Monday, October 27, 2014

Easy Banh Mi Sandwiches

We don't make many sandwiches.  Maybe because we never have deli meats in the house and usually only have bread when I make it so sandwiches here take some planning.  I had been wanting to try a banh mi sandwich for a while and while this is probably an adaptation of the real thing, it was pretty delicious.  What stood out to me, actually, was the shredded carrot and cucumber relish that's soaked in rice vinegar and a little sugar.  It was delicious! I would eat that all by itself.  But with a spicy sauce and then some Asian meatballs (which were very flavorful), this is the kind of sandwich I would make again and again.

I served this with some cauliflower tots (which fell apart but were delicious!) and a salad.

Easy Banh Mi Sandwich
Taken from: Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Makes 4-6 sandwiches

Spicy Sauce
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (like sriracha) or sweet Thai chili sauce (see note above)
  • 1 green onion, white and green parts finely chopped
  • 3 large carrots, coarsely grated or cut into thin matchsticks
  • 1 English cucumber, coarsely grated or cut into thin matchsticks
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 pounds ground pork (I used ground beef instead)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried (I completely forgot to add but will try to remember next time)
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hot chili sauce (like Sriracha) or sweet Thai chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 to 6 (6-inch) baguettes or hoagie buns
  • Bunch of fresh cilantro
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the spicy sauce. Cover and refrigerate. This can be made several days in advance.
  2. For the relish, toss together the carrots and cucumber. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, vinegar, salt and sesame oil. Pour over the vegetables. Cover and refrigerate. The relish can be made a day or so in advance.
  3. For the meatballs, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the ground pork (or beef), basil, garlic, green onions, fish sauce, hot sauce, sugar, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Scoop the mixture into 1- to 2-inch meatballs. Place on a baking sheet or in a muffin tin.  
  4. Bake the meatballs for 10-15 minutes until fully cooked. Remove from the oven (I like to place the cooked meatballs one by one on a layer of paper towels to absorb any excess grease).
  5. While the meatballs are cooking, slice baguette/buns in half (I prefer to cut almost all the way through but still leave the buns connected).  We prefer our bread warm - wrap them in aluminum foil and place in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes while the meatballs cook.
  6. To assemble the sandwiches, spread the spicy sauce on the top half of the bread. Layer cilantro to taste on the bottom half. Place 3 or so meatballs (will depend on how big you made them) on top of the cilantro. Place a heaping spoonful or two (or three) on top of the meatballs. Press on the sandwich top and devour.


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