Vietnamese Southern Style

Produced and styled by Mindi Shapiro Levine; Recipe development and food styling by Lane Fowler; Photographed by Mary Brittan Senseney

Dixie Style Bánh mì

With renewed energy and a list of resolutions, spice up the New Year with a simple yet sumptuous Vietnamese dinner with friends. Famous for its fresh, contrasting flavors, varied textures, exotic ingredients, and artfully composed meals, Vietnamese cooking is the true light cuisine of Southeast Asia.

Home-style Vietnamese cuisine reflects its diverse influences, including both Chinese and French cooking.

Trademark dishes include pickled vegetables, summer rolls, delicate soups, stir-frys, and the delectable banh mi, a Vietnamese baguette sandwich.

This inspiring meal follows traditional dining customs by foregoing the notion of courses and instead presenting many  small, tasty dishes at the same time.

Dixie Style Bánh mì

Makes 6 servings

This now classic Vietnamese sandwich was born during the French Colonial Empire in Southeast Asia. Baguettes are typically filled with various meats, cucumbers, cilantro, chili peppers, pate, mayonnaise, and pickled vegetables. Try our southern spin stuffed with pulled pork.

1  (3-lb.) bone-in pork shoulder roast (Boston butt)

Kosher salt and pepper

3/4 cup ketchup

1/2 cup orange juice

1 Tbsp. honey

2 tsp. garlic chili sauce (such as Sriracha)

1 tsp. minced garlic

2 loaves French bread

6 Tbsp. softened butter

6 Tbsp. mayonnaise

Fresh cilantro leaves

Preheat oven to 350°. Sprinkle pork with desired amount of salt pepper. Place in an aluminum foil lined baking pan (fattiest side up). Cover and bake at 350° for 11/2 hours. Uncover and bake 2 hours to 21/2 hours or until fork tender. Shred pork into large pieces using two forks.

Stir together ketchup and next 4 in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally 10 to 15 minutes or until thickened. Toss pork in warm sauce.

Cut French bread into to 6 (6-inch) rolls reserving remaining bread for other use. Split each roll and spread inside with butter and mayonnaise. Spoon pork into rolls; top with pickles and cilantro leaves.

Quick Jalapeno Pickled Veggies

Quick Jalapeno Pickled Veggies

11/2 cups seasoned rice vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

11/2 tsp.  kosher salt

1 tsp. coriander seeds

1/4 tsp. dried crushed red pepper

2 large carrots, diagonally sliced

1/2 medium red onion, sliced

4 radishes, thinly sliced

1 jalapeno, sliced

Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved.

Combine carrots and next 3 ingredients in a large glass bowl. Pour hot vinegar mixture over vegetables. Toss well. Let stand 1 hour. Cover and chill 8 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week.

Mango, Apple, and Avocado Spring Rolls

Mango, Apple, and Avocado Spring Rolls
Makes 8 rolls

Whisk together a quick dipping sauce of low sodium soy sauce, rice wine vinegar or lime juice, sugar, grated ginger. Toss in a thinly hot chili pepper to spice it up.

8  (8-inch) round sheets rice paper

1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced

11/2 cups thinly sliced Bibb lettuce

1 avocado, sliced

1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 granny smith apple, thinly sliced

1 mango, sliced

Fresh basil and mint leaves

Add hot water to a large, shallow dish to a depth of 1 inch. Place 1 rice paper sheet in dish; let stand 10 to 20 seconds or just until soft. Place sheet on a flat surface. Arrange 4 to 5 cucumbers overlapping in the middle of rice paper. Top with a sprinkle of lettuce and a few slices of avocado, pepper, apple, and mango. Sprinkle with herbs. Fold sides of sheet over filling and roll up jelly-roll fashion. Gently press seam to seal. Place roll, seam side down, on a serving platter (cover to keep from drying). Repeat procedure with remaining vegetables and rice paper sheets.

Shrimp and Snow peas in Ginger-Pineapple Broth

Shrimp and Snow peas in Ginger-Pineapple Broth

Makes 6 servings

1 (48-oz.) container low-sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup fish sauce

3 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 (3-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

1 leek, halved lengthwise

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 star anise pods

1 cup diced fresh pineapple

1 (8-oz.) package rice sticks

1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Fresh basil and cilantro leaves

In a large saucepan, combine broth and next 6 ingredients.  Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cook, covered, 45 minutes. Remove ginger, leak, and garlic with a slotted spoon and discard. Stir in pineapple and cook 5 minutes. Add shrimp and snow peas and simmer until shrimp turn pink, about 3 minutes.

Cook noodles to package directions. Divide evenly into 6 serving bowls. Ladle broth mixture over noodles. Sprinkle generously with basil and cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.

3 Responses to “Vietnamese Southern Style”

  1. snowbird01 says:

    Oh what a sad copy of a Banh Mi sandwich. The list of ingredients you provide doesn’t even include hot pickles or the necessary pickled vegetables ro make this sandwich even vaguely representative of the real thing.
    For goodness sake…we have wonderful Asian grocery stores. A daikon radish is not that unusual or exotic and its easy to make the “daikon coleslaw” for this sandwich. And use an Asian bar b que sauce: NOT warmed ketchup for goodness sake!!!! I am loath to try the other Asian recipes you have now that I have seen this.
    And how about mentioning the places that actually serve Banh Mi sandwiches in Birmingham?

  2. jdog says:

    All excellent points, snowbird01, but the picked carrot recipe is delicious!

Leave a Reply for snowbird01