Tina Cannon’s Char Siu Banh Mi Sammich!
If you are interested in one of the most flavorful sandwiches that you will ever try, continue reading. If not, well just continue reading anyway, you won’t be sorry. Hungry maybe, but not sorry. The banh mi is a sandwich that is always packed with flavor. Now, before we get into our specific sandwich, let’s discuss exactly what a traditional banh mi is. A banh mi is a staple sandwich in Vietnamese culture. It is generally made on a long, crispy outside, chewy inside baguette and has a protein, usually a more fatty cut of pork such as shoulder, pickled vegetables, mayonnaise, a layer of pate and finished off with sliced jalapenos and fresh cilantro. Now that is a sammich that is just packed with flavor. If you think that the word “sammich” is not a real word, just Google it. It is described as a sandwich that is uncommon or out of the ordinary. Trust me, ours would definitely fall under the title sammich!
When Captain Ron and Tina Cannon get together, there is always going to be something special created. We have already released videos of the Asian inspired whole hog that they cooked on Tina’s custom hog pit, a “Triple Pork Fatty”, an entire Thanksgiving meal cooked on one grill, Tina’s beef ribs that helped her win the Netflix American BBQ showdown and now this, the elevated Banh mi sammich.
These two took the traditional preparation of this sandwich, threw it out the window and made it their own. Instead of pork shoulder, they kicked it up a few notches by using tender strips of delicious pork belly. In addition to pickled carrots, they added pickled daikon and omitted the traditional addition of sliced cucumber and pate. The biggest departure from tradition is the sauce that they used, Char Siu. This is a sauce that is normally reserved for Chinese style ribs. You know you have had those tasty bright red ribs from your local Chinese restaurant and wondered how they achieve not only such great flavor, but that bright red color as well. Here, in this video, they will show you how to get both of those special things.
The pickled vegetables (known as Do Chua) in this recipe are also a little bit of a departure from the norm. They only pickled the vegetables for an hour or so before eating but it is suggested to let them sit in the pickling juices for at least a day. This allows for all of those flavors to soak into the veggies and meld together. The vinegar used is normally a white vinegar, but they substituted rice vinegar for a bit of a smoother flavor and less shocking bite. If you like yours a bit sweeter, add some sugar, honey, or agave. If you like it a bit more tart, squeeze some more lime juice over them. Let your own taste dictate how you choose to make the pickling solution. There really is no right or wrong when cooking for yourself.
We think that you will agree that they really created something special here. One bite and they both immediately knew that they had a winner. The use of the Trompo King really helped to ensure that the meat would be cooked evenly and steadily to temperature. The real prize here though is the tasty char that they achieved when finishing it with direct grilling over the hot FOGO Charcoal. We really hope that you have enjoyed these videos that Ron and Tina made together. They really enjoy working together and they definitely have a great chemistry. Plus, they make some really delicious food!!! Would you like to see them make more videos together? Hit the link, watch the video and leave us a comment about it. Until next time, remember to get out and grill and we will see you the next time on The FOGO Life!
- Fill your grill with FOGO Super Premium charcoal and prepare for indirect cooking at 250°. Approx. 5 minutes before you are ready to add the food, place 2 Bourbon Barrel smoking chunks right at the edge of the fire so half of each block is over the fire.
- Lightly sprinkle the pork belly with kosher salt and coat evenly with the Nashville Hot seasoning. Use as little or as much as you would like. Remember, this is pretty spicy stuff.
- Assemble the pickled vegetables. Simply lay the veggies in a shallow dish and pour the rest of the ingredients over them. Mix to coat and just let them sit while the rest cooks. It may seem that you’ll need more liquid but trust me, it worked just fine. (I questioned Tina, but she assured me that it would be ok & she was right) Live and learn….
- Alternate onion slices and pork belly slices on the spike of the Trompo King. There should be an onion in between each piece of belly. This will give it support as the pork renders and cook the onions while doing so.
- Place the Trompo King on the grate and close the dome. Tina cooks her pork belly by feel and appearance, but we recommend cooking it until it hits 190° internal temperature.
- While the pork belly is cooking, assemble the Char Siu sauce. Combine all ingredients and mix together well.
- Once the pork belly is done, remove it from the grill and switch over to a direct grilling setup.
- Remove the pork belly and onion from the Trompo King. Coat the pork belly with the Char Siu sauce. Head back to the grill and cook the pork belly and onion slices (optional) until the pork has a nice light char. The caramelization that occurs from this step will greatly enhance the flavors.
- Assemble the sandwich. Put down a layer of pork belly, then a layer of the onion, pickled vegetables, jalapeño slices and then some cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. Do it in that order or it just won’t taste right. LOL
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