Bánh mì, chez Oscar

What better excuse could there be to get all gussied up, drink a lot of kir royales, eat fabulous food and bash celebrity garb than the Oscars?

An Oscar party in the most stylish sense

My friend J hosted an Oscar party to watch the winners, the failures and the annoyingly long acceptance speech-ers. A veritable feast of delicious snacks was provided alongside endless champagne cocktails.

     

I took it upon myself to make something that I have always dreamed of making. A bite-sized version of a meal that I’ve made many many times – Bánh mì sandwiches.

I found this recipe in Bon Appétit magazine – that month it featured meatballs of new and interesting varieties. I was flipping nonchalantly through the pages when I saw it. The picture. I had to make it.

It’s not quite a traditional Bánh mì sandwich, as it involves pork meatballs rather than the Pâté for which the sandwich has become famous. You see, the Bánh mì is a Vietnamese fusion-type sandwich, usually containing pickled veggies, spicy chilies, Pâté or an assortment of porkmeats, cilantro, cucumbers…all on a baguette made of wheat and rice flour to give it that extra crunchy yet soft bite.

My version, or more correctly, Bon Appétit’s version, is on a hoagie bun, made with spicy little pork meatballs, pickled carrot and daikon, sriracha mayo, jalapenos and cilantro. I have made several variations and twists. For example, I once used regular radish instead of daikon. Another time, I used purple and orange carrots for a more exciting and colourful appearance. And yet another time, while on a family camping trip, I revolutionized the recipe and made Bánh mì Burgers: Portugese crusty buns, spicy mayo, pickled veggies and a pork patty made with the same elements as the meatballs, topped of course with cilantro. It was a huge success!

But this time, readers, I was going for a classy approach. Something fit for the King, after he’s finished his Speech.

I sliced rounds of baguette, and on top of each placed thinly sliced rounds of pickled radish and carrots. Next came thin slices of jalapeno, then the meatball. I topped it all off with the precious, oh so spicy sriracha mayo and a sprig of cilantro. Yum! And you could eat it all in one bite. Another big hit, enjoyed by all while watching a tearful Natalie Portman accept the award.

 

Of course, there were other delicious snacks provided by the Chef-in-residence, K.

Here’s the recipe! Mini Bánh mì

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