Recipe for Pork Soboro Baguette sandwich

Pork soboro baguette sandwich uses Vietnamese fish sauce and lemongrass for a refreshing twist. PHOTO: THE JAPAN NEWS
Pork soboro baguette sandwich uses Vietnamese fish sauce and lemongrass for a refreshing twist. PHOTO: THE JAPAN NEWS

PORK SOBORO BAGUETTE SANDWICH

INGREDIENTS

Two 20cm baguettes

1/2 cucumber

6 stems fresh coriander

Mint leaves and mayonnaise to taste

Black pepper

For namasu

150g daikon radish

50g carrot

2 Tbs sugar

21/2 Tbsps vinegar

2/3 Tbsp nuoc mam

For the pork soboro

200g ground pork

20g lemongrass (white part)

30g onion

1/2 clove garlic

1 Tbsp nuoc mam

1 Tbsp seasoning sauce

1 Tbsp sugar a

1 Tbsp toasted white sesame seeds

2/3 tsp doubanjiang (chilli bean sauce) chilli paste

METHOD

1. To make namasu, peel the daikon radish and carrot and cut into thick strips 5 cm long. Sprinkle a teaspoon of salt over them and leave them until they soften. Wash the vegetables in water and squeeze out excess water.

2. Put 2 1/2 Tbsps of water and 2 Tbsps of sugar in a pot and heat it. When the sugar dissolves, turn off the heat and let the ingredients cool until mixture is lukewarm. Add vinegar and nuoc mam and mix the ingredients to make a sauce. Soak the vegetables from Step 1 in the sauce and marinate for two or three hours.

3. To make pork soboro, cut lemongrass into round slices and then chop finely. Mince onion and garlic and mix them with lemongrass and ground meat and remaining seasonings in a bowl. Stir fry in a pan with 1/2 Tbsp of cooking oil over medium heat until cooked through.

4. Heat the baguettes in an oven for one or two minutes. Cut open and spread mayonnaise over cut surface. Cover bottom half of the baguette with soboro pork and add diagonally cut slices of cucumber, namasu, 1-cm pieces of fresh coriander and mint leaves, in this order, and sprinkle black pepper over it all.

Lemongrass oil

Chopped lemongrass can be used for various dishes. For example, a fish sprinkled with salt and chopped lemongrass will take on an Asian flair. Chef Masumi Suzuki recommended "lemongrass oil," cooking oil heated in a pan with an equal amount of lemongrass until it becomes lightly browned.

"You can use the oil to stir fry vegetables and rice," Ms Suzuki said.

Frozen chopped lemongrass can be stored for two or three weeks, and the oil can be stored for about a week at room temperature, according to Suzuki.