A recipe for bánh mì sandwiches is certainly not the first thing I'd expect from a Southern cookbook. Yet the sandwich doesn't feel out of place in a book as full of pickles as Southern Living's Little Jars, Big Flavors. Instead of using a mix of shredded pickled carrot and daikon, this particular bánh mì makes use of pickled turnips with shiso. On the sandwich, the small pieces of spicy, lemony turnips contrast delightfully with the soy-slicked pork cutlets and rich liverwurst mayonnaise, adding brightness and a bit of crunch. Thinly sliced cucumbers, cilantro, and jalapeños round things out. Between the optional lettuce and hoisin on the pork, this bánh mì doesn't taste particularly Vietnamese, but it is a darn good sandwich, authenticity be damned.
Why I picked this recipe: I wanted to make at least one recipe using some of my preserved bounty, so why not bánh mì sandwiches?
What worked: While I wouldn't go so far as to claim this sandwich as an authentic bánh mì, it was an excellent sandwich with well-balanced crunch, sweetness, and spice.
What didn't: I had no desire to bring out my food processor to mix the liver-mayo spread. A fork works just as well and is less of a pain to clean.
Suggested tweaks: If you can't get your hands on liverwurst, you can use a similar amount of paté. You could also substitute chicken cutlets for the pork if you'd like. A little drizzle of the pork sauce is also a nice touch to the final sandwich.
Reprinted with permission from Little Jars, Big Flavors: Small-batch jams, jellies, pickles, and preserves from the South's most trusted kitchen by the Editors of Southern Living Magazine and Virginia Willis. Copyright 2013. Published by Oxmoor House. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
- Yield:Serves 4
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:25 minutes
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup Pickled Japanese Turnips with Shiso, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup juice from Pickled Japanese Turnips with Shiso
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 pound liverwurst
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 8 thin boneless pork loin cutlets (1 pound)
- 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice
- 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Asian chili-garlic sauce
- 2 (8.5-ounce) French bread baguettes (about 16 inches long)
- 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro sprigs
- 1 cup thinly sliced English cucumber
- 1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
- 4 green leaf lettuce leaves
Preheat oven to 350°. Toss together first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Process liverwurst, mayonnaise, and freshly ground pepper in a food processor until smooth.
Sprinkle pork evenly with Chinese five spice. Cook 4 pork cutlets in 1 teaspoon hot sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Repeat with remaining pork and 1 teaspoon oil.
Stir together remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and chili-garlic sauce in a shallow dish. Add cooked pork to sauce, turning to coat.
Place baguettes on oven rack, and bake at 350° for 4 minutes or until warm and crisp. Cut each baguette in half crosswise; cut bread halves lengthwise. Spread liverwurst mixture on cut sides of bread. Place turnip mixture, cilantro, cucumber slices, pork cutlets, jalapeño slices, and lettuce on bottom halves of bread; cover with top halves of bread.