Bahn Mi Burgers

These flavorful burgers are inspired by the Vietnamese sandwiches, Bahn Mi, and are a nice change from hamburgers.  Depending on how big you make the patties, this recipe makes about 8 burgers.  They freeze well.  The left-over burgers can also be cooked, sliced,  and put on top of a bowl of rice vermicelli (bun).  Serve the noodle dish with the pickled carrots and radish, cilantro, bean sprouts, cucumbers and fish sauce (nuoc cham).  Delicious!

Bahn Mi Burgers

for the burger:
2 pounds pork (sirloin tip, butt, or other lean cut) cut into 1-inch chunks (or use ground pork)
1 – 2 tablespoon(s)lemongrass, finely minced
3 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely minced (or grated)
1 jalapenos, seeded and finely minced
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
freshly ground pepper

buns (French style, Kaiser rolls,

for the toppings:
English cucumber, thinly sliced
pickled carrots and diakon radish (recipe follows)- made the day before for best flavor
fresh cilantro leaves
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
Sriracha-lime mayonnaise (recipe follows)

Cut the pork into 1 inch chunks and grind it in a food processor with the blade attachment.  Place the meat in a large bowl and mix in the lemongrass, garlic, ginger, jalapeno, fish sauce, sugar, and pepper. Form patties and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes for flavors to meld.  While the meat is resting, make the Sriracha-lime mayonnaise.
Fire up the grill and grill burgers to desired doneness. Grill buns.

Alternatively, cook patties in an oiled cast iron skillet over medium heat until done and juices run clear. Toast buns.

To assemble, spread Sriracha-lime mayonnaise on each side of the bun. Place the cooked pork patty in the bun and top with the pickled carrots and diakon radish, cucumbers, cilantro and jalapenos.

Sriracha – Lime Mayonnaise

1/2 cup mayonnaise
juice from 1/4 lime
1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce (or other chili garlic sauce)
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine ingredients.

Pickled Carrots and Daikon

4 cups daikon radish, julienned
about 1/2 cup sugar, divided
2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 cups carrots, julienned
1/4 cup white vinegar

Place daikon in a bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons sugar. Set aside for 30 minutes. Drain off liquid. Add 1/3 cup sugar and mix thoroughly. Set aside.

Toss carrots with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar in a separate bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes. Drain the liquid and toss with 2 teaspoons sugar.

Drain the daikon and carrots again. Toss daikon and carrots together and add another 1-2 tablespoons of sugar to taste. Add 1/4 cup vinegar. Toss, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Keeps in the fridge for about a week. Store it in the liquid but remove from liquid before serving.