SAUSAGE BANH MI (Vietnamese Sandwich Recipe)

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The banh mi sub sandwich is a Franco-Vietnamese hybrid that is traditionally made with pâté and sometimes pork meatballs or barbecued pork. Because the banh mi is one of my favorite sandwiches, I like to make it with readily available smoked sausages, preferably one with an “exotic” flavor, such as mango or Thai basil. Use a julienne peeler tool to make long thin strips of carrot and choose a baguette with a crisp crust and soft interior.
Excerpted with permission from The Portable Feast: Creative Meals for Work and Play.
2 cups grated peeled carrots (about 2)
¼ cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Sriracha chili sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 (12-ounce) package smoked chicken or pork sausages (about 4 links), preferably Thai basil or mango flavored, each link cut lengthwise into 3 slices
4 individual baguettes (7 to 10 inches long each) or 4 equivalent sections cut from a long baguette
2 Persian cucumbers, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on a diagonal
1 or 2 jalapeño peppers, very thinly sliced
20 sprigs fresh cilantro

Step 1

To make the pickled carrots: Stir the carrots, vinegar, sugar, and salt to blend in a small bowl. Let stand until the carrots soften, at least 1 hour.

Step 2

To make the spicy mayo: Stir the mayonnaise and Sriracha to blend in a small bowl. (Carrots and mayo can be made up to 4 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate separately.)

Step 3

To make the sandwiches: Heat the sesame oil in a heavy, very large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage slices and cook until browned and seared on both sides, turning once, about 6 minutes.

Step 4

Split the baguettes in half lengthwise and remove excess bread so that the baguettes are about ½-inch thick. Spread the cut sides of the bread with the spicy mayo. Arrange the cucumber and jalapeño slices over the bottom halves of the bread. Top with the sausage slices, dividing them evenly. Spoon the pickled carrots over the sausage, dividing them evenly. Top with cilantro sprigs, dividing evenly. Close the sandwiches and compress them gently. (Sandwiches can be made ahead. Wrap them in foil or waxed paper and keep at cool room temperature up to 4 hours or refrigerate overnight.)

Step 5

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