There are sandwiches and then there are epic sandwiches. This is an epic sandwich. Vietnamese banh mi with gochujang mayo drizzled all over sliced pork belly. Warm pork belly. Are you drooling yet?
The traditional Vietnamese banh mi is made with just about anything. Pate. Grilled Pork. Chicken. Meatballs. You name it. This version is a little simpler. Straight forward. But the flavours are huge. Absolutely huge. It’s not purely Vietnamese either. Gochujang mayo is Korean. Well maybe Korean fusion.
I got the idea from leftovers my wife brought back one night. She was at a funky new restaurant. I wasn’t that hungry but I took a bite. Thirty seconds later I was googling the menu to see what I was eating. And I had to figure it out.
That’s where I learned about gochujang mayo. And I was instantly converted. Gochujang is a fermented soy chili paste that’s everywhere in Korean cooking. Never occurred to me to use it with mayo. Or in a sandwich. But I can’t believe how good it is. Someday it will replace chipotle mayo. It’s that good.
The other thing that drives this completely over the top is pork belly. And not just any pork belly. Momofuku pork belly – as explained to me in their kitchen. Perfectly done pork belly. Best pork belly I know how to make.
This is a sandwich. So the choice of bread is important here. Lousy bread. Lousy sandwich. And that would be a shame. Fresh French baguette works. Make the effort to get some. It’s so worth it. Wonder bread isn’t going to do it…
A bit of pickled daikon and carrot. Some fresh cilantro. Maybe a bit of onion if you like. These are all good. But it’s the gochujang mayo that puts it over the top. Way over the top. Takes Vietnamese banh mi to epic status.
And who doesn’t love an epic sandwich?
- 6 oz sliced pork belly
- 1 half baguette or demi-baguette if you can find it
- 2 tbsp gochujang mayo or more if you like
- pickled carrot and daikon I use the serious eats recipe - see notes
Warm the sliced pork belly. A steamer works very well for this
Have your ingredients on hand and ready to go. Make the gochujang mayo. Prep your pickled carrot and daikon the day before.
Slice the baguette lengthwise but don't cut all the way through. Think hotdog bun. You want to open the bread up to wrap around the pork.
Slather the bread top and bottom with gochujang mayo. Layer some cilantro along the bottom. Place the pork on top of the cilantro. Top with the pickled daikon and carrot.
Pickled daikon and carrot is really easy to make. I use the Serious Eats recipe. This works best with a mandolin or really sharp knife.
Julienne carrot and daikon in equal amounts as fine as you can get it. You want about 4 cups total (combined carrot and daikon).
Mix together 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 tbsp kosher salt, 1 cup water and 1/2 cup of rice vinegar.
Pack the carrot and daikon into a jar and pour the liquid overtop to cover. Seal and place in the fridge for a day. Good to go!