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Charles Phan, the chef and owner of San Francisco's The Slanted Door, models his pork burgers topped with pickled carrots and cilantro on the classic French-Vietnamese sandwich called banh mi. Food & Wine. MAKE AHEAD: The raw meatballs can be refrigerated overnight. NOTES: Kimchi, spicy pickled and fermented cabbage, is available at Asian markets and many supermarkets.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Thai chiles or 1 large jalapeno, minced
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons rice wine or 3 tablespoons dry white wine
- 16 ounces tomato sauce
- 3 1⁄2 tablespoons asian fish sauce
- 1 1⁄2 lbs ground pork
- 1⁄2 cup minced onion
- 4 large canned water chestnuts, minced
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves, plus 12 large sprigs
- 1 tablespoon cabbage kimchi, Korean-style (see Note)
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 large egg (beaten with 2 tablespoons water)
- 6 French rolls or 6 baguette
- hot sauce, for serving
Quick Pickled Carrots
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 cup distilled white vinegar
- 3 large carrots, julienned on a mandoline or 3 large carrots, shredded
- Quick Pickled Carrots - In a large bowl, stir the sugar and salt into the vinegar until completely dissolved. Add the julienned carrots and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the carrots marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate overnight.
- Soak six 10-inch bamboo skewers in water for 20 minutes; drain.
- Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil. Add the garlic, chiles and shallot and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the rice wine and bring to a boil. Stir in the tomato sauce and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce.
- In a large bowl, gently mix the ground pork with the onion, water chestnuts, cornstarch, chopped cilantro, kimchi, soy sauce, pepper, sesame oil, beaten egg mixture and the remaining 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil and 2 1/2 tablespoons of fish sauce. Using moistened hands, roll the mixture into 30 meatballs. Thread the meatballs onto the skewers and refrigerate until chilled.
- Light a grill. Lightly brush the meatballs with vegetable oil and grill over a hot fire until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Halve the rolls lengthwise without cutting all the way through. Halve the meatballs, stuff them into the rolls and spoon the tomato sauce over them. Top with the Quick Pickled Carrots and cilantro sprigs and serve with hot sauce.
I was a bit torn as to whether to give this a 4 or 5; I found the pork meatballs on their own did not have the flavour I expected from all of the great ingredients. That said, combined with the tomato sauce and those wonderful carrots they were really, really good. I'll definately use the carrot part of the recipe for other dishes, I let them sit overnight in the fridge and they were great. Thanks for the recipe!