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Gluten Free Bánh Mì

Bánh Mì with Caramelized Pork + Pickled Carrots

Since I asked the summer rolls to bring the summer weather with them and they complied, I figured I should honor them by making their brethren, bánh mì.  Fully appreciating the gorgeous summer weather, we ate dinner in the back yard with a salad of lettuce, mint & cucumbers ans some of the prettiest heirloom tomatoes we’ve seen so far this year.  It was a magical evening full of summer happiness and celebration for, as Obama put it, the “victory for American democracy”.

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On to the recipes:  don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients.  It really comes together very quickly (like, say in the time it takes for both of your kids to practice the piano and your husband to change his clothes after work and light the grill).  If you pull everything out of your fridge/pantry and have it at your fingertips, this is a 30 minute meal.  You could even make life easier on yourself by making the marinade in the morning or the night before if you were a real go getter like that.

Bánh Mì with Caramelized Pork + Pickled Carrots

  • 1-1.5 pound pork tenderloin
  • 3 tablespoons Fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tamari (aka: gluten free soy sauce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch piece ginger, peeled & minced
  • 1 green onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used rice bran oil)
  • GF hot dog buns (I used THESE – I think that Udi’s GF hot dog buns are grosser than gross)
  • red leaf lettuce
  • pickled carrot and radishes (see recipe below)
  • sliced jalapeno chili peppers
  • cilantro
  • mayonnaise (I used kewpie which is the mayonnaise that made me like mayonnaise)
  1. Cut tenderloin across the grain of the meat into ½ inch pieces. Flatten each piece to an even ¼ inch between two pieces of saran wrap using a meat pounder, rolling pin, or large bottle.
  2. Mix ingredients from fish sauce to red pepper flakes. Add marinade to the meat and use a large spoon to make sure all pieces of meat are coated in marinade. Marinate for 10-30 minutes.
  3. Slice GF hot dog buns in half and warm in the oven, toaster oven, or toaster.  As with most GF breads, these buns only taste good when warmed/toasted, so don’t skip this step.
  4. Heat grill  to high. Add vegetable oil to meat and stir to coat. Sear first side of meat until very dark brown on one side, then flip and sear on the second side. Be careful not to overcook it. The meat is thin so it cooks quickly, one or two minutes on each side.
  5. To assemble sandwiches, spread mayonnaise on both sides of the buns. Add lettuce, meat, pickled vegetables, cilantro and peppers. Dig in!

Pickled Carrots

  • 2 cups shredded carrots (I used TJ’s and tried to ignore the fact that they weren’t organic)
  • 2 T kosher salt
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • water to taste
  1. In a bowl, stir together the carrots, the salt and the sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes until the moisture begins to seep out from the vegetables.
  2. Add vinegar and water to taste.  I like my pickles more vinegary, so if it’s too much for you, just add a few tablespoons of water until it’s the right amount of acid for you.
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