Banh Mi Thit Nuong – Vietnamese Sandwich with Grilled Pork
Coming back full circle in our original post on how to make your own banh mi sandwiches, we present our favorite type of banh mi, banh mi thit nuong (Vietnamese Sandwich with Grilled Pork with Lemongrass). Using the homemade pork liver pate, homemade mayonnaise, pickled carrots/daikon and the usual condiments of cucumbers, cilantro, and chili–this makes for the perfect sandwich. This is the same thit nuong recipe as the classic bun thit nuong, but without the sesame seeds. Make a batch of thit nuong and use some for bun thit nuong and some for banh mi!
Banh Mi Thit Nuong-Vietnamese Sandwich with Grilled Pork with Lemongrass
- 1.5 lb 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. Ask your butcher to do this for you. Also, do not use lean pork as it will become dry.)
- 1/4 cup minced Lemongrass (xa bam). Many Asian markets will sell minced lemongrass in the freezer section.
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbs fish sauce
- 1 tbs ground pepper
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced.
- 2-3 shallots, minced.
- 3 tbs sesame oil
- 1 tbs thick soy sauce (not regular soy sauce–has molasses, making it thicker and adding great color. If not available, can use caramel sauce. Both can be found at Asian groceries)
- 2 loaf of french bread or 6 demi baguettes
- 1 cucumber, sliced thin
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- optional chile, thinly sliced
- pickled carrots/daikon
- homemade pate
- homemade mayonnaise
Cut any large pieces of thinly sliced pork into roughly 2-3 inch strips. Again, not too small as you donot want it to dry out and also so that it doesn’t fall through the grilling basket. For best results grill outdoors using a flexible grilling basket. Of course you can always use an indoor grill and that works almost just as well. If neither is an option, you can certainly pan grill them as well.
For the marinade, combine in large mixing bowl the lemongrass, shallots, garlic, sugar, fish sauce, pepper, dark soy sauce, sesame oil. Add pork and mix well and marinade for at least 1-2 hrs or over night.
Prepare the cucumbers, cilantro, chili, and other condiments. Toasting the baguette is optional. Add the pate and mayonaise in the baguette.
Grill thit nuong until golden brown and slightly charred on each side. Add to baguette along the condiments.
Banh mi thit nuong is great balance of savory, sweet, sour, hot and cool–definitly our favorite banh mi.