Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bahn-mi (Vietnamese sub)

Denise, my ‘American mom’, would take me to a small sandwich shop in Providence, RI to eat their OMG-to-die-for Vietnamese grinders. Years later, even when I was living back home in Bombay, I missed it. So you can only imagine my excitement when I found this recipe in a Bon Appetit. 
Serves 4
  1. 1.Marinate the chicken: Mix together in a large bowl 1 lb ground chicken or pork, 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil*, 3 minced garlic cloves, 3 finely chopped green onions, 1 tbsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp Sriracha (or any Asian chili sauce), 2 tsp cornstarch, 1 tsp freshly ground pepper and 1 tsp coarse kosher salt. 
  2. 2.Pickle the vegetables: Mix together 1 cup coarsely grated carrots, 1 cup coarsely grated celery, 1 cup coarsely grated radishes with 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 1 tsp coarse kosher salt and 1 tbsp Asian sesame oil. Cover and set aside, mixing occasionally. 
  3. 3.Make the hot chili mayo: Mix together 2/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise, 2 finely chopped green onions and 1 tbsp Sriracha (or any Asian chili sauce)
  4. 4.Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
    Using a melon scooper, make the chicken or pork balls and bake for 25–30 minutes, turning over the balls after 15 minutes.
  5. 5.Assemble the sandwiches: Cut each baguette horizontally in half, scoop out bread from each half to leave 1/2-inch shell. Spread hot chili mayo over each bottom half, arrange jalapeños, then cilantro. Fill each with 1/4 of the meatballs. Place atop the meatballs the drained pickled vegetables. Press of baguette tops.
*The Bon Apetit recipe called for regular Italian basil, however last night I used Thai Holy Basil and it enhanced the taste. Thai Holy Basil is available at most International grocery stores and below are three recommended in New York City.
Spice Corner135 Lexington Avenue (29th Street), New York, NY 10016
Telephone: 1.212.689.5182  |   Kaluystan’s
123 Lexington Avenue (28th Street), New York, NY 10016
Telephone: 1.212.685.3451  | Bangkok Center Grocery104 Mosco Street (between Mulberry and Mott Streets), New York, NY 10013
Telephone: 1.212.349.1979  | 

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