Do I love quick and easy weeknight meals? You betcha! But what’s even better than easy weeknight meals? That’s Right! Quick and easy entertaining recipes especially when the flavors are complex and robust. These Ground Pork Banh Mi Sliders may be small but they are flavorful, and each bite is even more delicious than the last. The aromatic herbs and spices together with the quick pickled Asian slaw come together to create the perfect sandwich.
Baguette vs. King’s Hawaiian Jalapeño Rolls
In traditional Vietnamese cooking, Banh Mi refers to the bread used, a French Baguette. However, as Banh Mi style sandwiches have gained popularity in the Western world, particularly the US, Banh Mi has come to represent more of the style of sandwich — one topped with Asian pickled vegetables rather than the bread used. For these Ground Pork Banh Mi sliders, I chose the new King’s Hawaiian Jalapeño Sweet Rolls. Have you tried them yet? They’re pretty amazing.
French baguettes are one of my favorite crusty bread but for entertaining, it’s not always practical or portable. The idea with the slider is that guests can be mobile, mingle and carry a drink in one hand and nibble on yummy food with the other. The new King’s Hawaiian Jalapeño rolls are the perfect vehicle for this — they are soft and fluffy with a hint of sweetness and a touch of spiciness from the jalapeños. They’re also the perfect size for entertaining and allow my guests to move around freely and mingle while they snack. SCORE!
To Pickle or Not to Pickle
Have you ever had fresh-packed, sweet pickles or pickled vegetables like Italian Giardiniera? Quick pickled Asian slaw is along those lines, too. In a traditional Asian quick pickle mix, daikon radishes are used. These can usually be found at the local Asian market, and I have occasionally seen them in my local grocery store as they become more popular. That being said, they can still be hard to find so I’ve substituted red radishes – or pink and white radishes — whatever you have available. If radishes just aren’t your thing, you could opt to use thinly sliced cucumbers instead. I’ve made this substitution before, and they are a wonderful addition to the slaw. The fresh pickled Asian slaw does wonders for elevating the flavors and textures of this sandwich and shouldn’t be omitted. The pickling takes less than an hour and can easily be prepared along with the Sriracha Mayo at the beginning of the recipe preparation. By the time you are ready to plate the sandwiches, the pickled vegetables, and sriracha mayo will be ready to rock n’ roll.
Some Assembly Required
Just put these things together however you prefer. I assembled mine by slathering the sriracha mayo on the buns and added the jalapeños, which were stemmed and seeded and then added my caramelized pork patty on top. Next came a heaping helping of quick pickled vegetables, some torn cilantro, and the bun lid. I secured it with a fancy skewer. This is a party after all and I like it to feel special. If you don’t care for cilantro, feel free to leave it off — it’s your sandwich after all! If you want to substitute something you could go with some Thai basil or flat-leaf parsley for a little herb flavor.
I dare say this is quite a delicious sandwich. The ground pork patty is tender, juicy and full of flavor. We combined green onions and cilantro from our garden along with traditional Vietnamese flavors like fish sauce, soy sauce, ginger and garlic and the patties were so flavorful. They may not seem important, but I really can’t praise the pickled veggies enough either, they bring the whole sandwich together. Yummy!
Ground Pork Banh Mi Sliders
For the Sandwiches
- 2 packages (12-ct) King's Hawaiian Jalapeno Rolls
- 1/2 bunch cilantro leaves
- 5 Jalapeno chilies, seeded and thinly sliced
- Pickled carrots and radishes (store bought or homemade recipe below)
- Sriracha Mayonnaise (store bought or homemade recipe below)
For the Ground Pork Mixture
- 2 lbs Ground Pork
- 1 lemon juiced and zested
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoons ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons roasted sesame oil (see notes for substitution)
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 6 -8 whole green onions, sliced thinly
For Homemade Pickled Asian Slaw
- 1 cup matchstick (or shredded carrots)
- 6 oz bag red radishes, shredded
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/4 cups vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
For the Sriracha Mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons Sriracha Sauce
- In a small bowl mix mayonnaise and sriracha sauce until well combined. Refrigerate until ready for use.
- In a medium bowl or quart-sized, wide-mouth, mason jar, add all the ingredients for the pickled Asian slaw. Stir until the sugar dissolved. Set aside for later.
- In a bowl, mix the ground pork, lemon juice, lemon zest, fish sauce, ground black pepper, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce and green onions until combined. Form into 3 inch patties.
- In a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat, cook the patties until done and the juices run clear, about 3 minutes per side.
- Build Sliders by spreading the sriracha mayo on the buns, then top with 2 -3 jalapeno slices, add the caramelized pork patty on top. Then add the quick pickled Asian slaw, some torn cilantro, and top with the bun lid. Secure with a fancy skewer, if desired.
To check your pork patty seasoning, make a small patty and fry it off. Adjust the salt and seasonings to taste. As a substitution to buying a whole bottle of Roasted Sesame Oil, it can be made at home by heating a 1/4 cup of sesame seeds in 1/2 cup of olive, canola OR vegetable oil. Heat for 2-5 minutes to toast the seeds and then let it cool. Sesame seeds can burn quickly, so do not walk away. Strain out the seeds before use. This process is not as aromatic as the commercially available brands but will do especially if sesame oil isn't something you will use often as it does go bad.A note about the Asian Slaw: Radishes of any variety can be a little stinky when pickled from the sulfur compounds they contain. No worries, they have not gone bad or anything. Open the jar and let it air out a bit before serving. If pickled radish is offensive to your nose, try cucumber slices instead.
I’ve been looking for some other recipes to try with my new King’s Hawaiian Jalapeño Rolls and found some great recipes on the King’s Hawaiian website.
While I was there, I created the video below, which my daughter thought was hilarious (Hey! She’s 6)! GO AHEAD! Put YOUR photo in the King’s Hawaiian video and join the Jalapeño roll craze, too! You can join the fun by visiting King’s Hawaiian here on their website, or click the embedded video below to see mine!
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