Friday, September 2, 2011

Banh Mi Thit Nuong - Vietnamese Grilled Pork Sandwiches

Probably the most popular Vietnamese Sandwich would be the Banh Mi Thit Nuong Sandwich (also known as the Vietnamese Grilled Pork Sandwich). Adding the typical condiments of cucumbers, cilantro, pickled carrots, pate and french butter make it the perfect sandwich. Whenever my parents come to town, we almost always hit the Vietnamese Sandwich shop for a dozen of these sandwiches. In our house, a dozen sandwiches doesn't last very long, especially when they are so tasty.

I decided to surprise my hubby with this grilled pork sandwich and surprisingly it was a hit with all my kids as well. Finding something that everyone loves is difficult in my house and this was definitely a winner.

  • 1 1/2 - 2 lbs pork butt or shoulder, thinly sliced just under 1/4 inch or so (not too thin as you do not want it to dry out when grilled. Also, do not use lean pork as it will become dry.)
  • 2 tbsp minced Lemongrass.
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 shallots, minced
  • 1 tbsp ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp thick soy sauce
  • 2 loaf of french bread or 6 baguettes
  • 1 cucumber, sliced thin
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • pickled carrots and daikon
Mince the lemon grass, garlic and shallots

Finely mince the lemon grass as large pieces can give strong flavor.

Slice your pork. I remove all the large pieces of fat, but careful to not remove all of it as it would dry out too quickly. As Rocco would say, fat is good!

Add the lemon grass, shallots, garlic, pepper, sugar, fish sauce, sesame oil and thick soy sauce to the chopped meat.

Here is the thick soy sauce. It is not the typical soy sauce. It's made from molasses which makes it thicker and gives it a great color.

Marinade the pork for a couple of hours or overnight.

Grill the pork until golden brown and slightly charred on each side.

Put the sandwich together.

Add the french butter and pate to the sandwich. I grew up on this butter and although at $8 for an 8oz can of french butter is a little pricey, it is really worth it. To me, it makes the sandwich. You can also substitute mayonnaise.

I wasn't going to attempt to make pate so I just bought some at the store. Add the grilled pork, pickled carrots and daikon, sliced cucumbers, and cilantro to your baguette and you have got a delicious meal.

I went ahead and fried some shrimp chips to go with the sandwich. They are my kids favorite chips.


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