When I was younger, one of the things my parents always made sure to stop for while visiting Philly was a banh mi – or two (or three). I was never a big fan then, and to be honest, I’m not a big fan now – at least of the traditional banh mi. It typically contains a pate and pork, both of which I’m very picky with. I love love love foie gras but am super particular with other types of liver. And when it comes to pork – although most times I find it delicious – sometimes when its not cooked correctly (or not even incorrectly necessarily – just a way that I don’t like), I hate it.
Since my youth, I’ve had banh mi several times and even found one that I loved…but it was made with chicken, not pork. O Sandwhiches – a Vietnamese “fast food” place that used to be right next to Geno’s – made delicious sandwiches and Eric and I probably had one every other week. Sadly, they closed a few years ago (please come back please come back please come back!). I don’t see them opening back up anytime soon (or ever for that matter), but don’t you worry. You can make an awesome one yourself at home and its probably the best I’ve ever had.
The recipe is from Food 52 and can be found here. It is a pork bahn mi, but the pork is grilled – and grilling makes anything taste better. Plus the marinade is so flavorful – a great combination of sweet and salty. I followed the recipe pretty closely, but if you like spicy foods, I would recommend mixing sriracha in with the mayo…and even adding more on top depending on how spicy you like things. What also is awesome about this recipe is how simple it is. The marinating of the pork and making of the pickled veggies does add a bit of time, but the rest is fairly simple and quick. Can’t wait to make this again!