brisket banh mi

let me start with a disclaimer; i know very well this is not a traditional vietnamese sandwich. first of all, it’s made with brisket instead of meatballs or pork belly or head chesse. also, there is no frenchy-type dressing.

HOWEVER. i fairly frequently claim ‘this is the best sandwich i have ever eaten’ because (1) i really like sandwiches and (2) my husband thinks it’s funny when i over exaggerate. tonight, when i claimed ‘this is the best sandwich i have ever eaten,’ it was totally true. so even if i’ve made it too american, i don’t care because it’s good.

for the brisket

1.5-2 lb brisket

4-5 tablespoons fermented soybean paste

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon hot chili oil (i used more, but i’m a heat freak)

4-5 dashes soy sauce

1 large yellow onion, sliced

1/2 cup water

heat the oils in a skillet over medium-high heat. rub the brisket with soybean paste. sear brisket in oil for 2-3 minutes on each side. arrange onion sliced in a layer on the bottom of your slow cooker and place brisket in over them. place skillet back on heat, turn down to low, and pour in water with soy sauce. scrape up browned bits of soybean paste and brisket and pour mixture into slow cooker. cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

for the veggies

juliened daikon

juliened carrots

1 cup rice wine vinegar

juice of 1 lime

10 generous turns of freshly cracked black pepper

place all ingredients in a tupperware container, shake, and refrigerate for a couple of hours. drain before serving.


i served this with chopped cilantro and a generous spread of chili garlic sauce. adding fresh jalepenos to the pickled veggies would have been lovely, but my husband won’t eat them and i knew i would be just as happy with the heat from the chili garlic sauce. i also cheated and got a central market baugette; next time, i will make rebekkah’s version instead.

the caramelized onions were really, really tasty and the juice from the brisket made a nice dip; these sort of ended up being asian beef dips, and i’m not sorry. they went nicely with a cold glass of kirin ichiban.


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