Monday, August 12, 2013

Southern-Style Banh Mi Sandwiches

I think I mentioned in my July recipe recap post that we hosted a pig roast at our place on the Fourth of July. Honestly, there were a lot of people involved in the process, so it was a pretty disorganized affair -- but in the end there was half a pig roasting on a spit in our back yard at 5 AM on July 4. By 6 PM that pig was perfectly cooked and smoked and ready to be shredded and devoured.

There were about 20 of us eating, but there were about 80 pounds of meat, so needless to say we had a lot of leftovers. Everyone was sent home with a gallon bag full of the pork, and Joe and I were still left with three gallon bags to use. In fact, two of those bags are still in our freezer. 

I didn't waste any time using some of the leftovers to make these sandwiches, which had been on my radar for a long time. The banh mi is traditionally a Vietnamese-French fusion sandwich, but in this recipe, it gets a Southern spin with BBQ pork and sweet-pickled peppers and onions. I was surprised to find how well the flavors all worked together, and I think I'd eat that sriracha mayo on just about anything. Maybe I'll defrost some more of that pork so we can have these again this week...

Southern-Style Banh Mi Sandwiches 
adapted from MyRecipes

For the pickled peppers and onions:

1/2 of a red onion, sliced
Ice water
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 cup white vinegar
6 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

For the sandwiches:

4 hoagie rolls
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons sriracha hot sauce
1/4 cup sliced carrots
1 teaspoon fish sauce or oyster sauce
2 cups cooked and shredded pork
1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
Fresh cilantro leaves

1. To make the pickled peppers and onions, soak the onions in ice water for 10 minutes; drain. Place the onions and sliced peppers in a sealable jar (I used a pickle jar).

2. Bring vinegar, sugar, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the vegetables in the jar. Let stand uncovered for 1 hour, then seal the jar and refrigerate until serving (the longer they refrigerate the better they'll taste).

3. To make the sandwiches, toast the hoagie rolls in the broiler. Meanwhile, combine the sriracha and the mayo and set aside. Add the fish sauce to the carrots and set aside. Heat the pulled pork with the BBQ sauce in a medium saucepan, if needed.

4. To assemble the sandwiches, layer the bottom halves of the rolls with pulled pork, pickled peppers and onions, carrots, and cilantro leaves. Spread the roll tops with the sriracha mayo. Serve immediately.  

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