September 15, 2010

Bánh mì


I bought an issue of Bon Appetit way back in January based off the title article- meatballs. That alone is enough to sell me on a $5 magazine. Better yet, the meatballs were mostly of the non-traditional sort- lamb kofte, moroccan cinnamon spiced ones, and these bahn mi inspired ones.  I've always wanted to try Bánh mì, but haven't made the trek out to Atlanta's ethnic food corridor, Buford Highway, to track one down. 


Bánh mì are Vietnamese sandwiches that typically have pickled vegetables, spicy peppers, cilantro, pate and other cold cuts on a baguette. I did make all the components of this recipe, along with my roommate and friend playing sous chef and patient wait-ers. For having a lot of components and looking like a lot of work, once you get started it shouldn't take more than an hour between pickling vegetables, making and cooking meatballs and assembling sandwiches.


Bánh mì

HOT CHILI MAYO
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 green onions finely chopped
1 tablespoon sriracha

1. Stir all ingredients in small bowl. Season with salt.

MEATBALLS
1 pound ground pork
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch- I don't know what this is for, but I still used it
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt


1. Line rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap. 

2. Gently mix all ingredients in large bowl.

3. Run your hands under water and with a scant tablespoonful for each, roll meat mixture into 1-inch meatballs. Arrange on baking sheet. 

4. Heat sesame oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of meatballs. Sauté until brown and cooked through, turning meatballs often, about 15 minutes. 

5. Transfer meatballs to preheated, 300 degree oven to stay warm.


PICKLED VEGETABLES (no I'm not kidding, do it)

2 cups coarsely grated carrots
2 cups coarsely grated peeled daikon
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil

1. Toss all 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour, tossing occasionally.

ASSEMBLY

1. Cut each baguette or baguette piece horizontally in half.

2. Spread hot chili mayo over each bread shell. Arrange jalapeños, then cilantro, in bottom halves.

3. Fill each with meatballs. Drain pickled vegetables; place atop meatballs. Press on baguette tops.


2 comments:

David said...

Interesting. Looks like a tasty sandwich. A couple of suggestions: the mayo on bahn mi is not spicy - sometimes it's actually blended with butter (heat comes from the chilies).

Traditional do chua (pickles) are even simpler - see my post here: http://eatbufordhighway.com/cooking/do-chua/

The cornstarch in Asian recipes often confuses people. In your recipe, it's being used as a binder to help hold the meatballs together (ground pork can fall apart pretty easily). In other dishes, where the meat is tossed in cornstarch, it's used to seal the meat when it hits hot oil.

hopeless foodie said...

Looks great! I love bahn mi, but I haven't made them at home yet (I will soon).