Recipe: Big Banh Mi


This is James' take on what is probably not a traditional Banh Mi. He made the bread and pate from scratch and added plenty of herbs, chilli and pickle. For a little extra deliciousness he added thin strips of Iberico pork shoulder, marinated and fried in soy sauce.


For The Baguettes

  • 500 g plain flour
  • 1.5 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1.5 tbsp salt
  • 1.5 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg white

For The Pâté

  • 3 Other thyme
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 400 g chicken livers, trimmed
  • 3 tbsp port
  • 175 g unsalted butter
  • 200 g unsalted butter

For The Pickle

  • 1/2 daikon radish
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 125 ml rice vinegar
  • 125 ml water
  • 8 g salt
  • 8 g caster sugar

For The Mayonnaise

  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 250 ml groundnut oil

For The Roasted Peanuts

  • 50 g peanuts, shelled

For The Pork

  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 40 g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 200 g thin cut pork shoulder

To Assemble

  • 2 jalapenos, sliced
  • 1/4 cucumber, sliced into rounds
  • 6 sprigs coriander, leaves picked
  • 1 tbsp chilli oil
  • 1 lime

Step 1

Make The Dough

Tip the flour into a stand mixer bowl and add the yeast and the sugar to one side of the bowl and the salt to the other side. Start to mix with the dough hook attachment then pour in the water and the butter. Knead for 10 minutes, until it’s smooth, elastic and coming away from the sides of the bowl.

Step 2

Make The Pate

Pick the thyme leaves and set aside. Place a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the butter and let it melt and begin to foam. Add the crushed garlic, then the chicken livers and fry for a few minutes on each side, until they turn a golden brown. Heat 1 tbsp of the butter in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add the chicken livers and fry for 2 mins each side. Add the thyme leaves and port into the pan with the livers. Fry for another few minutes letting the port bubble and reduce slightly. Transfer the mixture to a food processor, add 175g of the butter and blend everything to a smooth paste. Season to taste, then spoon into jars or ramekins. Melt the final 200g of butter in a medium frying pan. Leave to cool slightly then pour the butter over the pâté. Transfer to a fridge and chill for 4 hours until set.

Step 3

Make The Pickled Veg

Slice the carrot and radish into thin batons. Put the veg into a mixing bowl and scatter over the 1 tsp of salt. Leave the vegetables for 10 minutes, then rinse and pat dry with kitchen paper. Heat the vinegar, water, salt, sugar in a small pan until it’s boiling. Pour the vinegar mixture over the veg and transfer the bowl to the fridge. Leave until it’s completely cool.

Step 4

Bake The Bread

Preheat the oven to 230ºC. Cut the dough in half and roll 2 baguettes to be placed into a baguette tin or onto a tray. Leave to prove for 20-30 minutes then use a sharp knife to cut about 3 0.5cm slits in the top of the loaves. Bake the loaves for 20 minutes.

Step 5

Make The Mayo

Whisk the dijon mustard and the egg yolks together in a mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens enough to hold it’s shape. Squeeze in a little lemon juice to taste. Season with salt and pepper and set aside for later.

Step 6

Roast The Peanuts

Put a frying pan over a high heat and add the peanut oil. Add the peanuts and move them around the pan, basting, until they turn an even golden brown all over. Season with a little salt and leave to cool. Transfer the peanuts to a mini food processor and blitz to a rough crumb. Set aside.

Step 7

Cook The Pork

Combine the garlic powder, sugar, oil, fish sauce and soy sauce in a mixing bowl. Add the pork and marinate for an hour. Put a cast iron griddle pan over a high heat and get it smoking hot. Transfer the pork, wiping off any excess marinade, to the pan and cook for 2 minutes each side, until it’s a deep golden brown and just cooked on the inside (you can slice it to check if you want).

Step 8

Assemble The Sandwich

Preheat a grill to high. Cut the baguette in half crosswise and lay middle side up on a baking tray. Toast under the grill for 30 seconds to very light toast. To construct spread mayo over the middle sides of the baguettes. Drizzle over a little Maggi sauce. Add the pâté to the bottom half of each baguette, then add the pork slices. Top with plenty of pickle, sliced jalapeños, cucumber and coriander. Scatter over the peanuts, drizzle over a little chilli oil and squeeze over some lime juice. Serves 2

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