Serious Heat: The Quickie Banh Mi Recipe

Serious Heat: The Quickie Banh Mi Recipe

Note: On Wednesdays, Andrea Lynn, senior editor of Chile Pepper magazine, drops by with Serious Heat.

[Flickr: jwalsh]

It was a banh mi sushi roll that inspired it all. I had a few friends over for a sushi-making gathering, where I tried out a banh mi sushi roll (very good, in fact). One friend remarked, "What is a banh mi?" For those not in the know, this is the sandwich of all sandwiches for spicy food lovers. Slathered with a mayo-Sriracha mixture, a banh mi is a Vietnamese-inspired sandwich made from pickled veggies, cilantro, jalapenos and various meats piled on a French baguette.

Just because there's no banh mi restaurant in your area, doesn't mean you can't experience the deliciousness of this exotic sandwich. I tried to make an easy version, but with enough taste and pep to still mimic the original. My problem with most banh mi recipes is they're too complicated to attempt, either with time-consuming braised pork or other difficult recipes for the meat.

When I think of "sandwich," I want it to be easy. One option to make this even quicker is using supermarket paté (I got mine from Whole Foods) and boneless pork chops. I think it's a pretty easy solution to this zesty, flavorful sandwich without compromising too much of the original flavors associated with it.

  • Yield:4 sandwiches


  • 1 1/2 cups rice wine vinegar
  • Sriracha
  • 1 large carrot, shredded with a grater or peeler
  • 2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into strips
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • Paté (store-bought), thinly sliced
  • 1 pound thin boneless pork chops
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 baguettes
  • Mayonnaise
  • 2 jalapenos, sliced
  • Cilantro bunch


  1. 1.

    In a small bowl, add rice wine vinegar. Combine with 1 teaspoon (or more) of Sriracha, and whisk until mixed. Add sliced carrots, cucumbers and onion. Place in the refrigerator, and let sit 20 to 30 minutes.

  2. 2.

    Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, cook pork until browned, just a few minutes on each side. Remove from pan, and cut on the bias.

  3. 3.

    Split the baguettes down the middle, and coat with thin layer of mayonnaise. Add desired amount of Sriracha over the mayo. Layer with pork chop slices, paté slivers, jalapenos and marinated vegetables. Top sandwich with cilantro, and serve.