This Vietnamese Pulled Pork Bánh Mì is filled with juicy slow-cooked pork, sweet and savory flavors, and pickled veggies. The slow cooker makes this meal so easy to make, and a perfect meal to easily host guests!
This Vietnamese Pulled Pork Bánh Mì is full of flavorful, juicy meat and the pickled veggies add the perfect balance of acid. We made these into a build-your-own sandwich station, which would be very fun for feeding the whole family.
What is bánh mì?
Bánh mì is actually the Vietnamese word for ‘bread’. Bánh typically refers to some sort of baked good, and mì means wheat. Thus, baked wheat! Eating plain bánh mì is common, however, it has also become the reference for this savory sandwich with a Vietnamese style bread.
The Vietnamese baguette has origins from the French baguette, however, they are quite different. The Vietnamese baguette is lighter and airier, with a crust so flaky and crackly, you make a mess with each bite. Crust is the key, and differs from the chewier, denser French baguette.
What is in bánh mì?
There are many variations of bánh mì , but a typical bánh mì has a variety of pork products, pate, pickled carrots and daikon, cucumbers, homemade mayonnaise, fresh herbs and jalapeños.
For our version, we decided to use pulled pork and flavored it with some Chinese five spice powder, fish sauce, and lime. For toppings, we used hoisin, sriracha, cilantro, pickled onions and cucumbers, and jalapeños.
How to build your bánh mì sandwich:
When you make this dish, pretty much all of the work is in the prep. Once you prep the pulled pork, pickle the veggies, and combine the sauce, you just need to set up an assembly station!
- Step 1: Gather your banh mi (or baguette) and toppings and fillings. Slice open the bread.
- Step 2: Add pickled veggies on one side. Spread hoisin (and Sriracha) on the other side.
- Step 3: Fill the bread with the juicy and tender pork. (Yummm!)
- Step 4: Top with jalapeños, cilantro and a squeeze of lime.
And voila! Eat and enjoy! Who is gluten-free? If so, toss the pork and toppings over a bed of rice, and it is equally as delicious. I think I had leftover bánh mì bowls for 2 straight days after. They are SO good.
This has become one of our “host meals”, which we’ve been working on in quarantine. We love having people over, but it can be stressful to cook and host at the same time. We are trying to nail down these “host meals”, that are delicious, but easy to cook/prep, so we can enjoy our company.
The slow cooker makes this meal the perfect host meal, and your guests will leave happily full. (Yes, we are dreaming about the days when we can start hosting friends again!)
What is your favorite way to eat bánh mì? Did you try this recipe? Drop a comment below, or a message on Instagram. I’d love to hear what you think!
Here are a few other asian inspired recipes!
- Vietnamese Spring Rolls (a great appetizer to this meal)
- Tofu Shiitake Lettuce Wraps
- Spring Roll in a Bowl
- Sweet Soy Sauce Glazed Chicken
Slow Cooker Vietnamese Pulled Pork Bánh Mì
To season the pork:
- 3 lbs pork shoulder (bone in)
- 1.5 tbsp brown sugar
- 1.5 tbsp Chinese five spice powder
- 1.5 tbsp Kosher salt
- .5 tbsp black pepper
To pickle the vegetables:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup white vinegar (or any vinegar, but I prefer white)
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp Kosher salt
- 2-3 cups sliced veggies (cucumber, daikon, carrots, onions)
For the sauce:
- 3/4 cup chicken broth (or water)
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1/4 cup lime juice freshley squeezed
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp sriracha (optional, for spice!)
- 2 loaves bánh mì, cut into 4 rolls/loaf (or baguette)
- pickled vegetables
- hoisin sauce
- jalapenos, sliced
The night before:
- Season the pork: Combine the brown sugar, Chinese five spice powder, salt and pepper. Season liberally over all sides of the pork shoulder. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Pickle the vegetables: In a medium pot, combine water, white vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring it to a boil to combine ingredients, and let it cool. In a mason jar, add vegetables (cucumers, carrots, daikon). Pour the liquid over the vegetables and let it cool down on the counter. Once fully cooled, cover and place in the fridge overnight. They will be good for 2-3 weeks! Thus, pickling can be done even earlier than the night before.
The day of:
- Prepare the sauce: combine chicken broth, fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, and Sriracha.
- About 8.5 hours before you plan to eat, place the pork in the slow cooker. Pour the sauce on top, and cook on low for 8 hours. (or 4 hours on high, but I prefer to cook it on low)
- After 8 hours, transfer the pork to a cutting board. Using 2 forks, shred the meat. This will take zero effort! *cue husband (and dog) drooling
- There will be a good amount of liquid in the slow cooker. Remove the liquid into a mason jar and set aside.
- Transfer the pork back to the slow cooker. Add back some of the liquid to keep the meat juicy. I use about 1/3 cup. (You can save the rest of the liquid for a soup)
- Assemble the "Bánh Mì Build Your Own "station with the toppings and baguettes.
- To the baguette, add pickled veggies to one side, and hoisin and Sriracha to the other. Fill the sandwich with pulled pork and top with cilantro and jalapenos.
- *For a gluten-free option: serve on top of a bed of rice.