Friday, December 10, 2010

Char Siu Pulled Pork Bahn Mi

As you know by now (if you've been reading for a couple months), I am fascinated by Asian food this winter. Bahn Mi is my new favorite sandwich (so inexpensive at one of our favorite Vietnamese restaurant---seriously, McDonald's priced but so much tastier!!). I stumbled across this recipe on the blogosphere and decided it would make the perfect for serving my family the evening they got to Texas for Thanksgiving (which is my excuse for no pictures--being busy with my family and the craziness of having to feed and house 11 people for 3 days).

This wasn't quite the bahn mi (which is just a Vietnamese sandwich---meat with a cabbage slaw served on french bread/baguette) I had in mind, but it was pretty good. The original recipe had links to make your own char siu sauce (Chinese BBQ sauce) and nuoc mam cham (fish sauce), but I opted to buy both of those ingredients. Char siu sauce can be found at Asian markets. The nuoc mam, I picked up at a Vietnamese restaurant a couple of hours before super. Nuoc Mam is perishable, the char siu sauce, not so much if it isn't opened. The owners of the Vietnamese restaurant looked at me as if I were crazy, but obliged me anyway.

The hardest part about the recipe is procuring the ingredients. Once that is done, the slow cooker does most of the work for you.

This recipe will serve 4 - 6 people.
Char Siu Pulled Pork Bahn Mi
from the Ravenous Couple

Pulled Pork
3 lb pork shoulder (bone in)
kosher salt
black pepper
1 lg yellow onion, peeled and cut into 1/4" rings
1 (8.5-oz) jar char siu sauce

1/2 head green cabbage, thinly shredded
1/2 c red cabbage, thinly shredded
1/2 c cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/2 c mint, coarsely chopped
1/2 c fresh basil (thai basil is preferable), coarsely chopped
1/4 c nuoc mam cham

For the sandwiches:
additional nuoc mam cham

For the pulled pork: Put the sliced onions in slow cooler. Lightly rub pork with small amount of salt and pepper and put in slow cooker on top of onion bed. Brush on a generous layer of char siu sauce, turning pork to coat all sides evenly. Turn the slow cooker on low and leave on overnight (8 - 12 hours) or on high for 4 - 5 hours.

For the slaw: An hour before serving, combine cabbages, cilantro, mint, and basil and toss well. Season with nuoc mam cham to taste (we love nuoc mam cham so we used 1/4 cup). Stir and allow slow to marinate at least 30 minutes before serving (and up to a day before serving).

To assemble the sandwiches: Remove cooked pork from the crockpot. The pork should easily fall apart with gentle pressure. Put pork in a large bowl and pull apart with fork or tongs, discarding fat and bones. Add additional char siu sauce--1 T at a time until pulled pork is well coated (don't overdo it, you can always add more char siu sauce to the sandwiches).

Place pork in a baguette and top with slaw. Garnish with cilantro and drizzle extra nuoc mam cham over top if desired.

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