Don’t Try This at Home

Okay you can try this at home. Just be prepared that while it will indeed be delish, it won’t be as delicious as the Banh Mi that you get from your favorite little Vietnamese restaurant where it only costs about $3. Just be prepared.

I love Indian, Thai, Chinese, Korean and Malaysian food. And there are days when I think I could make that Spinach Saag I had last week or the Spicy Chili Crab I had at the Fatty Crab in NYC. Of course I’m physically capable of preparing these dishes. Hunting down the ingredients at 5 different groceries. Mashing, whirring and sauteeing all kinds of fabulous ingredients. But in the end. When the dish is done. It simply isn’t the same. It’s good. Better than edible. I feel rather proud that I actually spent two days of my life hunting down Dungeness crabs, burning shrimp paste in my kitchen to make something I can’t pronounce and splattering chili sauce everywhere as I devour said crab.

The crab at The Fatty Crab is sublime. Mine sadly is not.

I find the same when I attempt any kind of Indian food. Kind of disappointing in the end. Especially since I spend days sourcing ingredients I’ll only use once and have to bury something in the backyard. Wait that’s kimchi.

Perhaps people of my heritage just need to step away from the lemon grass and sriracha and leave it to the experts.

Once again this recipe comes to you from the wildly talented culinary people at

Caramelized Pork and Bánh mì Assembly

  • 1-1.5pound pork tenderloin
  • 3tablespoons Fish sauce
  • 2tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 1tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2garlic cloves, minced
  • 1slice ginger, minced
  • 1green onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/2teaspoon black pepper
  • 2tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1loaf sweet French baguette (thin) or french bread sandwich rolls. Try to get the kind of French bread with a crisp crust and tender light center.
  • red leaf lettuce
  • pickled carrot and radishes
  • sliced jalapeno chili peppers
  • cilantro
  • Pâté (optional, but recommended)YOU MUST HAVE THE PATE!!
  • mayonnaise
  1. Cut tenderloin across the grain of the meat into ½ inch pieces. Flatten each piece to an even ¼ inch between two pieces of saran wrap using a meat pounder, rolling pin, or large bottle. DO NOT SKIP THE FLATTENING STEP!! I used a wine bottle. Are you surprised?
  2. Mix ingredients from fish sauce to black pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning – it should be sweet and savory so add more soy, salt, or sesame oil as you like. Add marinade to the meat and use your hands or large spoon to make sure all pieces of meat are coated in marinade. Marinate for 10-30 minutes.
  3. You can cook the pork on the grill outdoors (best) or indoors using a grill pan or cast iron pan, something that you can get very hot. Heat grill or grill pan to high and turn on that vent fan! Add vegetable oil to meat and stir to coat. Sear first side of meat until very dark brown on one side, then flip and sear on the second side. Be careful not to overcook it. The meat is thin so it cooks quickly, one or two minutes on each side.
  4. To assemble sandwiches, slice baguette and spread mayonnaise on one side, pâté on the other. Add lettuce, meat, pickled vegetables, cilantro and peppers. Enjoy!


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