Sunday, April 12, 2009

Twitter and I construct some killer bahn mi

Pork belly/pate banh mi with homemade mayo and pickled carrots

I don't post much about cooking because I'm no expert and there's so many other good cooking blogs. But since I've been practically live-Twittering my bahn mi experiments, it seemed only natural to show the finished product. This one is a bit of a bastard, since it's on a panini roll. That's another thing about my cooking. I rarely make something without adapting several ingredients to whatever's on hand. Anyway, I have some of the city's best banh mi only two or three miles away, but the recent New York Times article made me start considering the use of other ingredients. And there's so many people in L.A. who live much farther from a good banh mi shop, and maybe don't realize that they're fairly easy to replicate.
My first effort, largely constructed with these ingredients from Trader Joe's, was pretty good:
Panini roll
chicken liver pate
regular mayonaise
touch of hoisin sauce
sliced jalapeno
shredded carrots

But I wanted more. Tunatoast on Twitter recommended braised pork belly with sweet soy, so this morning I paid a visit to the new Korean Galleria market Downtown. I consulted a helpful Web site, Viet World Kitchen, and whipped up some homemade mayonaise. I lightly pickled the remaining shredded carrots. Braising seemed too time-consuming, so I quickly grilled the pork belly.
Here are the ingredients of the second, and even more delicious version:
panini roll
chicken liver pate
homemade mayonaise
grilled pork belly marinated in soy and sugar
sliced jalapeno
lightly pickled carrot and cucumber slices

Of course you can use all different meats, and I'd like to do one with fish or chicken so I don't feel quite so decadent. But this is a fun sandwich to experiment with, and even my improvisatory attempts prove that you can still get that wonderful flavor combination even if you don't have a great banh mi shop in your neighborhood. Have you tried making banh mi? Which ingredients do you feel really make the sandwich?


bigmouth said...

Using a dash of Maggi seasoning sauce on the sandwich reminds me of the way KP used to make it.

Anne said...


Wow this looks great. I guess pork belly is good on just about anything:).

On a related note: I recently had the bahn mi at Lemongrass in Eagle Rock, and although I've had better, the bread was amazing. Crisp and super light, it was perfect. I need to find out where they buy their baguettes but they are perfect for bahn mi.

A said...

"I have some of the city's best banh mi only two or three miles away..."

Which place are you referring to here?


my little apartment said...

I just visited Good Girl this afternoon in hopes of the perfect bahn mi, but discovered quite the opposite. :(

is there anywhere that compares to KPs?