This traditional Vietnamese sandwich makes a refreshing and satisfying picnic meal. Do the marinating and pickling a day ahead, then just cook the pork and assemble the sandwiches.
• 2 fresh jalapeños, thinly sliced
• 1/2 sweet onion, sliced thinly
• handful each of fresh cilantro and basil
• 1 long cucumber, sliced
• watercress or other salad green
• 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
• 4 Tbsp. mayonnaise
• 2 French baguettes, multigrain if possible
• 1 lb. pork tenderloin
• 1/4 cup brown sugar or sucanat
• 1/4 cup soy sauce
• 2 cloves minced garlic
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (or heat grill, if using). Heat a skillet with a tablespoon of oil, and brown tenderloin. Place in oven and roast for 10 to 15 minutes on each side, depending on its size (check often).
2. To pickle vegetables: Stir together vinegar, sugar and salt, and heat. Let it cool, then toss with shredded vegetables (each in a separate bowl). Taste and add salt if necessary. Set aside for at least 15 minutes and up to 12 hours.
3. Meanwhile, heat baguettes on rack in oven until crusty, about 5 minutes. Cut off and discard round ends, then split baguette.
4. Drain pickled vegetables.
5. Mix together mayonnaise and fish sauce, and spread on cut sides of bread. Arrange pork, pickled veggies, watercress and herbs on table. Offer each diner some bread, and help yourselves to the sandwich you want!
Larissa Phillips is a cooking instructor and food writer for Parenthood.com. Email her at FeedingYourFamily@Parenthood.com. Check out Larissa’s blog Mothership Meals & Satellite Saucers and discover how to get through dinner without having a breakdown!