Who knew you could have a taste of Vietnam in less than 30 minutes? If you make Banh Mi sandwiches tonight for dinner, your taste buds will be transported in no time. Banh Mi is a traditional Vietnamese sandwich made with a French baguette and an assortment of vegetables and meats. The contrasting flavors between the meat and herbs create a fantastic textural sensation. Introduce your family, or yourself, to a new culture and make this tasty treat tonight. It's quick, it's easy, it's new. So get the recipe now, just

Banh Mi (Vietnamese Pork Sandwich)
From Sunset magazine

1 teaspoon Chinese five spice (or 1/4 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger, and anise seeds)
1 tablespoon salad oil
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
12 ounces ground lean pork
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3 baguettes (8 oz. each; see notes)
About 2 tablespoons Asian red chili paste or sauce
8 ounces thinly sliced roast boned, fat-trimmed pork loin or cooked ham or chicken
2 cups thinly sliced English cucumbers (about 8 oz.)
3 cups salad mix (4 oz.), rinsed and crisped
1/2 cup fresh Thai or regular basil leaves, rinsed and cut into 1-inch pieces
For the fried shallots:
1 cup thinly sliced shallots
2 tablespoons salad oil

  1. In an 8- to 10-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, stir five spice until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  2. Stir in oil, shallots, and garlic. Add ground pork and stir often, breaking apart with spoon, until meat is crumbly and no longer pink, about 15 minutes. Add soy sauce, sugar, and salt to taste.
  3. Meanwhile, make the fried shallots: in an 8- to 10-inch frying pan over medium heat, stir shallots in oil until crisp and golden, 6 to 10 minutes (shallots will absorb most of the oil).
  4. Cut baguettes in half crosswise, then split lengthwise almost all the way through, leaving halves attached at one side.
  5. Spread about 1 teaspoon chili paste on one cut side of each baguette section. Spoon about 1/6 of the warm ground pork mixture, including juices, over chili paste. Tuck 1/6 of the pork slices evenly into each sandwich. Set sandwiches slightly apart on a 12- by 15-inch baking sheet.
  6. Bake in a 375° regular or convection oven just until filling is warm and crust is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove sandwiches from oven and fill each with 1/6 of the cucumbers, salad mix, basil, and fried shallots. Add more chili paste and salt to taste.

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information: CALORIES 596(29% from fat); FAT 19g (sat 4.2g); PROTEIN 35g; CHOLESTEROL 64mg; SODIUM 1290mg; FIBER 4.3g; CARBOHYDRATE 70g