What I love about Banh Mi sandwiches are the crunchy pickled vegetables, salty buttery pork and chile pepper heat. What I’m not crazy about is the big baguette they’re served on. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good baguette and the fusion of French and Vietnamese flavors is brilliant, but I always find myself wanting the bread to have a more subtle presence.
I considered making a Banh Mi style salad with baguette croutons or perhaps a bruschetta (Why not throw Italy in too?). But then I saw this Collard Green Wrap from Dinner with Aura and thought, “That’s it!” I’ll make it inside out.
I’ll grant you that collard greens are not a typical ingredient in Banh Mi sandwiches – but there are so many versions of this sandwich, (so many in fact, that some people make a race of trying as many as possible), why not add one more?
And I’ll tell you, this sandwich is special. Somehow the crunch and earthy flavor of the collard greens makes the brine, spice and tang of the vegetables and chiles leap. The pork tenderloin is rich and hearty and the slices of baguette satisfy instead of overwhelm.
I’ve called for cooked pork tenderloin in this recipe. We grilled ours simply with sesame oil, salt and pepper. But you could also oven or pan roast it. You can use fresh jalapeño instead of pickled if you prefer and pickled radishes in place of the pickled vegetables if you happen to have them on hand.
Inside Out Banh Mi
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper julienned
- 1/2 cup carrot julienned
- 1/2 cup peeled daikon radish julienned
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- pinch kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon red chile paste such as sambal oelek
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 4 leaves large collard greens
- 12 1/2-inch slices baguette
- 12 ounces cooked pork tenderloin thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup pickled jalapeño sliced
- 1/4 cup green onion thinly sliced
- 1 cucumber thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
- Combine the first 6 ingredients (red bell pepper through kosher salt); cover and let stand 15 minutes. Drain.
- Combine red chile paste and mayonnaise; cover and refrigerate.
- With a paring knife, carefully trim the thickest part of the collard green stem. You want the leaf to be intact but flexible. Repeat with remaining leaves.
To assemble the wraps:
- Spread 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture down the center of each collard green leaf.
- Arrange 3 slices of baguette down the center of each leaf.
- Divide pork tenderloin slices among the leaves, laying them on top of the baguette slices.
- Divide remaining ingredients evenly over the leaves.
- Fold each end of the collard green up over wrap ingredients, then roll up like you would a burrito. Repeat with remaining leaves.
- Slice each wrap in half, at an angle crosswise and serve.