serves: 4-6 people
prep: 20 minutes plus 30 minutes of refridgeration
cook: 15 minutes
- 1 lb Ground Pork
- 2 Medium Carrots, Shredded
- 1 Medium Daikon Radish or Jicama, Shredded
- 1 Medium Cucumber
- 1 Bunch Cilantro
- 1 Inch Knob of Fresh Ginger, Minced
- 1 Clove of Garlic, Minced
- 2 Teaspoons Fennel Seeds
- 2 Tablespoons White Rice Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 3-4 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 2 Baguettes
- Salt, Pepper and Sriracha to Taste
One of the things that I have missed most about the city is the Vietnamese sandwich. I’ve had them from many different Vietnamese sandwich shops, usually in Brooklyn, and I have never been disappointed. It’s the kind of sandwich that you bite into and are almost sad that the experience of eating it will only last a few minutes. I believe in moderation and portion control, but I’ve never had a Vietnamese sandwich that I couldn’t finish. Really, it’s that good.
It’s the kind of sandwich that you bite into and are almost sad that the experience of eating it will only last a few minutes.
The lightness of the pickled carrots and radish, the spicy pork, the fresh cucumber and cilantro and rich mayonnaise create some sort of magical perfection in the mouth. When I realized that I could recreate it at home, my life changed for the better. When I can’t find diakon radish, I use jicama, which has a sweeter but similar taste and the leftovers won’t make your refrigerator stinky. Once sliced, the diakon radish’s odor will penetrate anything, so really leftovers of that component are not an option. Everything else can hang out in the fridge for 3 or 4 days.
To make, shred carrots and radish in a food processor and mixed together with vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Next, cook the pork in olive oil with ginger, garlic, fennel seeds, salt and pepper over medium heat. Some browning is good. When it’s finished add sriracha sauce and keep warm. Slice the cucumber as thin as possible (I used a mandolin). Pick sprigs of cilantro and warm baguettes in oven. Sliced baguette and spread generously with mayonnaise. Next add pork, then radish/carrot, top with cucumber and cilantro and enjoy.