We have a sandwich place out here, Lee’s Sandwiches, that makes banh mi, the Vietnamese sandwich. It comes on a crunchy, flaky French roll and often has some sort of liver spread, pork cold cuts, pickled vegetables and spicy pickled jalapeños.
I have been craving this salty, spicy, sweet sandwich but know that the version I get at Lee’s Sandwiches is much higher in calories than I want. So I have been working on building my own. An important component is the Thai pickled vegetables.
I started with a recipe from Ted Allen of Food Network. It called for a brine of equal parts sugar, water, and vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt. You heat the liquid up until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Well, Ted must like his food way sweeter and a lot less acidic and salty than I do. So I kept adding salt and vinegar until I got a flavor combination I liked. Then you put your julienned vegetables in the brine and set them in the refrigerator for at least a half an hour. I used cucumbers (which I should have cut up smaller), carrots, land onions.
For my banh mi I use a pita half with a little smear of liverwurst, a half piece of turkey from the deli, the pickled vegetables, and some pepperoncini.
It’s not quite as good as Lee’s but it hits all the flavor components I crave. Sometimes I eat the vegetables as snack!