Thursday, September 29, 2011

Banh mi

Ever since I watched the first season of The Great Food Truck Race, I've had a food crush on banh mi. The Nom Nom truck took second place in the race, but their version of banh mi--a classic vietnamese sandwich--earned them cash and accolades around the country. 
Although for every chef there's a different recipe, with few exceptions they all have these ingredients in common: cilantro, cucumbers, daikon radish & carrot pickles, and a French roll. The protein varies from pork or beef to tofu or fish. I chose the latter, a soy and ginger seasoned cod from Trader Joes.
I prepared my daikon and carrot pickles the night before, which made lunchtime so quick and easy the next day. I made (and ate!) two sandwiches, and enjoyed the second one more as I learned how much of each ingredient I wanted on my plate. I have a sour tooth, so I believe you can never have too much pickled carrot and daikon. Same goes for cilantro, which I placed sprigs of in my first attempt but minced for the second one.
Because this is an assembly format, I've structured this recipe a little differently than others:

16 ounces fish (pre-seasoned or marinated in soy sauce, ginger and garlic)

1/3 cup mayonaise
1 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce

1/2 English cucumber, sliced thinly using a vegetable peeler

4" daikon radish, peeled and julienned
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons hot water
2 tablespoons sugar

small handful fresh cilantro

2 small baguettes

Make the daikon and carrot pickles by sprinkling the vegetables with salt. Knead them for a few minutes until they become limp and release some of their liquid. Rinse in cool water and drain. Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar and water and then pour over the carrots and daikon and store, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Whisk together the sriracha and mayonaise and set aside.

Grill the fish until it flakes apart.

Toast the baguettes in a 350 degree overn for about 5-7 minutes until warm and toasty.

Assemble the sandwich by schmearing both bread halves with the chili mayo. Order the ingredients from there as you see fit. Enjoy!

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