Sunday, October 03, 2010

Banh Mi My Way with Fish Cake

We invited some friends over for a lazy Sunday Brunch.  I have been wanting to make Banh Mi for quite a while and decided this would be my treat today.  After looking throughout the internet for recipes and prepping guidelines, I discovered that really it is quite easy.  The most important ingredient is the fresh baked baguette.

I'm quite an intuitive cook and just went with the flow in making these.  All the recipes and reviews describe that the combination of flavors and textures are what separates this Viet Namese street food from your usual hoagie or subway.  A combination of hot, sweet, sour and salty with fresh flavors and crunchy textures make for an outstanding sandwich.

I started prep with a julienne of carrots and daikon radish.  I dissolved sugar in the rice vinegar, added to the carrots and radish and let it set in refrigerator for a few hours.

I made a spicy mayo by adding 1/2 the juice of a large lime and 3 tsp of sriracha to about a 1/3 cup of mayo.  You can always make it hotter by adding more of sriracha.

I sliced English Cumcumber into thin slices, sliced a jalapeno into thin slices and prepped the leaves from fresh cilantro. 

I already had some pickled red onion in the refrigerator (vinegar and salt added to sliced red onion).

I chose not to toast the baguette but instead to leave it soft on the inside.

I made Western style fish cakes using albacore. (albacore lightly cooked to flaky and still moist, diced celery and onion, panko bread crumbs, mayo, mustard, egg, seafood seasoning, worschetshire sauce mixed together, form a patty and fry in a small amount of olive oil til golden)

A slathering of the spicy mayo was layered on the baguette, then the fish cake, other veggies and finally the cilantro leaves.

I served this with a side of spicy slaw with broccoli.  (recipe by Minnie Luong from a Surfas demonstration)

Spicy Cabbage Slaw:

6 cups shredded cabbage
2 cups broccoli flowerettes (may adaption to recipe)
1 cup thinly sliced scallions
½ cup rough chopped cilantro
4 Tbsp Kochujang paste
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 Tbsp minced garlic
salt & pepper to taste

Mix kochujang paste, garlic, sesame oil, rice vinegar, sesame seeds
Toss shredded cabbage, broccoli scallions, cilantro with kochujang mixture
Add salt & pepper to taste and set aside, allowing the flavors to marry.

Lunch was served.