Vietnamese Pulled Pork Sandwich (Banh Mi)
The Banh Mi is a delicious Vietnamese sandwich that generally includes a combination of meat, paté, pickled carrots and daikon, cucumber, hot peppers, onion and fresh cilantro. Our recipe includes an Asian-inspired version of our Oven-Roasted Pulled Pork along with a modified version of our Brandied Chicken Liver Pate. The result is a delicious blend of salty, sweet, spicy and savory flavors in every mouthful. Even though the recipe looks complex, most of the time spent is hands-off, so give it a try – you won't regret the effort.
- 4-1/2 lb Boston butt pork roast
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/3 cup water
For the rub:
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon Chinese 5-Spice powder
- 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
For the pickled carrots and daikon:
- 3 or 4 medium carrots (about 1/2 lb), shredded or cut into thin matchsticks
- 1 small daikon radish (about 1/2 lb), shredded or cut into thin matchsticks
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt (or more to taste)
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
For the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, very finely chopped
- 3/4 cup tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
For the sandwiches:
- Baguettes or hoagie rolls (enough for 8 sandwiches), sliced lengthwise
- Chicken liver pate (optional - see recipe notes)
- 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro
- Preheat the oven to 225°F.
Start cooking the pork:
- Mix all of the ingredients for the rub together in a small bowl. Trim any large pieces of exterior fat from the pork if desired. Pat the rub mixture on all sides of the pork and place uncovered, in a dutch oven. Roast uncovered for 1 hour.
- Remove from the oven, brush with the sesame oil, add the water, cover and return to the oven for about 5-1/2 more hours, until the pork is tender and pulls apart easily with a fork. Roasting time is about 90 to 100 minutes per pound.
While the pork is cooking, prepare the pickled carrots and daikon:
- Stir the warm water, sugar and salt together in a glass measure until dissolved, then add the rice vinegar. Place the shredded carrots and daikon in a glass dish and pour the pickling liquid over them. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, stirring once. Drain thoroughly before serving.
- Once the pork is cooked, transfer it to a large platter and allow to cool enough to handle. With two dinner forks, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces, removing any large chunks of fat in the process. Reserve half of the meat for another use and place the remainder in a large bowl.
Prepare the sauce:
- Heat the sesame oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, cook until soft, 2 minutes, then add the garlic and ginger. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until soft and fragrant, 2 minutes more. Add the tomato sauce, soy sauce, water, rice vinegar and Thai chili sauce. Cook for another 2 minutes, then add to the shredded pork.
Assemble the sandwiches:
- Spread about 2 tablespoons of the paté on one side of the sliced baguette and spread mayonnaise on the other side. Line the sandwich with the sliced cucumber, onion and jalapeños. Fill with a portion of the pulled pork, top with pickled carrots and daikon and cilantro. Serve immediately.
If you don't want to make your own paté, you can either buy it ready-made from a good quality deli, or skip it altogether, but your sandwich will be missing a vital flavor element if you choose the latter option. Here we've adapted our recipe for Brandied Chicken Liver Paté for use in this sandwich. It's inexpensive, quick and easy to prepare and we hope you'll give it a try.
- 1/2 lb chicken livers, trimmed of any fat or sinew
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened and onion becomes translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken livers, salt and pepper.
- Cook until the chicken livers are cooked through but still pink when cut open, about 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Once cooled, add the mixture to a food processor along with the mayonnaise and purée until smooth. Transfer to bowl, cover and chill until ready to use.