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Vietnamese Pork Bahn Mi with Spicy Peanut Aioli

Vietnamese Pork Bahn Mi with Spicy Peanut Aioli


For the Spicy Peanut Aioli:

½ cup mayonnaise

2 Tbsps. peanut flour

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. chili paste or dried chili flakes (optional)

For the Marinated Carrots:

½ cup sugar

½ cup white vinegar

½ tsp. salt

3 carrots, peeled, shredded into matchstick size strips, rinsed

For the pork/marinade:

2 Tbsps. shallots, minced

1 tsp. garlic, minced

2 Tbsps. soy sauce, plus extra for garnish

1 Tbsp. fish sauce

2 Tbsps. light brown sugar

2 Tbsps. lemongrass, minced

1 lb. pork sirloin or pork butt, trimmed of any excess fat, cut into thin slices (about 2" × 5" × ⅛")

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, plus extra for grilling or cooking

For sandwich assembly:

4 (6" long) baguette pieces, split lengthwise, half of the centers slightly hollowed out

¼ cup Spicy Peanut Aioli, or to taste

⅓ cup roasted peanuts, chopped

2 cups Marinated Carrots

¼ red onion, sliced paper thin and rinsed

10-12 sprigs cilantro

⅓ cup Vietnamese rau ram (herb similar to cilantro) or Thai basil leaves

½ hothouse cucumber, cut into thin strips

1 jalapeno chili, thinly sliced (optional) soy sauce, salt and pepper, to taste

  1. For the Spicy Peanut Aioli: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. Allow to sit for 15 minutes before using.

  2. For the Marinated Carrots: Combine sugar, vinegar and salt in a small bowl and stir well. Add carrots; toss several times then allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

  3. Combine pork marinade ingredients and pork in a large bowl. Toss well to coat the meat and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

  4. Preheat grill to high and rub oil on it. Grill the pork slices just until done and slightly charred around the edges, about 1-2 minutes on each side. (You can also cook pork in a pan.) Remove from heat and keep warm.

  5. Toast the baguette on the grill just until warm and crisp.

  6. Spread the inside of each baguette with peanut aioli and then layer from the bottom up with pork slices, 2 Tbsps. peanuts, ⅓ cup marinated carrots, 2 onion slices, 2-3 sprigs cilantro, 2-3 rau ram leaves, 2 cucumber strips and 2 jalapeno slices (if using).

  7. Drizzle 1 tsp. soy sauce on top, and then add salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Recipe: Mai Pham

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