Banh Mi w/Lime Quinoa
I have been dreaming about street food, since I booked my trip to Los Angeles this fall to blog about it to all of you. I began thinking of the first episode of Food Network’s Food Truck Season. There was a Vietnamese truck called Nom Nom and their signature dish was Banh mi. Everyone really loved the flavors and they did so well during the entire competition, so I began to wonder how I could create the same idea but in a different way.
I was in the mood to blog about a Vietnamese dish this weekend…street food style…but in my own way. The fun part about banh mi is that you can make it with any ingredients that you love…whether pescatarian, vegetarian or carnivore, the world is your oyster. You can chop up shrimp, scallops, chicken, steak…anything that you love and work with these ingredients.
If you love to cook Vietnamese dishes as much as I do, there is a “must have” table sauce that keeps for a long time…and in Vietnam..it is their ketchup! I cannot take credit for this sauce…so I will credit one of my favorite Vietnamese cookbooks called “Hot Sour Salty Sweet”. After I came home from Los Angeles, I was anxious to figure out how to make the pho that I tried in “PHOnomenal” on Santa Monica Blvd. The secret was the fish sauce…and I’ve been using it ever since that day. After reading this cookbook, the table sauce is now my staple when I plan to cook Vietnamese! You can use a thicker sauce for your meat if you wish, but I let the meat soak for a bit in this table sauce. It tenderizes it and fills it full of a sour, salty and sweet flavor. I am in love with it, so I plan to share this recipe with you.
The French bread came about with Banh mi during the French colonialism times in Indochina, which combined this ingredient from the French with the vegetables that are popular in Vietnam culture.
The lime quinoa on the bottom is my touch to be a barrier of all of those delicious flavors to falling through the bottom of the bread! I use it instead of mayonnaise. If you wish, you could also substitute Sriracha mayonnaise if you so desire, but the quinoa adds a nice kick of protein in the meal!
Once you bite into this, you will taste the crusty crunch, yet soft middle of the French bread, the spiciness of the meat, the vinegary crunch of the vegetables and the soft lime texture of the quinoa. This meal is satisfying and stimulates all of our senses! #queensapproval
Banh Mi w/Lime Quinoa
2 pieces of French bread (six inches long each)
5 oz skirt steak (sliced thinly)
1 tbsp refined coconut oil
1 tbsp cilantro (chopped)
1 cucumber (either cut in matchsticks or with a spiralized cutter)
2 small carrots (cut in matchsticks)
¼ of a large red onion (sliced thinly or using a mandolin)
1 jalapeno (cut in matchsticks)
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp fine sea salt
2 tbsp raw sugar
Vietnamese Table Sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp water
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp raw sugar
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1 Thai chili (sliced to ¼ inch)
¼ cup quinoa
¾ cup chicken broth
salt & pepper
½ lime juice
zest of 1 lime
In a hot pan (medium to high heat), place coconut oil in until melted. Put in skirt steak and sear it on both sides until medium rare. Check the top by using your finger to push on the steak. If it is springy, but has some give, it is ready. Put it aside and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes. After this point, slice it thinly (1/4 inch or so) and let it rest.
Rinse the quinoa in a bowl and drain it to get rid of the extra starch. In a rice cooker, place the quinoa and chicken broth and salt and pepper in and hit the “white rice” button to cook for 20 minutes. After it is completed, add lime zest and lime juice, toss and allow it to sit.
Combine the lime juice, fish sauce, water, rice wine vinegar, raw sugar, garlic and Thai chile and place it in a mason jar for safe keeping. Put it aside for when you will soak the skirt steak.
In a bowl, place the cucumber, carrots, red onions, jalapeño, rice wine vinegar, sea salt and sugar in a bowl and mix until all of the veggies are covered. Let it sit about a half hour.
Drain the vegetables and pat dry. Add the lime juice and lime zest to the quinoa and toss. In a small bowl, put in the sliced skirt steak and pour some of the Vietnam Table Sauce in it and all it to sit for about ten minutes.
Take a few tablespoons and spread on the inside of the French bread. Layer in the skirt steak. Place the softened vegetables on top, then sprinkle the cilantro on top of that. Squeeze a quarter lime on top of each sandwich and ENJOY! You make have a cup on the side of the table sauce if you wish to dip your sandwich in it.