This is not a new recipe. It is in fact, the exact same recipe that I have posted on here before. These Vietnamese Pork Rolls, or banh mi, are so damn good. I would title this post ‘crack sandwiches,’ but I don’t want to give anyone the wrong idea haha. I make these Pork Rolls every few months (as they aren’t exactly health food) and I always refer back to my original recipe that I posted back in June 2013. I cringe every time I see the last photo in the post though. It was taken in our darkening lounge room at dusk. This was before I realised that with my low level photography skills, it just isn’t worth taking a photo of food unless it is in natural daylight.
The original post can be found here. It does have some bad photos, but it also some history on banh mi and its origins.
Anyway, I thought it was time I fixed those grim photos, so here is the same recipe with some of the old process pics and some new ones too. Funny thing is, I’m still not 100% happy with the final photos. Such a shame, I’ll have to make these again :)
I like to marinade the meat first, make the pickle, then the aioli and then cook the meat and assemble the rolls. You need some time to pull everything together, but there are no complicated steps.
Bread roll choice is crucial. You want something crusty on the outside and fluffy on the inside. These Vietnamese rolls from Coles do the trick and are easy to find. They are found in the fresh baked section, so I assume they would be available Australia wide. For some tips on where to get suitable rolls in Singapore, check out my original post.
The marinade ingredients need a quick pound in the mortar and pestle just to break them down and ensure their flavours are released.
Cut the fillet across the grain into thin pieces.
You could probably get away with marinading this for a shorter amount of time, but I find the flavours get really good if you have the time to marinate it for an hour and a half.
This tasty guy is known as a daikon in Japan and a White Radish in other Asian countries like Vietnam, so depending on where you shop, they will be labelled differently. These used to be hard to find in Canberra, but now I am regularly able to get them at Woolworths. Which is great, but also kind of annoying that I can’t get them at Coles seeing as I go there to get the rolls (total first world problem) If you really can’t find a white radish anywhere, substitute finely sliced pieces of normal radish as the flavours are fairly similar.
Use a vegetable peeler to peel the carrot and radish into long thin strips.
The pickling liquid is very simple. It’s just equal parts rice wine vinegar to sugar with some salt for seasoning. I love this pickle and I think it really makes the pork roll.
I lurve this home made aioli but you can just as easily use store bought mayonnaise too. Remember that this recipe contains raw egg, so keep this in mind if serving little kiddies or pregnant ladies. Most store bought mayo is find for these ‘at risk’ parties though, as the eggs have been cooked or pasteurised so they are no longer considered raw.
This recipe will make more aioli than you will need for this recipe, but it does keep very well for a few days in the fridge if covered tightly.
The trick with the pork is to cook it over high heat, very quickly. It will only need about 40-60 seconds per side and I cook it in batches to ensure that it does fry instead of stew. The meat will colour up nicely from all the sugar in the marinade.
I could just eat a bowl of this meat with rice. It’s delicious! In fact, if you like the idea of that, check out my Grilled Pork Noodle Bowl recipe which is kind of a similar idea.
Layer up your rolls and assemble away. Don’t be shy with the butter or margarine, it really does add to the overall flavour of the roll :)
Vietnamese Pork Rolls aka Banh Mi aka Crack Sandwiches.
This quantity makes 4 rolls which would easily stretch to feed 4 people, although I have to admit when I make this, Key and I normally gobble down 2 each.
Vietnamese Pork Rolls with Pickle and Aioli – aka Banh Mi
For the Marinade – Makes enough for 4 rolls
- 1/3 cup fish sauce
- 1 tbs honey
- 1 tbs raw sugar
- ½ tsp ground white pepper
- 1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, thinly sliced
- 3 coriander roots (reserve the leaves to serve)
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 spring onions
- 1 pork fillet or 320g, sliced as thinly as possible
For the Pickle – Makes enough for 4 rolls
- ½ cup white rice wine vinegar or plain white vinegar
- ½ cup raw or white sugar
- 1 tsp salt flakes
- 1 cup daikon strips
- 1 cup carrot strips
For the Aioli – Makes about 1 cup which is more than you will need for this recipe
- 1 egg
- ½ tbs lemon juice
- ¼ tsp salt flakes
- ½ small garlic clove, peeled and finely grated
- ½ cup rice bran oil or any other neutral oil
- 4 sub shaped, crusty bread rolls
- Margarine or butter
- Slices of cucumber
- Kecap manis or thick, dark soy sauce
- Sprigs of coriander to garnish
To Make the Marinade
- In a medium plastic or glass bowl, mix together the fish sauce, honey, sugar and pepper. Whisk or mix with a fork until most of the sugar has dissolved.
- In a mortar and pestle, bash together the lemongrass, coriander roots, garlic and the whites of the spring onion. Once it has broken down and softened, add it to the fish sauce mix and stir through.
- Finely chop the green parts of the spring onion and add them to the marinade with the meat. Stir everything together.
- Cover and marinade in the fridge for 1½ hours.
To Make the Pickle
- Combine the vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat just until the sugar and salt has dissolved.
- Once removed from heat, let sit for 5 minutes, then add the daikon and carrot strips and stir through pushing all of it into the pickling liquid.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes up to 1½ hours.
To Make the Aioli
- Place all ingredients except the oil into a food processor, or if using muscle power, a bowl.
- Slowly stream the oil into the food processor while running, or into the bowl while whisking hard.
- Once all of the oil is incorporated, transfer the aioli into a small container.
- I like to make the aioli at the same time as the marinade and pickle, so that it has time to set a bit in the fridge, but that’s not absolutely necessary and can be made just before it’s needed.
- Extra aioli lasts for a few days in the fridge if covered well.
- Drain off any leftover marinade liquid from the pork. Heat a neutral oil in a wok or fry pan over high heat and quickly stir fry the pork in batches until it’s just cooked, this should only take about 40-60 seconds per side.
- Cut each roll lengthwise, then spread with margarine / butter then aioli on both sides.
- Place the cucumber slices on one side, then the cooked meat on top.
- Place the lightly drained pickled strips of daikon and carrot on next.
- Drizzle over a small amount of kecap manis and garnish with coriander leaves.