There is actually a pretty good place in Honesdale to get a banh mi Vietnamese sandwich. A little pricey for what you get but it’s good and the taste is “correct”. I believe they offer the sandwich with chicken or roasted pork.
I decided to make my own banh mi with char sui oven barbecued pork because I knew it would be extraordinary and I love to “S” hook.
I began by making a simple mayonnaise with lime and garlic chilli. I’ve used this also with fried oysters. Very nice!
Inspired by the New York Times food section, I made a quick and easy pickle with shredded carrots, daikon, thinly sliced cucumber and some scallions. The pickle is ready in 30 minutes.
Drudgery over, it was then time to “S” hook! I used a rolled pork butt with a reasonable amount of fat, about 2 1/2 lbs, cut into about 6 pieces and marinated overnight in char sui sauce.
One end of the hook goes into the meat and the other onto the oven rack, placed at it’s highest position. I place a foil wrapped pan underneath to catch drippings, thereby avoiding the necessity of cleaning neither the pan nor the oven.
The pork should be basted half-way through and it’s kind of tricky. I’ve burned my hands many times until I taught myself this method: When it’s time to baste, take a long cooking fork, removing the hook from the rack with the tines and letting the meat fall into the pan. Then you just remove the pan from the oven, baste freely, then return the pork to the oven, re-hooking to the rack (sometimes the hooks are cool, if not use a kitchen towel or something) and continue cooking.
When we first got married, my husband was very upset because I wanted to buy a basting brush from, maybe Macy’s. He thought it was ridiculously expensive and averred that an inexpensive paint brush could do the same job. No dog in that fight and not caring, I agreed and have been using paint brushes for over 41 years. It makes him happy 😀
If you have not yet “S” hooked char sui pork in the oven, just do it. It’s so worth it and can also be used in salads, Asian noodle soups, as a meat course or whatever you think of. It can be stored in the refrigerator un-sliced and still maintain it’s moisture and texture.
When assembling the sandwich, add cilantro, basil, mint leaves, a squeeze of lime and sliced jalapenos or your favorite fresh chilli.
If you can, I couldn’t, find a real French baguette. I used a gigantic hoagie type bread that disappointed me, although my husband didn’t mind.
3/4 cup carrot, shredded
3/4 cup daikon, shredded
1/2 winter cucumber, seeds removed and thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 – 2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients together and allow to pickle at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir and use immediately or cover and refrigerate.
Chilli Lime Mayonnaise
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp chilli garlic sauce
Juice from 1 small lime
Mix all ingredients together, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Char Sui Pork
2 1/2- 3lb pork butt, cut into about 6 pieces
1 jar Lee Kum Kee char sui sauce
Place the pork pieces in a ziplock, pour in the sauce, massage and refrigerate overnight. Remove the pork from the bag, reserving the marinade and “S” hook each pork piece.
Preheat the oven to 425 F and “S” hook the pork pieces onto the top oven rack with a pan underneath on one of the lower racks. Roast for 20 minutes.
Remove the hooks from the rack with kitchen fork tines and allow the pork to fall into the drippings pan. Baste and rehook the pork to the oven rack, continuing to cook for 20 minutes. Remove the pork to a cutting board.
Char Sui Banh Mi Sandwich
1 French baguette, sliced in half vertically
Chili Lime Mayonnaise
Roasted char sui pork, sliced
Cilantro, basil, mint leaves
Jalapeno chilli, sliced
Spread the mayonnaise on both sides of the bread. Add the pickle to one side and layer with the pork, herb leaves and chilli. Cover filling with the other bread half, press down, slice into halves and serve with the lime wedges.