber, sliced thin
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • Optional chile, thinly sliced
  • Pickled carrots/daikon
  • Homemade pate
  • Homemade mayonnaise

Cut thinly sliced pork into roughly 2-3 inch strips. Again, do not cut it too small, as you do not want it to dry out - or fall through the grilling basket. For best results, grill outdoors using a flexible grilling basket. Of course, you can always use an indoor grill, and that works almost just as well.

For the marinade, combine in large mixing bowl the lemongrass, shallots, garlic, sugar, fish sauce, pepper, dark soy sauce and sesame oil. Add pork and mix well and marinade for at least 1-2 hours or overnight.

Prepare the cucumbers, cilantro, chili, and other condiments. Toasting the baguette is optional. Add the pate and mayonnaise in the baguette.

Grill thit nuong until golden brown and slightly charred on each side. Add to baguette along the condiments.

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