Caramelized Pork Bánh Mì Sandwiches
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
For the Carrots and Radishes:
  • 3-4 carrots, peeled and cut thinly into matchsticks
  • 8-10 radishes, cleaned and sliced thinly
  • 3½ cups water
  • 5 tablespoons distilled vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
For the Caramelized Pork:
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large shallots or 1 sweet onion, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 pounds pork shoulder or butt, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1¼ cup water
  • ¾ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
To Assemble the Bánh Mì Sandwiches:*
  • 4 small baguettes, toasted and sliced or 1 large baguette, cut into 4 pieces, toasted, and sliced
  • pickled carrots (recipe above)
  • pickled radishes (recipe above)
  • pickled red onions
  • thinly sliced cucumber
  • hot chili paste or Sriracha
  • mayonnaise
  • cilantro
  • caramelized pork (recipe above)
  • *All of these ingredients can be interchanged/left out/added to - make this sandwich into whatever you like!
Instructions
For the Carrots and Radishes:
  1. Bring your water, vinegar, sugar, salt, and peppercorns to a boil. Place your vegetables in a jar or sealable container, then pour the liquid over the vegetables. Seal the lid and place in the refrigerator. Let sit for at least 6 hours, or as long as a few days, as the flavor will develop the longer that they sit.
For the Caramelized Pork:
  1. First, you need to make your caramel. Place your sugar and 3 tablespoons of water in a small pot over high heat, and stirring frequently, cook until it becomes a dark golden color, about 5-8 minutes. You need to be sure to do this over high heat, because if the heat is too low, the sugar will crystalize instead of caramelize. When the sugar has caramelized, set aside until ready to use.
  2. Heat your olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy bottomed pot or pan with a lid. Add in your minced shallots, and saute for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add in the garlic, and cook for 1 minute, stirring the entire time. Add in the pork and cook for 8-10 minutes, until browned on all sides.
  3. Add in the fish sauce, cook for 3-5 minutes, until it has cooked off, then add in the water, peppercorns, and salt. Stir to combine, turn the heat to medium-low, and add in the caramel. Cover the pork and cook for another 50-60 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until the pork is tender and the sauce has reduced. When your pork is ready, turn your oven to broil and put the pan in there to crisp up the pork; the sugar will caramelize beautifully, but watch it, because it will only take about 1-2 minutes under the broiler before it starts to burn.
Assembly
  1. Spread some mayo and hot chili paste or Sriracha on each sandwich, and top with pickled vegetables, cucumbers, cilantro, and your caramelized pork. Slice and serve.
Recipe by The Crepes of Wrath at http://www.thecrepesofwrath.com/2012/02/15/caramelized-pork-banh-mi-sandwiches/