Sunday-Night Asian Inspired: Pork Banh Mi & Coconut Curry Soup

I first learned about banh mi three or four years ago when it was still somewhat novel (at least in Toronto).  Nowadays you can hardly walk half a block in any direction without falling over about fifty places selling these delectable Vietnamese sannies.

I make no claims of authenticity with the recipe below; however, it does contain all the main flavors and textures that make banh mi what it is – salty pork, crunchy pickled vegetables, a slick of creamy mayo, and tons of fresh cilantro.  We enjoyed it with a spicy coconut curry soup.

Pork Tenderloin Banh Mi 

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 soft white baguette
    • 1 roast pork tenderloin (recipe here)
    • 2-3 carrots, shredded
    • 1/2 daikon, shredded
    • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
    • 4 tbsp light mayo
    • 1 tsp sweet chili sauce
    • 1.5 tsp sriracha
    • 4 tbsp liverwurst (or other paté – we used a country pork paté because that’s what we had)

Instructions:

Combine shredded carrot, shredded daikon, rice wine vinegar and sugar and let the mixture sit for at least 30 mins to an hour.  Mix mayo with sweet chili sauce and sriracha.  To assemble sandwiches, divide baguette into four sections and cut each in half lengthwise.  Spread 1 tbsp of paté on bottom half of each sandwich.  Top with sliced pork tenderloin, then 1/4 cup of pickled vegetables, red onion slices, and cilantro.  Spread 1 tbsp of mayo mixture on top slice and set on top.  Cut each sandwich in half and serve with coconut curry soup.

Coconut Curry Soup

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 tbsp cooking oil
    • 2 green onions, white & light green parts chopped
    • 1 can light coconut milk
    • 1.5 cups chicken stock
    • 3-4 slices of fresh ginger
    • 3 stalks lemongrass
    • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
    • 2 tsp fish sauce
    • 1.5 tbsp sugar
    • 1 tbsp thai red curry paste
    • 1 tbsp lime zest
    • 4 tbsp lime juice
    • Salt to taste

Instructions:

To prep, cut the ends off the lemongrass stalks and peel off tough outer leaves.  Chop tender interior, then crush with a mortor & pestle to release juices.  Make a little pouch out of a piece of cheesecloth and insert crushed lemongrass and sliced ginger – tie with string to make a little bag (or a “bouquet garni”).  Chop chiles (remove seeds if you want to decrease the spice factor). 

Crush them with a mortor & pestle and set aside.  Drain tofu by placing between paper towel and placing a heavy object on top (or by using a tofu press if you’re fancy enough to have one, which I’m not).  When tofu is drained, cut into bite-size pieces and set aside.

Heat oil over medium heat in a wok (if you have one – I don’t, so just used a big soup pot).  Add green onions and cook, stirring, 2-3 minutes or until onions are soft.  Add 3/4 of the can of coconut milk, all the chicken stock, the lime zest, and the bouquet garni, and bring to a boil. 

Add fish sauce, sugar, and red curry paste.  Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 8-10 minutes.  Remove from heat and add last 1/4 cup of coconut milk, stirring to combine.  To serve, put several bite-size pieces of tofu, 1 tbsp chopped chiles, and 1 tbsp lime juice in each bowl.  Ladle soup on top, then add 1/4 cup chopped cilantro.  Serve with sriracha on the side.

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