Thursday, April 9, 2015

Pork Banh Mi Lettuce Cups

Anthony and I spent a weekend in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam a couple of years ago. Today's Eating with Ellie recipe is Vietnamese Pork Banh Mi sandwiches, and it brought back memories of our trip.

Ho Chi Minh is an incredibly busy city and the traffic was full of scooters with whole families on them. There are no pedestrian crossings. Crossing the road is best done by stepping out slowly and steadily--as long as you don't walk into a lane without the vehicle seeing you, then they won't hit you.

The market stalls and small food shops were full of stacks of gorgeous fruits and vegetables.

This man is peeling pineapples for sale. He slices them in a spiral way so that when you tak it home you can just make a couple of vertical cuts and it's all in bite-sized pieces.

Here is a stall selling tofu of different types and snacks in small bags.

There are lots of kinds of rice for sale in massive bags and you can scoop out how much you need.

The chilled coconut vendor thought it would be good to let Anthony pose with his wares. Then he fleeced us for our cold coconut drinks, to which we succumbed due to miscalculating the exchange rate. Oh well, that happens on holiday sometimes and at least we got a picture and a nice cold drink out of it.

Pork Banh Mi sandwiches are an easy Vietnamese food you can make at home with a minimum of special ingredients. You could substitute soy sauce for the fish sauce, but fish sauce is readily available in large grocery stores. You could use regular radishes instead of daikon radish. And you do need some kind of spicy stuff, so if you can't find sriracha, use a different hot sauce, or maybe some dried red pepper flakes. My version has lettuce cups instead of baguette.

Pork Banh Mi Lettuce Cups
adapted from Weeknight Wonders by Ellie Krieger
serves 2 - 3

for the carrot and daikon salad:
1/4 c (60 ml) rice wine vinegar
1 T honey
2 t fish sauce
1 large carrot
1/3 (140 g) daikon

for the pork:
2 T honey
1 t fish sauce
1 t sriracha sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
450 g pork tenderloin

for the sauce:
1/4 c (60 ml) plain yogurt
1 t sriracha sauce

1/2 medium cucumber
large lettuce leaves

First, make the carrot and daikon salad. Mix together the vinegar, honey, and fish sauce. Julienne the carrot and daikon and toss everything to combine. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the meal.

Next, make the pork marinade. Mix together the honey, fish sauce, sriracha, and garlic. Slice the pork into 1 cm slices and mix with the marinade. Set aside for a few minutes.

To make the sauce, mix together the yogurt and sriracha. Use a peeler to make cucumber ribbons. Lay out the lettuce leaves to use for cups.

Heat a non-stick frying pan and add a little mild olive oil. Fry the pork for 2 minutes per side, working in batches if necessary.

Assemble the meal by piling some salad, pork, sauce, and cucumber into each lettuce leaf. Eat by rolling the cup in your hands.

This dish is part of our Eating with Ellie blogging group. If you want to join us, next week we are making Tuscan kale salad from Weeknight Wonders. You are welcome to join us; no long term commitment required. Visit the others in my blogging group to see if they liked the recipe.

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