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.