In this version of the classic Vietnamese sandwich, the sugar caramelizes the pork just a bit, while fish sauce adds authentic Vietnamese flavor. Don’t skip the pickled vegetables; they are key to the complex, fresh flavor of this sandwich. And don’t forget to use a nonreactive bowl when combining an acid—in this case, rice vinegar—with vegetables so the vegetables will keep their vivid color and not turn brown.
Pork Banh Mi with Pickled Vegetables and Eggs
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 1/2 tsp. sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) rice vinegar
1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) mayonnaise
2 1/2 Tbs. sriracha
1 1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 lb. (500 g) ground pork
4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 green onions, white and tender green portions, finely chopped
1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. fish sauce
4 tsp. vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) fresh cilantro leaves
1 French baguette
In a nonreactive bowl, combine the carrot and red onion. Add 1 1/2 tsp. of the sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, the vinegar and 3 Tbs. water and stir to combine. Let stand at room temperature.
In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, sriracha and lemon juice. Let stand at room temperature.
In a large bowl, combine the pork, basil, green onions, fish sauce and the remaining 2 tsp. sugar. Form into four rectangular patties. Season both sides well with salt and pepper. In a nonstick fry pan over medium heat, warm 2 tsp. of the vegetable oil. Add the patties and cook, turning once, until medium, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Turn off the heat but keep the patties warm in the frying pan.
In a clean nonstick fry pan over medium heat, warm the remaining 2 tsp. vegetable oil. Fry the eggs until set but still runny, 5 to 6 minutes.
While the eggs are cooking, drain the liquid from the vegetables and stir in the cilantro. Slice the baguette into 4 1/2-inch (11.5-cm) lengths and split. Slather the cut sides of the baguette with the sriracha mayo. Set the pork patties on the baguettes and top with the pickled vegetables and fried eggs. Close the sandwiches and serve immediately. Serves 4.
For this and more ideas for burgers you’ll want to serve every night of the week,
check out our new Burger Night, by Kate McMillan.