• Porchetta Banh Mi with Fish Sauce Caramel

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The Ultimate Banh Mi

By Andrew Zimmern

If you made this porchetta last night, then this banh mi sandwich is just one amazing way to use up any leftovers. I love the contrast of textures and flavors here, tangy crisp vegetables and rich pork topped with a nice salty punch from the fish sauce caramel. And if you haven’t made the custom blend Hampshire porchetta yet, put it on your to-do list.

Porchetta Banh Mi with Fish Sauce Caramel

  • Servings: 3

Ingredients

Banh Mi

  • About 1 pound porchetta, thinly sliced
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced into rings
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 small daikon radish, cut into 2-inch matchsticks
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • Cilantro
  • 1 baguette, cut into thirds

Fish Sauce Caramel

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 large shallots, very thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 dried hot red chile
  • 3 star anise pods
  • One 2-inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Asian fish sauce

Instructions

Prepare the Toppings

In a mixing bowl, whisk together white vinegar and sugar, until sugar is dissolved. Add shredded carrot and jalapeno slices, and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Make the Fish Sauce Caramel

Total Time: 20 min
Servings: makes 2 cups

In a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan, combine the sugar, lemon juice and 1/4 cup of water and bring to a boil. Using a wet pastry brush, wash down any sugar crystals on the side of the pan. Boil undisturbed over moderately low heat until a deep amber caramel forms, about 20 minutes.

Stir in the shallots, chile, star anise, cinnamon and pepper. Remove the saucepan from the heat and carefully whisk in the fish sauce and 1/4 cup of water. Stir over moderate heat until the caramel is dissolved. Pour the sauce into a heatproof bowl and let cool completely. Remove the chile, star anise and cinnamon stick. Use immediately or refrigerate.

You’ll have leftover sauce, but don’t worry, the caramel can be refrigerated in a lightly sealed container for up to 2 weeks. It’s great on seafood, chicken and pork.

Make Your Banh Mi

Crisp the leftover porchetta slices on a griddle, browning both sides. Remove and chop into strips for the sandwich. Slice the baguette pieces lengthwise, and slightly hollow out. Put a layer of cucumber on the bottom, add the porchetta, then the daikon, and the carrot and jalapeno slaw. Top with cilantro leaves. Drizzle with the fish sauce caramel. Serve.

NOTE If you don’t have leftover porchetta, you could use roasted pork shoulder, salami or seasoned ground pork.

Photograph by Madeleine Hill. 

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