Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pork Banh Mi Burgers with Vietnamese Slaw

Pork Banh Mi Burgers

I love to cook. But I suppose that's pretty obvious because I wouldn't be a food blogger if I didn't.

Unlike most couples, Tom and I don't eat out much. We'd rather cook at home and eat dinner, wearing our shorts and a t-shirt or sweats, in the comfort of our backyard patio when the weather permits.

But I have a hard time finding ingredients, particularly fresh ingredients like the daikon radish required for the Vietnamese Slaw for this dish. The first time I made this slaw, there wasn't a daikon radish to be found between Conway and Little Rock, not even at Fresh Market. {pouting face} Since a daikon radish is more mild than the common red radish, Tom stopped at the store and bought a jicama, which has a similar color and texture, though sweeter than a daikon. When Tom got home, I started the slaw preparation, but when I cut the jicama in half, it was brown all the way through. Tom headed back to Kroger, rotten jicama in hand.

I opted to make the slaw with red radishes and tediously grated about a dozen of those little suckers, which yielded just about a cup, so I cut the recipe in half. I also didn't use a fresh jalapeno. I used candied jalapenos, which I make myself (a recipe I will share next time).

The night before I had prepared chicken fried pork steaks for dinner, and as we almost always do, we had leftovers - two pork steaks. I hate seeing food go to waste, so I decided to make the Banh Mi sandwiches using the leftover fried pork steaks. I can't even describe how delicious they were. The slaw is crunchy because the carrots and radish are julienned instead of grated, and slightly sweet from the pickling step, with a little heat from the jalapenos and sriracha. What a wonderful combination.
Banh Mi Pork Sandwiches

A week or so later, when I decided to make the Pork Banh Mi Sandwich, I happened to be in Kroger and lo and behold, they had three large daikon radishes! Yippee! I grabbed one daikon and a bag of julienned carrots, paid for my groceries and headed for home to make the slaw.

This time I did not grate the radish. I wanted the daikon to be the same texture as the carrots. I have a mandoline (this one) my son gave me over six years ago. I swear I use it almost every single day. Anyway, the daikon is much larger and easier to use on my mandoline, which has a julienne blade. I cut up two cups in no time.

Vietnamese Slaw

Became this...
Vietnamese Slaw

We've used the Vietnamese Slaw on the chicken fried pork burgers and as a side with Bang Bang Shrimp. But on top of those juicy, flavorful, herby, slightly spicy pork burgers....oh my! I served the burgers with oven baked sweet potato fries, which was the perfect compliment to the spiciness of the burger.
Pork Banh Mi Burgers

Pork Banh Mi Burgers with Vietnamese Slaw
Adapted from Chaos in the Kitchen

For the Burgers:
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 green onions, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (if you don't have fish sauce, substitute soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 4 ciabatta rolls or other crusty rolls, sliced in half

In a medium sized bowl, combine the pork, basil, garlic, onion, fish sauce (or soy sauce), sriracha, sugar, cornstarch, salt and pepper until evenly combined. Divide the mixture into four equal parts and pat into four patties.

Heat a grill pan or large skillet over medium heat. Brush the pan with sesame oil. Cook burgers about 7 minutes minutes on one side until lightly browned, then turn the patties over and cook another 5 - 7 minutes or until the patties are cooked through. The internal temperature should be 145˚.

Remove the burgers from the pan and keep warm.

Place rolls in the same pan used to cook the patties, cut side down, over the heat until toasted.

Serve burgers on rolls topped generously with slaw. Top with additional fresh cilantro sprigs and sliced fresh jalapenos if desired.

For the Vietnamese Slaw:
  • 2 cups carrots, julienned
  • 2 cups daikon radish, julienned
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped (I used candied jalapeno)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro, minced

In a medium sized bowl, combine the carrots, daikon and jalapeno. Pour the vinegar into a measuring cup, add the sugar and stir until sugar is mostly dissolved. Pour the mixture over the carrot/daikon mixture. Stir well to combine. Set aside for about an hour, stirring occasionally so that all of the vegetable mixture is submerged in the vinegar mixture from some time.

After an hour, drain the liquid from the carrot mixture and discard the marinade.

Add the green onions and cilantro to the carrot mixture and mix to combine. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and sriracha and stir until combined. Add to carrot mixture and mix well. Taste and correct seasoning if necessary.

Chill until ready to serve.


Proud Italian Cook said...

I love your adventurous cooking terri!

Red Kitchen Recipes said...

This looks delicious, especially since I am Vietnamese! And fyi - there's a place called Vietnam Market on Geyer Springs that always has the daikon radish - they even prepare the great banh mi sandwiches on the weekends! You can also try K Oriental in West Little Rock and Sam's Oriental on University...

Terri said...

Thanks Marie!

Thanh, thank you so much for the info! It is so hard to find anything but ordinary ingredients in Conway! BTW, love your blog.

artluvr said...

Since you used leftover cooked pork, how did you grind it for the burgers? Did you use a meat grinder? A food processor? Would love to know...

Terri said...

artluvr, sorry for the confusion.

The recipe is for the pork burger in the first photo. For that burger, I used ground pork, added the spices and grilled it till done.

The second photo depicts the burger I created using a leftover breaded and fried pork loin steak. I put the leftover steak in the oven until it was warm all the way through, then put it on a ciabatta roll with the Vietnamese slaw. It was delicious as well.

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