The result of the French influence on Vietnamese cuisine is very evident in the bánh mì sandwich. Usually served on a baguette and slathered with spicy aioli that is borrowed from French cuisine, this sandwich is then filled with meat and other ingredients that are decidedly more Vietnamese – vegetable slaw made with pickled carrots and daikon radishes, sliced jalapeños, and fresh cilantro. Other typical fillings include barbecue or roast pork, pâté, sliced ham and other deli meats, and even tofu.
This pork meatball bánh mì is a beautiful and colorful sandwich. It has the perfect blend of sour, salty, slightly sweet, and spicy flavors. I used Sriracha for the mayonnaise spread, but for more heat, Sambal Oelek chili paste would be a great substitute. While daikon radish is typically used, I substituted red radishes from my garden, with good results. To make it even easier, I used a vegetable peeler to make long ribbons of carrots instead of grating them. The meatballs were a breeze to make – just put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix. Basil leaves, fish sauce, and more Sriracha gave these meatballs great flavor. What a great sandwich!
Since I followed the recipe exactly as written, I won’t be reprinting it here. Click the link to get the recipe, originally published in the January 2010 issue of Bon Appétit magazine.
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