Category Archives: Vietnamese

Banh Mi (Vietnamese-Style Pork Sandwiches)


I can’t remember the first time I had a Banh Mi and it certainly wasn’t at a restaurant.  In fact, now that I am dusting away at my memory cobwebs, I think I was searching in my Google Reader for a recipe when I had a pork tenderloin to use-up a while back and came upon Bridget’s recipe for Banh Mi and knew I couldn’t go wrong.

Why couldn’t I go wrong…because the flavours are oh-so-right (lame, I know!).  But Banh Mi has a flavour profile that just has to be given high-praise and as a bonus, it truly is a quick and easy meal to prepare.  As Bridget describes in her post, it isn’t the most authentic recipe, but I agree with her that “taste will trump authenticity every time”.  Don’t get me wrong…this is pretty close to authentic (although I am soon to test that statement when I finally get over to Banh Mi Boys in Toronto).

Nonetheless, this is a great recipe.  I, like Bridget, made a few switches, didn’t bother with a mandoline – hand-slicing worked just fine and I used greek yogurt to lighten-up the mayo.

Definitely give this inexpensive meal a shot if you are looking for a new twist on your pork tenderloin recipes, or just a delicious sandwich to impress!


Banh Mi (Vietnamese-Style Pork Sandwiches)

Yield:  4 servings
Prep Time:  20 minutes
Cook Time:  20 minutes


  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 regular red radishes, sliced
  • 15 baby carrots, julienned by hand
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound)
  • 2 teaspoons five-spice powder (I was a little more generous)
  • 4 hoagie buns (or 1 24-inch baguette, cut into 4 pieces and split partially open lengthwise)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced thinly


1. Combine vinegar and sugar in microwave-safe bowl. Heat until sugar has dissolved, about 90 seconds. Add 1 tablespoon sriracha, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, radish and carrot to bowl and toss to combine. Set aside for 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, whisk mayonnaise, remaining 1 tablespoon sriracha and remaining 2 tablespoons fish sauce together in second bowl.  Set aside.

3. Ensure your pork is dry (rub with paper towel) and rub pork with five-spice powder.

4. Cook Pork (choose whichever method you prefer – I’ve done both and they are equally as good).

  • Grill pork over hot burner until browned on all sides and pork registers 145 degrees, 12 to 14 minutes.
  • Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and grill pork for approximately 6-7 minutes, per side, or until pork registers 145 degrees (I rotate my pork 4 times, so each side is nice and brown).

Transfer cooked pork to cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest 5 minutes. Grill bread until lightly toasted, about 1 minute (not essential).

4. Slice pork crosswise into thin slices. Drain vegetables. Spread mayonnaise on inner sides of bread halves. Arrange slices of pork on bread and top with vegetables and cilantro. Serve.


Recipe slightly adapted from The Way The Cookie Crumbles, originally from America’s Test Kitchen Feed


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Filed under Appetizers, Bread, Healthy, Mains, Thai, Vietnamese

Quick Vietnamese Chicken Pho

ChickenPho Shot1

One thing that I’ve loved over time is experiencing new foods and new regions of cuisine.  Vietnamese became one of my favourites – but I cannot remember when/where I first tried it.  I think it became a regular cuisine choice while we lived in Ontario while CH was in law school – there was a great place not too far from us and it became a date “lunch” venue – cheap, delicious and time together.  It has actually also become a comfort food to me, because nothing cures a cold, allergies or stuffy nose like Chicken Pho (at least to me!)

Making this recipe was a two time attempt – I first tried the traditional method of making pho, which involved roasting beef bones, many upon many hours of simmering and lots of little steps.  The result was fabulous, but with pho being so accessible and reasonable, making it myself like that wasn’t going to happen again.

And THEN, came this recipe.  When it popped into my reader, I was intrigued – could it really be as good as said?  One try of the recipe and we were hooked.  Yes, yes it could be.  It is everything pho should be – simple, delicious flavours, comforting and now, quick from my own kitchen!

Definitely give this soup a try – you won’t be disappointed.


ChickenPho Shot2

Quick Chicken Pho

Yield: 2 servings for us, original recipe states 4
Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 – 25 minutes



  • 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 2 quarts chicken stock (store bought or homemade)
  • 1 whole chicken breast
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 3-inch chunk of ginger, sliced and smashed with side of knife
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons fish sauce


  • 1 lb dried rice noodles
  • 2 cups bean sprouts, washed and tails pinched off
  • fresh cilantro tops
  • 1/2 cup shaved red onions
  • 1/2 lime, cut into wedges
  • sriracha chili sauce
  • hoisin sauce
  • sliced fresh chili peppers


In a large pot – add the coriander seeds, cloves, and star anise and toast until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.

