Tex-Mex Banh mi sandwiches
By The Young Austinian
Anything goes with a Banh Mi, as you will see with the other recipe variations from around the web, but I like to go for a thin layer of meat – in this case cumin-dusted grilled chicken – and several hefty helpings of fresh vegetables. Spicy, but fresh.
Traditional Banh mi sandwiches call for pickled daikon radish, which I've swapped for spicier quick-pickled carrots and jalapeno peppers. I've also spiked the classic mayo in this recipe with a liberal dose of Cholula and cumin. The fishy sandwich sauce gets a bit of lime and I added freshly sliced jicama – a starchy tuber native to Mexico and a popular addition to many fresh vegetable dishes back home. The cilantro and the avocado were already Banh Mi staples. Now that I think about it, most everything on this sandwich – minus the French baguette and the salty fish sauce – would seem right at home on any Tex-Mex table.
Tex-Mex Banh Mi Sandwiches
FOR THE QUICK PICKLED CARROTS + PEPPERS:
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
crushed red pepper
2 carrots, julienned
1 to 2 jalapenos, sliced into thin rounds
Add the vinegars, water, salt, and crushed red pepper to a Mason jar, shaking to combine. Add the carrots and jalapenos, shaking again to disperse throughout the pickling liquid. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 8 hours).
FOR THE SPICY CUMIN MAYO:
1-2 tablespoons Cholula hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup mayonnaise
In a small bowl, mix together the hot sauce and the mayo. Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
FOR THE SANDWICH SAUCE:
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
juice of half a lime
1 teaspoon soy sauce
In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. Set aside.
FOR THE SANDWICHES:
spicy cumin mayo
cumin dusted grilled chicken, thinly sliced
quick pickled carrots and peppers
Cut the baguette into sections then split lengthwise. Brush half of the bread with spicy-cumin mayo and the other half with mashed avocado. Layer one half of the bread with slices of chicken, quick pickled carrots and jalapeno peppers, and thinly sliced cucumber and jicama. Drizzle with the sandwich sauce and top with cilantro leaves. Top with the other bread halves and serve.