Banh Mi Sandwiches

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If you have never experienced a banh mi sandwich you are in for a treat.  Banh mi (pronounced Baan-Me) is a traditional Vietnamese baguette sandwich and has made quite a mark here in the US as of late.  I experienced my very first banh mi sandwich from a food truck a couple of years ago and I have been mildly obsessed ever since.  The flavors and textures were absolutely indescribable in the most wonderful way possible and I needed to find a way to have it in my own kitchen whenever I wanted.  Like everyday.

After researching plenty and trying multiple takes on the sandwich I found exactly what I was looking for.  My husband and I both agree that this is the best meal put on our table, hands down.  And if you could have seen my daughter yelling and pointing for “mo bawws..mo dip” (more meatballs, more dip..we dip her meatballs in the mayo and serve them to her that way as she doesn’t quite have the teething equipment to manage the sandwich whole).   Crunchy, chewy bread.  Buttery, spicy mayo.  Savory, juicier than juicy meatballs and that sweet and sour slaw right on top…absolutely unbeatable.  It may seem like a lot of components but I can assure you this is extremely quick and easy to put together and everything can be made ahead of time so its perfect for entertaining.  This sandwich is truly nothing short of perfection.  Now go get your cute butt in the kitchen and switch your typical menu up a bit…I can assure you this will be a welcomed addition to your kitchen repertoire by the entire family.

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Banh Mi Sandwiches

adapted from this recipe

Ingredients

Slaw:

2 Cups Shredded Carrots

1 Cucumber, peeled, seeded, halved lengthwise and sliced

3 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Agave or Honey

Spicy Mayo:

1/3 Cup Mayonaise

1 Green Onion, finely chopped

1/2 Tablespoon Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce

Meatballs:

1 Pound Ground Pork

4 Garlic Cloves, grated or pressed

3 Green Onions, finely chopped

1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Basil

1 Tablespoon Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce

1 Tablespoon Agave Nectar

2 Teaspoons Corn Starch

3/4 Teaspoon Salt

3/4 Teaspoon Pepper

1 Tablespoon Asian Sesame Oil, for frying

4 Whole Grain Ciabatta Rolls, sliced horizontally in half

Sliced Jalapeños, optional

Cilantro Leaves, optional

Directions

Slaw:  Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl.  Let stand at room temperature for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Mayo:  Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and chill.  Can be made up to two days ahead.

Meatballs:  Mix pork, garlic, green onion, basil, sriracha, agave, cornstarch, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Using a tablespoon for each, form meatballs with your hands. At this point you can chill meatballs for up to 5 hours if you would like to make them ahead of time. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add half of meatballs and cook until browned, about 4 minutes.  Flip over and brown the other side for an additional 4 minutes or until cooked through.  Repeat with the second half of the meatballs.

Build Sandwiches:  Remove most of the inside dough from both halves of the bread so you are basically left with a thick shell, about 1/2 inch thick.  Spread mayo on bottom half of bread, fill with meatballs and slaw and top with jalapeno and cilantro.  Eat with or without the lid.

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