Vietnamese Style Bahn Mi Burger Recipe

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by Michael on October 3, 2013 · 0 comments

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This Vietnamese style bahn mi burger recipe was a lark. I usually ask my kids what they want for dinner and they usually reply with the ever helpful “I dunno.”

Is there punctuation for apathy?

Anyway, I wanted bahn mi sandwiches. But as it turned out, they both answered hamburgers.

So here we are. Bahn mi burgers. I have been making Bahn Mi for years with both grilled pork and grilled tofu. Both are made with the same marinade. The sandwich is basically meat on a roll with cilantro, pickle and jalapeno as toppings.

But with the burgers, the marinade mixed into the burger.

These worked out well and were a great compliment to the tater tots that went with them.

Allow some extra time when making these to let the burger rest. The burger will be a bit “wet” so letting them set up in the freezer or fridge will really help if you are grilling them. Otherwise put them in a pan or griddle.

For the rolls, the Vietnamese probably make the best French bread out side of France, San Francisco and NYC. If you have a Vietnamese grocery nearby, you can probably get the crispy rice flour laden roles then I envy you. I generally use bolilo rolls that I heat in an oven until the outside crisps up. What you want is something light and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Not too chewy – I guess that this is what the rice flour does. Cheap soft French rolls from the grocery work as well.

There are a few things to get together. The burgers, the rolls, the toppings, the glaze and the pickle sounds like a lot but the dish can be done in about 20 minutes plus about ½ hour to chill the burgers. And, everything including the pickle can be prepared ahead of time.

A note on the cilantro, you can use the stems AND the leaves. The stems taste great and add texture to the burger or anywhere else that you use cilantro.

Ingredients

Burgers
16 ounces ground pork
8 ounces ground beef
¼ cup finely diced shallots or red onions
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 large cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon chili paste (sirracha or other)
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced lemon grass (optional if you can get it)

4 rolls or French bread toasted in the oven at 425 for five minutes.

Toppings
About 12 – 16 cilantro stems and leaves whole
1 jalapeño sliced thin
Mayo and some chili paste mixed

Glaze
¼ cup dry sherry
2 tablespoons hoisin

Pickle
1 carrot sliced in thin matchsticks
5 radishes sliced thin (if you can find daikon, ½ cup of thin sticks)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
¼ cup rice vinegar or white vinegar

Directions:

Make the pickle first.

Place the carrots and radish in a lidded bowl
Cover with the salt and sugar.
Pour the vinegar over the top and mix.
Mix a few times over the cooking period.
Set aside

The burger mix.

Yup, just mix it all up and shape into oval-shaped burgers
Chill for 1/2 hour in the freezer or two hours in the refrigerator.

The glaze

Just mix the sherry and hoisin in a small bowl
Have a basting brush ready by the grill

Putting it all together

Get everything ready. Make sure the roles are toasted off and sliced in half, the cilantro sprigs are clean and the jalapeño is sliced.

Get the grill up to 400 degrees and coat with oil so the burgers don’t stick. Do this after the grill heats.

Grill the burgers 4 minutes each side.
Flip the burger and baste with the glaze.
Cook another 4 minutes.
Flip and baste with the glaze again and cook one more minute.
Flip and cook another minute just to set the glaze.

Coat the top and bottom of the rolls with the mayo mix.
Place the burger on top.
Place 4 or 5 slices of jalapeño on top next, followed by several springs of cilantro and a ¼ or so of the pickle.
Serve away

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