This has been the week of crazy cravings. My regular go to on cheat day is a Bahn Mi and a bubble tea. This last cheat day, I got drunk and forgot, stumbling home from the bar only to stop at some sub par pizza place to soak up the alcohol (Hey it’s cheat day, i can do what I want…don’t judge me!).
So I’ve been thinking about all the things that add up to make a bahn mi. Meat, butter, mayo, french bread, pickled vegetables, Sriracha… I knew I could do something similar in a salad – a low carb asian recipe that tastes similar to a vietnamese bahn mi.. Yes…I can, as it turns out. I used romaine lettuce. I don’t know if that is bad from a culinary perspective, but it worked for me. Perhaps you want to try boston lettuce, so that you aren’t the butt of every vietnamese chefs’ jokes. I then sauteed some garlic with pork and chopped shrimp. To pickle the veggies…well, I really couldn’t pickle them. Instead I just let them soak in a mixture of rice wine vinegar, water and salt, plus a little stevia to sweeten the deal and then finished cooking the meal. The pickling brine that I made ends up making a nice little dressing once you add a little soy sauce and sriracha. Check out the recipe below.
Vietnamese Salad with Pork & Shrimp
1 pound ground pork
1/2 pound shrimp, cleaned & chopped into small pieces
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 large carrot, julienned
1 seedless cucumber, juliened
1 bunch green onion, roughly chopped
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup water
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp stevia
2 cups bean sprout, drained and washed
1 head romaine, finely sliced
3 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
chopped unsalted peanuts for topping
Prepare the quick brine by mixing vinegar, water, salt, and stevia together. Add cucumber, onion, and carrot, cover with a paper towel and set aside while cooking. Heat a saute pan on medium high heat, add the ground pork and garlic and saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to break it up. Add the shrimp and stir for 4-5 more minutes. Add the soy sauce and mix until well incorporated. Remove from heat.
On a large salad plate, assemble a layer of lettuce, then a layer of the meat mixture, then a layer of the pickled vegetables. drizzle a little of the vinegar mixture over the top, followed by a little soy sauce and sesame oil. Then a little drizzle of sriracha, to your taste. Voila, salad complete!