Full disclaimer: this recipe takes a goddamn age to make and probably costs more to prepare at home than it does to buy two dozen at your local Vietnamese bakery two blocks from your house. But them’s the breaks and these are the banh mis.
Here’s how to make an authentic pork banh mi at home.
- 10 cups of boiling water
- 1/2 cup of kosher salt
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 3 peeled garlic cloves
- 2 medium crushed chiles
- 1 tbsp of cracked black peppercorns
- 1kg of boneless pork butt
The Pickled Carrots
- 1/2 cup of white vinegar
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 tsp of kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups of peeled and shredded carrots
- 2 French or Vietnamese baguettes
- 6 tbsp of mayonnaise (real talk: 8 tbsp)
- 300g of pork pâté
- 1 large cucumber, halved and sliced lengthwise
- 1/2 cup of fresh coriander leaves (optional for the h8ers)
- 4 jalapenos, sliced lengthwise
- 4 tsp of soy sauce
- Sign up for a Stan subscription, rewatch the entire season of McLeod’s Daughters up until Clare dies and then spend the next four hours reading about each of the actor’s personal lives on Wikipedia.
- Pop to the shops to buy the ingredients. Head straight to the self-serve checkout, do not pass the confectionary aisle, do not collect two hundred Caramelo Koalas.
- Head home and pour two cups of boiling water into a large heatproof container (which has a lid that you can actually find somewhere in the plastics cupboard) and then remove the remaining water from the heat. Add the salt and sugar to the heatproof container and stir until it’s all dissolved. Then add the garlic, chiles, peppercorns, and pork and cover with the remaining hot water so the pork is fully submerged. Cover that bad boy and refrigerate it for 12 hours or overnight.
- Wake up fresh-faced and bloody starving and then remove the pork from that delicious fridge liquid, rinse it, pat it dry with paper towels, and then place if fat side up in a roasting pan. Roast the pork at 200in the oven for an hour and 45 minutes, then let it cool for half an hour and slice it thinly.
- To make the pickled carrots, combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the carrots, ensuring they’re all covered in the pickle mixture. The carrots have reached perfection when they have softened, which should take about halfa, in which case drain them and set them aside.
- Slice the baguette lengthwise and spread a helluva lotta mayo on both sides of that roll (if that’s how you roll), and then spread the pâté on the bottom section of the baguette, topping with sliced pork, cucumber, coriander, pickled carrots and jalapenos.
- Sprankle each sammich with soy sauce and voila-your banh mi is banh done.
- Take a pic of your completed Vietnamese sammich and Instagram it with the hashtag #mimadebanhmigomi.
Image credit: Gabrielle Bjorklund