For those of you who do not know what a Banh Mi is (I only discovered them a year ago) it is a soft taco shaped bun that is steamed. It has become very popular in the Toronto food scene so you can find them at many asian-inspired restaurants.
While filming MasterChef Canada, a few of my fellow competitors introduced Banh Mi to me. I was skeptical as the name sounded very ethnic but the ingredients are very simple and delicious. Traditionally they consist of the steamed bun, pork belly, cabbage slaw and topped with freshly chopped cilantro. I cannot stand cilantro so I left it out of my recipe but it is a very important part of this dish so please be sure to add it if you like it. I used sliced pork belly but you could also buy an entire piece of pork belly, roast it and slice it afterwards. I found the barbecue method much quicker (I am a little impatient when I am cooking!)
This sandwich is great served with kettle-cooked chips and cold beer while watching a football game or for a fun weeknight dinner.
Grilled Pork Belly Banh Mi (on a Baguette)
3 Pounds thickly sliced pork belly
1 cup of store bought mayo
2 Tablespoons Sriracha or other hot sauce
Cabbage Slaw (there will likely be some left over)
Cucumbers, sliced thin (topping)
1. Stir hot sauce into one cup of store-bought mayo. Refrigerate until needed.
2. To make the slaw, shred carrots and cabbage. Cut daikon into thin planks. Toss together with vinegar, sugar, and salt. Make at least 30 minutes before you use it.
3. Marinate pork belly in soya sauce and maple syrup. Toss the ingredients together to make sure the pork belly is well coated. Put the strips of pork belly on a hot grill until it has cooked through and a lot of fat has rendered out of it and the maple syrup is caramelized.
4. To make a sandwich, toast baguette and slather it with spicy mayo. Add a layer of pork belly and top it with the slaw. Top with fresh sliced cucumbers and cilantro and serve immediately!