RECIPE: Bahn Mi with Smoked Pork
May 31, 2021
Bahn mi is essentially an asian style pulled pork sandwich. The flavor profile is distinctive and delicious! It's also fun to make for family and friends for any occasion.
- 3/4 c sea salt
- 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 Tbsp minced or 1 tsp dry garlic
- 2 c warm water
- Cold water to cover meat (~6 c)
- Sandwich fixings
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 c vinegar
- 1/2 c cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 c shredded carrots
- ½ jalapeno, thinly sliced
- Cilantro, chopped
- 4-6 Buns or rolls
- Greens (optional)
- Mayonnaise (optional)
- Hot sauce (optional)
- Large glass container for soaking meat in brine solution in fridge.
- Meat thermometer
- Combine the warm water, salt, spices, and sugar and stir until dissolved.
- Add pork and spice mixture to a glass pot and add enough cold water to cover the meat.
- Brine in fridge for 8-12 hrs.
- Remove meat from brine (rinse to remove salt, if desired) and pat dry.
- Optional: dry on a rack in the refrigerator for a few hours to overnight.
- Heat smoker to 200°F (we typically use applewood)
- Place pork directly on the rack and ensure there is AMPLE water in drip pans (we use the normal drip pan and a large auxiliary metal drip pan on a rack below the pork both full of water, see photo below, especially if we are smoking overnight).
- Smoke for 8 hours (checking internal temperature and water level occasionally, internal temperature after 8 hrs will be about 150°F).
- Preheat oven to 250°F
- Transfer pork from the smoker to an oven safe pan and cover it with a lid or aluminum foil.
- Bake until the internal temperature of 205°F (typically 2.5-4 hours)
- Remove pork from the oven, rest for 20 min before shredding or chopping finely and serving
Preparing the veggies
- While the pork is in the oven, combine the carrots, cucumber, jalapeno, vinegar, and salt. Soak the veggies in the vinegar solution until the desired flavor is reached. I often do two batches, one with mild flavor that only soaks briefly for the kiddies and a spicier version for adults. Drain veggies prior to serving.
- When pork is done, assemble sandwiches with buns, mayonnaise, greens, pork, vinegar veggies, and cilantro. This meal also works well sans buns over a bed of greens.
The raw cut covered by brine.
The smoked Boston Butt, ready to go in the oven. The temperature was about 150°F
Chopped pork ready for sandwiches. Notice the nice nice mix of bark (dark brown color) from the exterior surface and penetration of the smoke (dark pink color) in addition to the interior pork meat (tan color).