Caramelized Pork Bánh Mì

By • June 2, 2010 157 Comments

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Author Notes: These Vietnamese sandwiches are the perfect fusion of French and Asian cuisines. Bánh mì are usually very inexpensive and come with many different types of fillings. But my favorite is this one, with juicy, seared pork that goes perfectly with the crunchy pickled and fresh vegetables. Pâté is typically in bánh mì and though I list it as optional, doesn’t french bread just taste great with pâté? - monkeymommonkeymom

Food52 Review: The caramelized pork could be a recipe all its own, but we sure do like it in this sandwich, as well. Bánh mì are often made with a rich and fatty grilled pork -- this seasoned pork tenderloin gives the sandwich character. Make sure you use a light airy roll with a crisp crust -- bánh mì is all about the interior. - A&MThe Editors

Serves 4-6

Caramelized Pork and Bánh mì Assembly

  • 1-1.5 pounds pork tenderloin
  • 3 tablespoons Fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 slice ginger, minced
  • 1 green onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 loaf sweet French baguette (thin) or french bread sandwich rolls. Try to get the kind of French bread with a crisp crust and tender light center.
  • red leaf lettuce
  • pickled carrot and radishes (see below)
  • sliced jalapeno chili peppers
  • cilantro
  • Pâté (optional, but recommended)
  • mayonnaise
  1. Cut tenderloin across the grain of the meat into ½ inch pieces. Flatten each piece to an even ¼ inch between two pieces of saran wrap using a meat pounder, rolling pin, or large bottle.
  2. Mix ingredients from fish sauce to black pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning – it should be sweet and savory so add more soy, salt, or sesame oil as you like. Add marinade to the meat and use your hands or large spoon to make sure all pieces of meat are coated in marinade. Marinate for 10-30 minutes.
  3. You can cook the pork on the grill outdoors (best) or indoors using a grill pan or cast iron pan, something that you can get very hot. Heat grill or grill pan to high and turn on that vent fan! Add vegetable oil to meat and stir to coat. Sear first side of meat until very dark brown on one side, then flip and sear on the second side. Be careful not to overcook it. The meat is thin so it cooks quickly, one or two minutes on each side.
  4. To assemble sandwiches, slice baguette and spread mayonnaise on one side, pâté on the other. Add lettuce, meat, pickled vegetables, cilantro and peppers. Dig in!

Pickled Carrots and Radishes

  • 1/4 pound baby carrots, peeled
  • 1 bunch red radishes, preferably breakfast radishes (daikon are more traditional. I just think red radishes are beautiful.)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  1. Slice carrots and radishes into quarters (or sixths for thicker guys) lengthwise. Mix all ingredients together. Taste for seasoning. Let stand as little as an hour or up to overnight. They keep for several days.

More Great Recipes: Pickles|Picnics|Pork Tenderloin|Fish|Bread

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Comments (157) Questions (7)


3 months ago Greg LaFrance

Thank you monkeymom! We loved them.


5 months ago Liz

So good! We added siracha to the mayo and soaked jalapeño and red onion in red wine vinegar because we didn't have any picked options. It was amazing but we will do it by the book next time. Thank you Monkeymom!


7 months ago David Cannon

You can also do jicama in place of pickled radishes. Whatever you do, leave the daikon alone. It will fill your house with the odor of an atomic fart.


