I really cannot believe that I have never had a Bánh mì before last Thursday. I feel somehow more complete now.
Today I made not a bad substitute for the real thing. This one was with chicken (as the recipe called for). Next time I will substitute a pork chop that I pound to about 1/4-1/8 of an inch thick. I also will not skimp on the mayo.
I modified this recipe but it is originally from epicurious.com:
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon (rounded) salt
6 cups shredded peeled carrots
1/4 cup soy sauce
6 garlic cloves, minced
4 shallots, chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc nam)
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons five-spice powder
2 whole star anise ground in spice mill or crushed to a rough powder
6 large skinless boneless chicken breasts pounded to 1/4-1/8 inch
pork chops bone removed and pounded to 1/4-1/8 inch
6 6-inch-long pieces baguette, split lengthwise, some of soft centers removed
1 English hothouse cucumber, cut into 6-inch-long 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/2 red onion, halved through stem, thinly sliced crosswise, rinsed, drained well
12 fresh cilantro sprigs
2 jalapeño chiles, thinly sliced crosswise
Whisk first 3 ingredients in large bowl until dissolved. Add carrots; toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours. (Can be prepared 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.) Drain well.
Mix first 8 ingredients in 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Add chicken or pork; turn to coat. Let marinate at room temperature 1 hour, turning often.
Broil cut sides of bread until lightly toasted. Spread mayonnaise on bottom half of baguette pieces. Top with cucumber slices. Top each with 1 chicken thigh, drained daikon and carrots, then onion slices and cilantro sprigs. Sprinkle with jalapeño slices, soy sauce, and ground black pepper. Place top baguette piece over, pressing to compact, and serve immediately.
I made this sandwich after having a few really disappointing Bánh mì experiences on Brooklyn over the weekend. I went to 2 different Bánh mì shops. One was fine, the other was terrible. I tried a grilled pork, a shredded pork, a BBQ pork and a standard pork roll pate version. The shredded I took a bite of and gave up on. I'm not sure what was mixed on with the pork. But it was some sort of intestine or organ I just didn't feel up to.