Grilled Pork Sandwich (Banh Mi Thit Nuong)

Vietnamese sandwiches are very mainstream these days with everyone calling them by their Viet name “Banh Mi”.  As with most sandwiches, the filling possibilities are endless.  This recipe for Grilled Pork Sandwich is my absolute favorite with the marinated, grilled pork tenderloin, homemade mayonnaise, creamy pate, fresh cilantro, cucumbers, jalapenos, and tangy carrot and Daikon pickles between crusty French bread.  Wow!  This tasty sandwich is the perfect combination of  flavors and textures–savory, sweet, spicy, creamy and crunchy.

If you live in Southern California like me, there’s a plethora of sandwich shops and it’s quite convenient and inexpensive to just pick-up one of these delicious sandwiches.  But for those not so fortunate, making it at home is the only way to satisfy the cravings.  Luckily, this recipe is pretty straightforward.  Yes, there are lots of ingredients and fixings, but if you make some of them ahead of time, like the homemade mayonnaise and pickles, the rest of the recipe is a cinch!

For the video, I grilled indoors using a double burner cast iron grill.  If you don’t have a grill, you can pan cook the pork on medium high heat for approximately the same time.  Optionally, you can use a dual-contact grill (like the George Foremen grill).  This does a good job but be careful not to overcook the meat because it’s cooking from both sides and the pork slices are fairly thin.

Watch the video below for instructions.

Ingredients

Marinade
1/2 lb pork tenderloin
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced shallots
1 Tbsp lemongrass paste (or use fresh or frozen)
2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp Vodka 5-Spice Marinade
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp canola oil

Sandwich
1 loaf French baguette
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp pate
1 Persian cucumber, cut into thin strips
8 sprigs cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper
1/2 cup carrot and Daikon pickles
Maggi sauce

Directions

Cut the pork into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Combine all ingredients for the marinade in a bowl.  Add the pork and then work the marinade evenly into the meat.  Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.  (Overnight is best.)

Over Medium heat, grill the pork for approximately 4-5 minutes on each side.  Allow to cool slightly before assembling sandwiches.

Cut two 8-inch sections of French bread and then cut the bread lengthwise but not all the way through.  Spread the mayonnaise on one half of sandwich and the pate on the other half.  Add cilantro, cucumbers and sliced jalapenos and the grilled pork.  Top the sandwich with the carrot and daikon pickles.  Sprinkle a few drops of Maggi sauce for extra seasoning.

Bon Appetit!

Yields: 2 sandwiches

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