Kimchi bánh mì


As I was making kimchi, it occurred to me that the daikon and carrots I was prepping at the time could also do double duty as the garnish for some bánh mì down the road. As I considered setting aside some vegetables for some mandolin action, an idea was born…the kimchi bánh mì, using kimchi’d (that’s a transitive verb) daikon and carrots.

First of all, the lemongrass pork that serves as the protein for this particular sandwich.

Grilled Lemongrass Pork

  • 1 pound boneless country-style pork ribs
  • 3 stalks of lemon grass, ends trimmed, and minced like a motherfuck
  • Few cloves garlic
  • 3 bird chilis
  • 1 inch knob of ginger
  • Fish sauce
  • Tablespoon sugar

Smash the ginger, garlic and chilis in a mortar to form a paste. Put in a bowl and combine with lemongrass and sugar. Add fish sauce and mix lightly until a thick sludge develops. Slather this all over the pork and allow to marinade for a few hours.


Get some hot coals going on one side of a grill, and grill the pork. If you’re using the ribs, you’ll want to alternate between the hot/cool side of grills, and give them some time…I dunno, 40 minutes? Just whatever feels right, I’m not going to nanny you. If you’re using a leaner cut like a tenderloin or even shoulder steaks, you’ll want to reduce the time of course.

While the pork cools a bit, get your sandwich house in order.


The bread. These are from a local Vietnamese bakery (behind the Pho Oregon on East 82nd). You can pick these up at Vietnamese stores around town (5 for about $1.50).


The garnish. I like cucumber on my bánh mì, and lots of cilantro. In this case I had some Thai basil, so I figured what the hell. And don’t forget the Maggi.

So here’s how it went down. I sliced up that pork, stuffed everything into a toasted roll, and topped with slivers of daikon and carrots I carefully extracted from my kimchi.


I think I ate three of them that day.

11 thoughts on “Kimchi bánh mì”

  1. Yes, WC…but will they put kimchi on it? Well….????!!!!

    Next thing you are going to tell me is that you can get In-n-out Burger, too? And hakata ramen? Damn you, WC!

  2. GC,

    I get a jar of my aunt’s homemade kimchi every time I run out. And considering those 3 banh mi for $4 are only like 1 mile away, I can take them home and put that kimchi in ’em. :P

    In-n-out is at most 1 mile in the opposite direction. And forget hakata ramen (although Shin-sen-gumi is only 5 minutes away as well), I got for tonkatsu ramen, which is a whopping 10 minutes away.

    BTW, several of the banh mi shops are now open 24 hours. And Lee’s Sandwiches has a drive-thru too!

    Not that I’m rubbing it in at all. ;)

  3. My friends all think I’m crazy when I say this, but I find with banh mi, it’s the bread that really animates the sandwich. At least it is at the local Ba Le shop here in Chicago. It’s almost like everything else kinda revolves around the bread.

  4. OMG, I loooove Kim Chi but never thought about putting it in my banh mi. Why not? It’s a great and delicious idea! Your banh mi is kick butt good! I’ve got a HUGE jar or kim chi in my fridge, time to put it in my banh mi. Thaniks!

Comments are closed.