I love sandwiches. Sometimes I have to fight the urge to order one from any menu set in front of me. In fact the only real way to ensure I won’t order a sandwich is to present me with a menu that doesn’t offer one. Much to my parent’s irritation, I was the kid who’d always order a turkey club at nearly every restaurant we went to. Why order something you could make at home? Well, I would think to myself, I can’t remember the last time you let me make myself a triple-decker turkey club with bacon, add avocado and pickles, soo…
I just love a well-made sandwich; fresh baked bread, meats, cheeses, crisp veggies, and flavorful condiments. You can do so much with a sandwich—I’ve traveled to both ends of the ingredients spectrum from simple to insane. I once made a waffled grilled cheese meatball sub sandwich—it was obscene, an affront to each and every artery. Fancy, fantastic, or fanatical the sandwich is a friend to us all. But for quite some time now the banh mi has edged out the competition as one of my favorites.
I believe it was my brother who introduced me to the Banh Mi and to him I am eternally grateful. This Vietnamese sandwich is typically made with mayonnaise, pickled vegetables, fresh chilies, thinly sliced meats, and occasionally, pâté. I think the first Banh Mi I had was one I made myself, so I’m sure it’s a far cry from a more traditional version. But this is a sandwich that evolved out of the French staple of butter and pâté on a baguette to the sandwich we know and love today. So I think it’s—like any recipe you put in front of me—open to interpretation.
If you know anything about my cooking style, it’s probably that I love fusion food and toying with classic recipes. I’ve made many a Banh Mi over the years; some with steak, chicken, meatballs, grilled pork. Some have had eggs, others have had a pickled veggie slaw, one was a fusion with a po’ boy and topped with fried ramen, I even made a Banh Mi burger once!
Today I bring you the Banh mi dip. Inspired by my foodie friend Kylie ( over at Cooking With Cocktail Rings) and her recipe for her Lemongrass Steak Banh Mi, I decide to make my own version with a twist. I had a lot of tri tip that was begging to be slow-cooked and that would be perfect in a French dip. Never one to be satisfied with sticking to a classic recipe, I had to turn this one on its head and decided to make a lemongrass trip tip dip banh mi. So many layers of fusion going on here!
In my crockpot I slow-cooked tri tip in beef stock flavored with soy sauce, brown sugar, lemongrass, fresh ginger, and tons of garlic, I added in a little red jalapeño for heat and 6 hours later had the most tender and flavorful tri tip roast. The sweet and savory blend of flavors combined with the pungent aroma of peppery ginger and bright lemongrass filled the house and my heart with joy! What is your all-time favorite sandwich? Come over and make it for me!
- 2.5 lbs. tri tip roast
- 3 cups beef stock
- ¼ cup sweet soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp. regular soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. spicy chili paste
- 3 tbsp. brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp. rice wine
- 1 small red jalapeño, seeds removed and sliced (optional)
- 2 stalks lemongrass, sliced down the middle and cut in half
- 2 tsp. fresh grated ginger
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper
- For the Pickled Vegetables
- 1 large daikon, peeled and julienned
- 2 large carrots, peeled and julienned
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- For the Banh Mi
- 10-12 mini bolillo rolls or French rolls
- Pickled carrots and daikon, recipe below
- 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro
- 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
- Sriracha mayo, recipe follows
- Fresh sliced jalapeños, optional
- Make the Pickled Carrots and Daikon
- Combine carrots, daikon, water, sugar, vinegar and salt in medium bowl. Stir until sugar and salt dissolves.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. This will usually last in the fridge for about a month.
- Make the Tri Tip
- In a medium bowl whisk together beef stock, soy sauces, sesame oil, chili paste, brown sugar, rice wine, and ginger.
- In a crock-pot place onions, garlic, lemongrass, jalapeno if using, and tri tip. Season the tri tip very lightly with salt and pepper.
- Cover with marinade and cook on high for about 6 hours, or low for about 8 hours. The tri tip is ready when meat is tender and falling apart.
- Place tri tip on a platter and cut as thin or thick as you’d like. Strain the broth (au jus) into a saucepan to removed any solids.
- You can heat the au jus in the saucepan when ready to serve and you can always reheat the tri tip in the oven @ 250°F if necessary.
- Make Sriracha mayo by combining 1 cup mayonnaise with about2-3 tbsp. Sriracha and juice from ½ a lime. You can always make it more or less spicy by adjusting the amounts.
- Slice the bolillo lengthwise but not all the way through and spread a thin layer of Sriracha mayo on each side. You can also toast the bread if you’d like but I didn't.
- Top each roll with cucumbers, tri tip, fresh cilantro, scallions, pickled veggies and serve with a small cup of au jus for dipping!
- The addition of one jalapeño made for a pretty spicy au jus, if you don’t like heat, skip this ingredient.