May 23, 2010

Banh Mi For Me

Happy Gillis turned me on to banh mis, which are basically just Vietnamese sandwiches of meat or tofu topped with sweetened crunchy vegetables. Theirs features delicious pork meatballs, which are unwaveringly juicy and undoubtedly high in fat. So when Elizabeth and I stumbled upon a recipe for a marinated tofu banh mi, we decided to substitute the tofu (not quite as satisfying as real meat in our collective opinion) with lean white chicken meat. ...It was a great move! And to make this sandwich into a hearty dinnertime meal, we coupled it with chef David Chang's famous Momofuku Ssam Bar Brussels sprouts with rice crispies (from Food and Wine). Here are the recipes:

Our Chicken Banh Mis 
(cooking light's version)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/4 cups (3-inches) matchstick-cut carrot
1 cup sliced shiitake mushroom caps
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 julienned green onion
1 cucumber peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
2 tbsp canola oil
2 sandwich baguettes
1/2 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp sriracha


Combine soy sauce and ginger in a baking dish. Add chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight. 

Combine vinegar, sugar and salt in a medium bowl, stirring until sugar and salt dissolve. Add carrot and next four ingredients (through cucumber); toss well. Let stand 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour carrot mixture through a sieve; drain thoroughly.

Heat oil in a grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Sautee four minutes on each side, or until golden and cooked through.

Halve and toast bread. Meanwhile, in a small bown, combine mayo and sriracha. Stir well until mixture is well combined and a consistent orange color.

Remove toasted bread. Spread desired amount of mayo mixture on the bread halves. Top with chicken, then carrot mixture, cilantro and jalapeno slices. Top with other slice of bread.

David Chang's Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Mint from Momofuku Ssam Bar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup Rice Krispies 
1/4 tsp togarashi or cayenne pepper (I actually use a dollop of sambal oelek which is totally different, but does a nice job of adding spice and chili flavor)
Kosher salt
1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 small red chile, minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tbsp chopped mint
4 cups roasted or broiled brussels sprouts (about 2 pounds), halved lengthwise (I actually have boiled them before and that works fine, too, though they can turn out a  little too mushy if you overdo it.)

In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the oil until shimmering. Add the Rice Krispies and sambal (or togarashi or cayenne) and cook over high heat, stirring, until browned, about 30 seconds. Season with salt. Transfer to a plate and wipe out the skillet.

In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, water, sugar, rice vinegar, lime juice, garlic and chile and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cilantro and mint.

Add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil to the skillet and heat until nearly smoking. Add the brussels sprouts; cook over high heat, stirring, until charred in spots and heated through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bwol and toss with the vinaigrette. Just before serving, sprinkle the Rice Krispies on top and serve right away.

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