It’s Technique Tuesday again, and today we’re going to talk about marinating. There are many ways to flavor meats before cooking (marinating, brining, injecting, and rubs), and all have different purposes. Brining, for example, adds moisture by trapping moisture in the meat. Marinates, on the other hand, are a mixture of an acid (vinegar, citrus, wine) and a base (oil, yogurt, honey) that imparts strong flavors. Since marinates don’t penetrate deep into the meat the way a brine does, it works best on thin or already cut meats, shellfish, and vegetables. That’s why we cut the pork loin into 1/2 inch wide pieces before marinating, though we’ll cut it thinner after we cook it. The marinate which flavors the banh-mi is fantastic, though you can vary it to your tastes. Extra garlic? Always. Throw in some chili paste, sriracha, or gochujang for spice? Definitely. Change it up a bit, and let me know how it works for you all.
The first step is to cut up a pork tenderloin into 1/2 inch wide pieces, mix up the marinate, and marinate it. The marinate consists of soy sauce, fish sauce, ginger, garlic, shallot, brown sugar, and pepper. I also threw in some fermented korean chili paste, called gochujang, to add a bit of heat, because I already had some on hand.
Next, you make a quick vegetable pickle using radish (daikon preferably, but I often use normal) and carrots. You can julienne them, or slice them thin, then bring some vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar, add the carrots and radish, remove from the heat, and let sit for an hour to impart a nice vinegary tang to the vegetables.
Preheat a grill or grill pan and cook the meat until it reaches 140°F. Remove pork from pan, rest 5 minutes, and slice.
Meanwhile, preheat a broiler with the rack in the upper third of the oven, halve the baguette lengthwise, and broil the bread until the edges are brown, about 2 minutes.
While the bread is toasting, combine yogurt or mayonnaise and sriracha in a small bowl, and spread it evenly across both pieces of the baguette. Top with pate (if you have it, I rarely do), pork loin, cucumber spears, pickled carrots and radish, cilantro, jalapenos, and fried egg. Close the sandwich, cut into portions (if you’re willing to share), and serve.
- for the pork marinade:
- 1/4 cup dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- one 2 inch piece of ginger peeled & minced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large shallot minced
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon gochujang optional
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 pound pork tenderloin cut crosswise into 1/2 inch wide pieces
- for the pickled vegetables:
- 3/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 cup julienned carrots
- 1 cup julienned daikon
- for the sandwich:
- 1 french baguette
- 1/3 cup Greek yogurt or mayonnaise
- 1 tablepoon sriracha
- 6 oz . store bought pork pâté thinly sliced
- 1/3 English cucumber cut into 16 spears
- 10 cilantro sprigs
- 1 jalapeño thinly sliced
- fried egg
Combine all marinade ingredient in a medium bowl. Add the pork tenderloin, stir to coat evenly and let marinate for 1 hour or overnight.
To make the pickled vegetables, bring the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the carrots and daikon, remove from the heat and let sit 1 hour.
Preheat grill or grill pan over high heat. Grill the pork, turning once, until meat reaches 140F, about 4 minutes. Remove the pork from grill/grill pan let rest for 5 minutes, and thinly slice.
Preheat the broiler with the rack in the upper third position. Halve the baguette lengthwise. Place cut side up directly on the oven rack and broil until toasted and brown around the edges, 2 minutes. Remove from the oven.
Combine the yogurt (or mayo) and sriracha in a small bowl, then spread evenly across both pieces of the baguette. Top with pâté, pork, cucumber spears, pickled carrots & daikon, cilantro & jalapeños. If you’re down with a fried egg, add that too! Close the sandwich, cut into portions & serve.