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Pork Belly Banh Mi

Pork Belly Banh Mi

If you’re a fan of the traditional Vietnamese sandwich, you’re going to love this twist on the classic. I’ve taken all the delicious flavors of a banh mi and added succulent, braised pork belly as the main protein. The result is a sandwich that is packed with flavor and texture, and is sure to become a new favorite. 

Pork belly has a long history in Vietnamese cuisine, and it has been a popular ingredient in banh mi for many years. In the past, pork belly was often used as a cheaper alternative to more expensive cuts of meat, and it was commonly used in braised or stewed dishes.

As banh mi became more popular globally, pork belly began to be used more frequently as the main protein in the sandwich. Its rich, savory flavor and tender, succulent texture make it a perfect match for the pickled vegetables and herbs that are traditionally found in a banh mi.

How do you elevate the traditional banh mi by using pork belly as the main protein?

  1. Look for pork belly that is well-marbled and has a good balance of fat and meat. This will ensure that the sandwich is flavorful and juicy.
  2. Pork belly can be slow-roasted, braised, or grilled to achieve a tender, succulent texture. Experiment with different cooking methods to find the one that works best for you.
  3. Consider marinating the pork belly in a mixture of fish sauce, garlic, and spices to give it an extra boost of flavor. You could also try adding some caramelized onions or roasted garlic to the sandwich for a touch of sweetness.
  4. In addition to the traditional pickled vegetables and fresh herbs, consider adding some unexpected ingredients to the sandwich. For example, you could try topping the pork belly with a slaw made from shredded green papaya, or adding some crispy fried shallots for crunch.
Pork Belly Banh Mi Ingredients

Ingredients for Bacon or Pork Belly Banh Mi

  • Minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • Oil to fry garlic and shallot
Braising pork belly

How to make Pork Belly Banh Mi

Cooking the pork belly

  • Slice the pork belly into thin slices about ½ inch thick.
Slicing pork belly
  • Pan-fry the meat until it crisps up.
Pan fry the pork belly
  • In a bowl, mix together ketchup, sriracha, brown sugar, black pepper, and fish sauce.
Mixing the sauce
  • In another pan, fry the garlic and shallot until become golden, then drain the oil.
frying garlic and shallot
Drain the oil
  • Heat up a pan on high heat, add white sugar and wait for it to caramelize (sugar turns to golden brown), lower the heat to medium, and continue caramelizing the sugar until it turns dark brown, then add water. This is the cooking caramel sauce that helps darken the meat.
adding white sugar to the pan
sugar turns dark brown
add water
  • Add the sauce, and pork belly to the pan, then sprinkle the fried garlic and shallot evenly on top of the meat. 
add the sauce to the pan
add pork belly
sprinkle fried garlic and shallot on top of pork belly
  • Lower the heat, continue simmering and flipping the meat for 3 – 6 minutes until the meat is evenly coated. 
Braising pork belly
  • When the pork belly is done cooking. Cut each slice into bite-sized pieces, ready to assemble the banh mi. 
bite-sized pork belly

Assembling the sandwich

  • Cut the baguette or hoagie roll in half lengthwise. Remove the inside from the top half of the bread to leave some room for fillings. Then heat it up if the bread is stale.
  • Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on the bottom half of the baguette or hoagie roll.
  • Arrange the pickled carrots, cucumber, jalapeno peppers, and pork belly on top of the mayonnaise.
  • Top with a handful of fresh cilantro.
Pork Belly Banh Mi

A banh mi would be a great addition to a spread of other Vietnamese dishes, such as spring rolls, rice noodles, or grilled meats. This would allow you to sample a variety of flavors and textures.


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Hey, I'm Sa. Welcome to Wikisizzle! I’d like to keep it simple with everyday meals that are easy to make. Hope you find some delightful flavors here. Let’s get cooking.

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