Its popularity in Vietnam is unparalleled, but the banh mi might be Australia's favourite sandwich, too. This roast pork version is absolutely delicious and if you've never made a banh mi yourself, it might be time to roll up your sleeves and get started. The roast pork makes more than you will need for this recipe but it definitely won't go to waste.
Vietnamese roast pork (thit heo quay)
- 2 kg piece boneless pork belly
- ½ tsp ground white pepper
- 1 tsp five spice powder
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tsp salt, for salting the skin
- ½ small daikon, peeled and cut into 1 cm square batons as long as your rolls
- 1 tbsp salt
- 60 ml (¼ cup) white vinegar
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
Banh mi seasoning
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- ½ tsp caster sugar
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 6 crusty bread rolls
- ½ cup Vietnamese patê
- ½ cup Japanese mayonnaise
- 12 slices of Vietnamese pork loaf (cha lua)
- 2 cucumbers, sliced into batons as long as your rolls
- 2 carrots, grated with a julienne peeler
- spring onion, green part only, cut into lengths as long as your rolls
- bird's eye chillies, finely sliced
- chopped coriander
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time: overnight
You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead.
1. Cut deep slits into the meat of the pork and prick many small holes into the skin of the pork. Pour boiling water over the skin and then pat dry. You can skip this step if you like, but it does help the crackling. Rub the meat side with the pepper, five spice and garlic and sprinkle the skin side generously with salt. Place the pork, skin-side up on a rack and refrigerate uncovered overnight.
2. The following day, preheat the oven to 180˚C. Place the pork, skin-side up in a roasting tin and roast for 45 minutes. Turn on the grill function and grill for another 15-20 minutes or until the skin is crisp. Remove from the oven and rest, uncovered for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
3. Meanwhile, for the daikon pickle, place the daikon and salt in a bowl and rub the salt in until the daikon is soft enough that it can be bent without breaking. Rinse the daikon, then place in a zip-lock bag with the vinegar and sugar, along with 60 ml (¼ cup) of water. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
4. For the banh mi seasoning, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar.
5. To assemble the banh mi, warm the rolls in a low oven. Cut the pork into thick slices. Spread the rolls with the pate and mayonnaise, fill with the pork loaf, cucumber, carrot, spring onion and daikon pickle. Add chillies and coriander to taste and drizzle with the banh mi seasoning.
Adam Liaw visits bushfire-affected communities and creates dishes using their local produce in Adam Liaw's Road Trip for Good.