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: Pork Tenderloin|Pickles|Picnics|Fish|Bread

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