Vietnamese Banh Mi has become almost as famous around the world as Pho (Phở). But there are many different versions of Bánh Mì in Vietnam, and Bánh Mì Heo Quay is one of my favorites. The key ingredients here are the crispy roast pork belly and the hoisin based sauce.
Not far from my day job is this Bánh Mì Heo Quay street side stall. It is so good, people travel well out of their way to buy the delicious crispy roast pork belly in a Vietnamese baguette from this vendor.
I had some crispy roast pork belly left over from this dish. It combined the pork belly with a decidedly non-traditional kimchi consommé. Bánh Mì Heo Quay is a lot more traditional.
Like many great burgers, an important part of the magic is the “special sauce”. No street vendor will tell you what is in their special sauce recipe, so it was a matter of experimenting to get something similar. Mine is very simple, just some hoisin sauce and a fermented chilli sauce like tabasco. Probably nothing like what the street vendor used, but it worked for me!
Apart from those key ingredients, the others are similar to typical banh mi – pickled vegetables, paté, cucumber, and coriander.
Bánh Mì Heo Quay – Crispy roast pork belly in a baguette
Pickled carrot and fennel
- 1 carrot
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 cup rice vinegar
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 baguettes
- 2 cups crispy pork belly cut into 5x5xDmm to 10x10xDmm where D is the depth of the cooked pork belly
- 1/2 cup coriander leaves
- 1 medium cucumber or 2 small, Japanese cucumbers preferred
- 1/4 cup pâté pork liver pâté or pâté de foie work well
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 tsp chilli sauce I prefer a tabasco style sauce, such as Kaitaia Fire from New Zealand
Pickled carrot and fennel
- Wash and julienne the carrot
- Trim and halve the fennel and remove the tough core. Finely dice the rest.
- Add the vegetables to a collander and sprinkle on 1 tsp salt and 2 tsp sugar. Toss then let the vegetables sit for 30 minutes.
- Rinse with water and allow to drain while prairie the pickling liquid.
- Stir together the rice vinegar, warm water, and 1/3 cup of sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the carrot and fennel to the pickling liquid and allow to pickle for at least 2 hours.
- Slice the cucumber length-wise.
- Mix the chilli sauce into the hoisin sauce.
- Halve a baguette.
- Smear on some pâté.
- Add half a cup of crispy pork belly, some sliced cucumber, some pickled carrot and fennel, and some coriander leaves.
- Drizzle with some hoisin chilli sauce.