Vietnamese Pork Banh Mi with Spicy Peanut Aioli

Menu Part: 
Sandwich/Wrap
Cuisine Type: 
Asian
Serves: 
4

Chef Mai Pham
Lemongrass Restaurant
Sacramento, Calif.

The baguettes used in banh mi sandwiches reflect the French influence on Vietnam when the country was part of French Indochina. Vietnam-born chef Pham gives the classic preparation a crunchy contrast with marinated carrots, cucumber and roasted peanuts; green herbs add fresh notes and a spicy peanut aioli offers a welcome creaminess.

Ingredients

2 tbsp. minced shallots
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. soy sauce, plus extra for garnish
1 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
2 tbsp. minced lemongrass
1 lb. pork sirloin or pork butt, trimmed of any excess fat, cut into thin slices
1 tbsp. vegetable oil, plus extra for grilling or cooking
4 baguette pieces (6 in. long), split lengthwise, half of the centers slightly hollowed out
¼ cup Spicy Peanut Aioli (recipe follows), or to taste
1/3 cup chopped roasted peanuts
2 cups marinated carrots (recipe follows)
¼ red onion, sliced paper-thin and rinsed
10 to 12 sprigs cilantro
1/3 cup Vietnamese rau ram or coriander or Thai basil leaves
½ hothouse cucumber, cut into thin strips
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced and seeded (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Spicy Peanut Aioli
Yield: 2/3 cup

½ cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp. peanut flour
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. chili paste or dried chili flakes (optional)

Marinated Carrots
Yield: 2 cups

½ cup sugar
½ cup white vinegar
½ tsp. salt
3 carrots, peeled, shredded into matchstick size strips, rinsed

Steps

1. Combine shallots, garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar and lemongrass in large bowl; mix well. Add pork; toss well to coat meat. Set aside to marinate for at least 30 min.

2. Preheat oiled grill to high. Grill pork slices just until done and slightly charred around the edges, about 1 to 2 min. on each side. (You can also cook the pork in a pan.) Remove from heat and keep warm.

3. Toast split baguette on the grill just until warm and crisp.

4. Spread inside of each baguette with Spicy Peanut Aioli. Layer from bottom up with pork slices, 2 tbsp. peanuts, 1/3 cup marinated carrots, 2 onion slices, 2 to 3 sprigs cilantro, 2 to 3 rau ram leaves, 2 cucumber strips, and 2 jalapeño slices.

5. Drizzle 1 tsp. soy sauce on top; season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Spicy Peanut Aioli

1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. Allow to stand 15 min. before using.

Marinated Carrots

1. Combine sugar, vinegar, and salt in small bowl; stir well. Add carrots; toss several times. Let marinate at least 20 min. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Photo courtesy of the National Peanut Board

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
food snap

We started a 50-member vegan team in response to students expressing the need for more vegan options. Between our monthly meetings, students are asked to take photos of foods they eat in and out of the dining halls to give us a true picture of the kinds of things they like and the kinds of foods that cause disappointment. This exercise has sparked a lot of conversation and given us more insight into what we could do better.

Ideas and Innovation
hybrid worker

Some of our employees can work four 10-hour days. It’s really helped with balance. We’ve also created a lot of hybrid positions, such as a personal services assistant and foodservice worker role. It allows workers to pick up more shifts and cover both positions.

Ideas and Innovation
cheeseburger

We set up an interactive collaboration with our dietetics department where students worked with our culinary team to test how recipes are imagined and produced. One of the recipes they came up with was a barbecue tempeh sandwich, which they believed was a great option for vegan students across campus. We added the sandwich to our On the Go program and then expanded it to our vegan station on campus due to its success.

Ideas and Innovation
salad bowl

We have reorganized our salad bars to not only include the traditional DIY salad ingredients, but also several daily entree salads. Our students requested 32-ounce heavy glass salad bowls that have been wildly popular. The big bowls allow students to load up on their favorite salads and customize with additional ingredients from around the servery. We have seen a significant surge in usage that cuts across all groups, including athletes.

FSD Resources