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Episode 17 - Heavenly Bahn Mi

Hi folks! This little message in a bottle goes out the day before I head off for a lovely Byron Bay vacation. So let's have a sammich!


This episode goes out to my friend Gonzi, who is the true connoisseur of the pork roll in the Inner West (seriously, he has a map).

This is truly an international Bahn Mi, as the pork was from a very German pork roast the night before, the chilli was Mexican Habanero, the mayo was Thomy (German), the pate was Tasmanian, and the ham was Black Forest. So all over the place, but it all came together in the flavour. But then again, Bahn Mi itself is a melting pot, with the pate, baguette and mayo coming from France, the char sui pork comnig from China, and the herbs and seasoning very Southeast Asian.

Speaking of the chilli, I forgot the most important rule about habanero: don't let it touch your skin. The flavour on the tongue is lovely and spicy... while your lips and fingers burn with numbness. Should've worn gloves and used a different cutting board. Oh well. Lesson learned.

I was in a real rush, so did the carrot pickle in 40 minutes total, but I have it on good authority that things really get amazing if you allow the full hour each.

The recipe makes 3 rolls, two big ones, and one medium. Feel free to expand the dimensions, it should scale nicely.

Edit: Oh! Nearly forgot! This is the first episode I've ever shot with only one camera (even the first episode used two at the end), and using my new Sony Fisheye extension lens. It turned out really well, I think, though the super wide angle means you need to get really close for your closeups.

Music Notes:

Crooked Fingers - "Under Pressure", from "Reservoir Songs", 2002

Crooked Fingers came into my life when I was working at The Pita Pit, part of a chain of pita restaurants in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada during downtime from my short-lived university career. I worked the late shift, so I started at 9pm, and finished up at 5am. It was rather hellish, as I would often have too much energy after work to sleep, so I would wander to an internet cafe and chat with my future wife on the other side of the world. One of the guys at work whose name escapes me put on a cd during one of these shifts. We usually picked music to keep the energy up, but this was different.

This was beautiful, it was slow, it had deft wordplay, like poetry.

And it was really really sad.

Like REALLY sad.

But I was hooked. Eric Bachman (formerly of nondescript-but-beloved-by-hipsters outfit Archers of Loaf) and his band have a way of getting to the heart of things. I recommend "She Spread Her Legs & Flew Away", "Juliette", "New Drink For The Old Drunk", "You Threw A Spark", and "Wrecking Ball", and all of the EP this track comes from.

Incidently, "Under Pressure" is the single most powerful earworm I have ever known. Even someone saying "He's under pressure at work." will have me humming it. I'm humming it now.

Automatic - Pump It Up, from "Occasional Coarse Language: Soundtrack From The Motion Picture", 1998

Hey kids, did you know that mellow elder statesman of adult contemporary Elvis Costello was once an angry young punk like you, and he made brilliant pop music that could get your feet moving, and other tracks that could break your heart? Well, you do now. My Aim Is True and This Year's Model are brilliant records and you should go and get them now. I have no idea what the movie this soundtrack is for is about. I found it with a pile of CDs someone left outside their gate.

Also requiring applause, I'd like to note, is Elvis' stance on overpriced reissues of his work. Upon seeing the £212.99, Elvis made comment that the set was rather lovely and contained nice songs and scribblings from the author but "unfortunately, we at find ourselves unable to recommend this lovely item to you as the price appears to be either a misprint or a satire. All our attempts to have this number revised have been fruitless but rather than detain you with tedious arguments about morality, panache and book-keeping - when there are really bigger fish to filet these days - we are taking the following unusual step." and recommended spend the money on a very nice Louis Armstrong Ambassador of Jazz set instead. "If on the other hand you should still want to hear and view the component parts of the above mentioned elaborate hoax, then those items will be available separately at a more affordable price in the New Year, assuming that you have not already obtained them by more unconventional means."

Ha. Haaaaaaaaa. Good on you, sir.


Heavenly Bahn Me Sammiches


3 Bread Rolls, or a baguette cut in half (get something crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside)
Whole egg mayo (I used Thomy, but if you can get some Viet stuff, go for it)
Pate or tinned liver spread
4-6 slices cooked pork belly
4 slices ham (I used Black Forest deli ham, but if you can find cha lua, use that. Or, you know, mortadella)
1 cucumber
1 red chilli
1 bunch corainder
Soy sauce to taste

for the pickle:

1 carrot
1 daikon (optional)
105g sugar, plus 2 tsp extra
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup water

  • Grate or julienne your carrot (and daikon if using) with a peeler, zester or dread apparatus.

  • Scatter a tsp of salt & 2 tsp of sugar and let the mix rest for 20 minutes to an hour.

  • Squeeze as much of the liquid as you can out of the carrot, then rinse in cold water and squeeze again. Put it back in the bowl.

  • Heat the wihite wine vinegar, water, and the rest of the sugar on medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved, then pour over the carrot. Let sit 20-60 minutes more, then drain.

  • Chop up your coriander, and deseed the chilli. Using a peeler, cut the cucumber into ribbons.

  • Slice the pork belly lengthwise into thin slices.

  • When you're ready, put a grill-pan on medium-high heat, and grill the pork on both sides, to warm it through and give it nice grill-marks. Once it's done, very briefly grill the ham slices too.

  • Cut your rolls in half. On top half, smear mayo. Bottom half: pate.

  • Layer your ingredients on the rolls in this order: pork-ham-cucumber-carrot-coriander-chilli.

  • Add a dash of soy sauce if you want, then top with the bun, seize, and consume!

Reader Comments (1)

I love Bahn mi and never thought to make my own. I had the most amazing one from a food truck in LA earlier this year. Love the video as always!

April 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbakingaddict

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