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Good Morning Vietnam Sandwich

“Happy Donut.” The name doesn’t exactly market that fact that they also sell the most delicious sandwiches known to man. Toasty warm on the outside and thickly layered with crunchy marinated carrots, bright green cilantro and cold refreshing cucumber – all necessary to cool down the fiery chili-encrusted pork at the core – these Vietnamese sandwiches are dangerously addicting. If you don’t have immediate access to a Happy Donut or its equivalent, here’s an (I’m sure non-authentic, but satisfies the craving) equivalent. I started the preparation for lunch the night before, but we were so excited about it that we had them for breakfast, with Vietnamese style ice-coffee. Thus the name.

Ingredients:

  • 5 thinly sliced pork tenderloin cutlets
  • I cup Sriracha Chili sauce such as Lee Kum Kee (if not at your supermarket, sold at Asian food stores)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 medium cucumber, chopped finely
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, shredded in food processor or finely juilienned
  • 4 soft rolls, or a French baguette
  • Mayonaise

Instructions:

The Night Before:

  1. Combine sriachi sauce, water and 1/2 cup sugar. Slather on both sides of pork cutlets.
  2. Place cutlets on baking sheet or small roasting pan coated with vegetable oil
  3. Cook at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until pork is done throughout.
  4. Let pork cool, then cut into small cubes.
  5. Boil rice vinegar, water, salt and sugar. Let cool
  6. Place shredded carrots into rice wine mixture and let sit in refrigerator overnight.

When you are Ready to Eat, Be it Morning or Afternoon or Post Late Night Party:

  1. Open rolls and lay on rack in oven. Toast at 400 degrees until crunchy on outside.
  2. Drain carrots in colander,
  3. Pull out rolls and slather with mayonnaise and a drizzle of Sriacha sauce.
  4. Layer rolls generously with carrots, cucumber, cilantro and pork.
  5. Force rolls closed and bite.
  6. Swill down with cold coffee, condensed milk and sugar.

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