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Báhn Mi Sloppy Joes


You know when someone messes with a timeless recipe? Like when your mom would get some wild spark to make Hawaiian pizza meatloaf instead of the time-honored, smothered in generic ketchup, nothing but salt and pepper adorned on-sale ground beef, and overcooked by at least ten minutes meatloaf of our (my) childhood. It ruins everything- your day, week, and temporary outlook on the meaning of life. That's not what's happening here. This is like when someone finally discovers the minor tweaks that wholly improve a classic dish. It's also a great weeknight dinner- 10 minutes to marinate the pork and start the pickled veggies before heading to work and another 15 minutes to throw it all together at the end of the day.


Flavors of rich pork, salty soy, deep hoisin, bright lime, tangy pickled veggies, and clean herbs. Textures of crunchy veggies, soft herbs, sauce-laden meat, crusty bread, and creamy mayo.

 

In a medium bowl

1 pound (454g) of ground pork

3 garlic cloves, grated

1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon lime juice

1 teaspoon sambal, optional




In a medium bowl

1/2 cup carrot, sliced or shredded

1/2 cup cucumber, sliced thin

1/2 cup radish, sliced

1/2 of a jalapeño, cut in half




In a small heat-proof bowl or glass measuring cup

1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar

2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon salt

1 cup (227g) water





On the sidelines

2 tablespoons tomato paste

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/2 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 tablespoon hoisin

4 crusty rolls or ciabatta pieces

Mayonnaise

1/4 cup of fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons of fresh mint

1/4 cup of scallions, sliced

Sriracha, optional


 

1

Prep the marinade for the pork by whisking together all the ingredients, from the garlic to the sambal. Add the ground pork, toss to coat evenly, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for at least two hours.


2

While the pork is marinating, make a quick pickle of vegetables. Combine the water, sugar, vinegar, and salt in a small heat-proof bowl or glass measuring cup. Microwave on high for about two minutes- depending on the strength and age of your microwave- until it is simmering or starting to boil. Remove and give it a stir. Pour over the chopped vegetables in the medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge until ready to cook.


3

When you're ready to eat, set a medium-sized frying pan over medium heat and add a couple of glugs of oil. I would specify which oil to use, but that often causes a commotion with people because they only have vegetable instead of peanut or extra virgin olive oil instead of regular ol' olive oil. Since we're only cooking on medium heat, we're not cooking for a long time, and the marinade's flavor will overpower the taste of nearly anything, use whatever oil (within reason) you have.


4

Add the marinated pork to the frying pan and cook through- about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute. Add the flour, lime juice, soy, and hoisin, and cook for a few minutes. Kill the heat and let sit for a few minutes so the sauce thickens.


5

Slice your crusty rolls in half and slather them with mayonnaise. Add a few drizzles of sriracha if using. Load each roll with a giant scoop of pork and top with a few spoonfuls of pickled veggies, several sprigs of herbs, and a sprinkle of scallions.



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