8 months ago Carolyn

I LOVE this sandwich. Have made it several times and get excited each time. Thank you!


about 1 year ago James Edward Moody IV

Such an amazing recipe and very delicious!!


over 1 year ago Margarita Uricoechea

This is the tastiest pork I have ever had! I can't wait to use this marinade recipe again! In fact, the pork tasted so nice that it was a shame to use it in a sandwich, where you couldn't appreciate its taste. I marinated 3 slices for about 90 minutes, but marinade would be enough for 4-5 slices I think. I eat low in salt and found the marinade perfect. I used the truffle mousse from Three Pigs sold at TJoes, ciabatta bread instead of baguette, did not have cilantro and forgot to add chilis. I love Banh Mi and in my case it didn't taste as expected, but I discovered a favorite recipe for pork served with rice and veggies. The pickled veggies are also nice on the side of any dish.


over 1 year ago Jenny M

Hi monkeymom! I tasted the marinade (as you suggested) before putting it on the meat, but it tasted really salty, so I made the marinade again with only 1 Tbsp. of soy sauce. It still tasted salty, but I went with it anyway. Do you know if some of the saltiness will subside after it has been cooked? Can't wait to see how it turns out! Thank you for the recipe!!


over 1 year ago Foodiewithalife

I'm going to start marinating this weekend... can't wait for these weeknight sandwiches!


over 1 year ago Judy Noonan Harnum

Where is the recipe for the pate??


over 1 year ago monkeymom

This is my favorite pate:


almost 2 years ago Lynn

Update from my review below: I made it for dinner last night and it was delicious. Marinating it from Sunday and having it for dinner on Wednesday was the perfect tasting saltiness for me. I wouldn't go any longer, if you prefer a less salty taste, make it a day before. The pork was so delicious and tender I just ate that on my own. However, I did include the following condiments I posted in my previous comment. I would eliminate the dill pickle. My jalapenos were pickled and hot and since I like things spicy I did keep a little mayo with a lot of sriacha. The red onions are really good as well as the pickled carrots.


almost 2 years ago Lynn

To one reviewer who asked how long could it marinate for? I marinated the pork on a Sunday night. On Tuesday I cooked up 2 slices to see if they were to salty. They weren't. Probably because I used low sodium soy sauce. They were tender and delicious. I will be cooking them up tonight, Wednesday, and have these delicious looking sandwiches for dinner. I plan on putting pickled jalepenos, thinly sliced red onion, thinly sliced dill pickle, pate and the hellman's mayo mixed with a little sriacha. I like spice. Oh, couldn't find daikon radish so I just marinated shredded carrots in the brine of the dill pickles.


almost 2 years ago Peter John

I made this in a hurry last night and even without the baguette (which I forgot to buy) and brown sugar (which I do not use) it was awesome! It was even better than I expected it to be! Kudos!


about 2 years ago LynneT

I live alone. I finally made this for dinner tonight, and I have to confess I had TWO sandwiches. This recipe is definitely a keeper. I cooked all the meat, and will enjoy it tomorrow for lunch in another sandwich and on salads.


about 2 years ago Star Simpson

Made these for dinner tonight, my husband loved them. He doesn't always care for Asian inspired food but loved these. Highly recommend that everyone give them a try. They are certainly going onto our dinner menu rotation.


about 2 years ago MarkO

amazing........we've made em five times in the last month!!


about 2 years ago Rebecca Vitale

Rebecca is a Recipe Tester for Food52

i just made the meat part... amazing! great texture, soft. saved some to marinate overnight.


over 2 years ago Chelsey1818

The flavors are so delicious in this sandwich. I had never had Banh Mi before and now we make this monthly.


over 2 years ago Freshgirl

I can't wait to make this. We love bahn mi sandwiches, but don't have a good local shop. This will make up for the long distance between us and our next trip to our favorite bahn mi shop in Seattle. And a resounding YES to adding jalapeño. It is the spicy crown to this salty, sweet, crunchy concoction.


almost 3 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

This was dinner and what a wonderful one it was! Everyone, I mean everyone ate with gusto! The meat was amazing, juicy, tender and very well flavoured, not to mention the amazing fact that it cooked in mere minutes. Thank you, thank you, thank you


almost 3 years ago Sandwich Funk

This sandwich was amazing! The pork was so tender and flavorful, and the pickled vegetables really add a nice touch. We made it with some green beans sautéed with shallots, and prepared it with a great playlist! Come check it out at!