Immediately add the chicken stock, chicken breast, onion, ginger, sugar, and fish sauce. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes, skimming the surface frequently. Use tongs to remove the chicken breasts and shred the meat, discarding the bone (if you used a bone-in breast).

Taste broth and add more fish sauce or sugar if necessary. Strain the broth and discard solids.

Prepare the noodles as per directions on the package and spilt between desired serving bowls.

Ladle the broth into bowls and divide the shredded chicken breast into each bowl.

Top with bean sprouts, cilantro, red onion, and other accompaniments as desired and enjoy.

Recipe from Love and Olive Oil

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Filed under Healthy, Mains, Soups & Stews, Uncategorized, Vietnamese

SRC: Lemongrass Chicken

Another month, another SRC recipe.  I’ve missed SRC, it was on hiatus for the Christmas season and it is finally time to post our new recipe – yeay!

This month I received the fabulous blog, Shockingly Delicious, which can’t be describe with words – you just have to visit her site.  She has over 25 years of food writing and recipe developing under her belt, and it comes through glaringly on her site – she has won awards for her pies, been featured in numerous newspapers for her food writing and was even featured in Saveur magazine – ya, this lady is Talented – with a capital T.

As always with a new blog to explore, I dove right in, bookmarking and pining recipes immediately.  She has a young family, and so her blog features many kid friendly recipes – which adds a fun twist on a lot of the other blogs I read. I cannot wait to try a few of her pie recipes when most of the fruit comes into season (she only has 21 to choose from and you know, awards to boot).  Thank you Dorothy, for a great blog and much inspiration.

Now, to the recipe – umm, hello delicious.  CH chose this one (it is our new “thing” with SRC – I go through the site, shortlist to maybe 10 recipes, and CH then chooses what recipe I should make).  This one was a hands-down winner and one that I KNOW will be on our table again, and again.  We love flavour (uh, did you know that yet?) and definitely had that.  This Vietnamese-American dish was right up our alley as it featured lemongrass, ginger, fish sauce, garlic, etc., all of which blended to create an absolutely beautiful flavour profile, that left us wanting more.

The only thing I changed from the original recipe was the cooking method and the length of marinading – living a) in Ontario, b) it being winter, and c) not having a patio/deck, grilling was not an option.  So, I decided to bake the chicken in the marinade, broil it for a few minutes at the end (to get a crispy outside) and then I reduced the marinade to a sauce. I also opted to only marinade the chicken for 2 hours before I cooked it, and use boneless skinless thighs, and even with these changes, it was PERFECT.  I am not sure if I will deviate from this method the next time I make it…we will see though.

In any event, give this recipe a try.  I served it over a bed of romaine lettuce, rice noodles, and julienned vegetables (red pepper, carrot, cucumber) and then sprinkled a few springs of basil on top – with the reduced sauce – it was a light, healthful dinner that was packed with flavour – just wish I had more leftovers.


Lemongrass Ginger Chicken

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time:  45 minutes


  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger (about 3 tablespoons finely minced)
  • 5 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 jalapeno or Serrano pepper, finely minced
  • 4 tablespoon palm sugar (or use brown sugar)
  • 3 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • S&P, to taste
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Directions – Marinade:

If you haven’t used lemongrass before – to prepare it, simply peel the outer layer of lemongras, cut off top third of stalk, then cut off root end of stalk; discard. Thinly slice the remaining lemongrass and then finely mince it.

Peel and finely mince the ginger and garlic. Finely mince the jalapeno (if you like a milder flavor, begin by slicing pepper in half and removing seeds before mincing).

In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together lemongrass, ginger, garlic, pepper, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, oil and rice vinegar.

Place the chicken thighs in large zipper-top plastic bag. Pour the marinade into the bag and massage the chicken and the marinade together with your fingers. Zip the top, squeezing air out, and marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours (original recipe says 1 hour is fine, Shockingly Delicious recommends 1-2 days).

Directions – Cooking:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pour the chicken and the marinade into a 9×12 baking dish.  Place in oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and no-longer pink.

Turn-off the oven, and turn-on the broiler to HIGH.  Broil the chicken for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly crisp and nicely brown.

Using tons or a fork, remove chicken and place on plate – set aside.

Place all of the leftover marinade into a small saucepan and heat over medium-high.  Allow mixture to come to a boil, cook for 2-3 minutes, and then remove from heat.  Strain sauce using a colander or sieve (you don’t want any random pieces of lemongrass or garlic in your dish!). Taste sauce and adjust S&P.

Serve chicken with the sauce, and whatever side dish you please.


Source: Adapted from Shockingly Delicious, originally from 


Filed under Appetizers, Healthy, Mains, Salads, Vietnamese