Banh Mi Thit Nuong – Vietnamese Sandwich with Grilled Pork

banh mi thit noung
Coming back full circle in our original post on how to make your own banh mi sandwiches, we present our favorite type of banh mi, banh mi thit nuong (Vietnamese Sandwich with Grilled Pork with Lemongrass). Using the homemade pork liver pate, homemade mayonnaise, pickled carrots/daikon and the usual condiments of cucumbers, cilantro, and chili–this makes for the perfect sandwich. This is the same thit nuong recipe as the classic bun thit nuong, but without the sesame seeds. Make a batch of thit nuong and use some for bun thit nuong and some for banh mi!
Banh Mi Thit Nuong-Vietnamese Sandwich with Grilled Pork with Lemongrass
Printable Recipe
  • 1.5 lb pork butt or shoulder, thinly sliced just under 1/4 inch or so (not too thin as you do not want it to dry out when grilled. Ask your butcher to do this for you. Also, do not use lean pork as it will become dry.)
  • 1/4 cup minced Lemongrass (xa bam). Many Asian markets will sell minced lemongrass in the freezer section.
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 tbs ground pepper
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced.
  • 2-3 shallots, minced.
  • 3 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tbs thick soy sauce (not regular soy sauce–has molasses, making it thicker and adding great color. If not available, can use caramel sauce. Both can be found at Asian groceries)
Cut any large pieces of thinly sliced pork into roughly 2-3 inch strips. Again, not too small as you donot want it to dry out and also so that it doesn’t fall through the grilling basket. For best results grill outdoors using a flexible grilling basket. Of course you can always use an indoor grill and that works almost just as well. If neither is an option, you can certainly pan grill them as well.

For the marinade, combine in large mixing bowl the lemongrass, shallots, garlic, sugar, fish sauce, pepper, dark soy sauce, sesame oil. Add pork and mix well and marinade for at least 1-2 hrs or over night.

Prepare the cucumbers, cilantro, chili, and other condiments. Toasting the baguette is optional. Add the pate and mayonaise in the baguette.

Grill thit nuong until golden brown and slightly charred on each side. Add to baguette along the condiments.
banh mi thit nuong
Banh mi thit nuong is great balance of savory, sweet, sour, hot and cool–definitly our favorite banh mi.
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34 Responses to “Banh Mi Thit Nuong – Vietnamese Sandwich with Grilled Pork”

  1. 1

    mathildescuisine — August 27, 2009 @ 10:08 am

    The perfect sandwich where you're craving for grilled pork, great idea, I really like it

  2. 2

    Ravenous Couple — August 27, 2009 @ 4:47 pm

    mathildescuisine: Banh mi thit nuong to us, is definitely the perfect sandwich! It's great for when you're in a hurry and always satisfies.

  3. 3

    Bromography — August 27, 2009 @ 9:17 pm

    Banh mi are some of my favorite sandwiches. I never thought of making one, because it has always been a delicious mystry. Thank you for sharing a great recipe. I will try it out right away!

  4. 4

    The Duo Dishes — August 27, 2009 @ 11:44 pm

    This sounds pretty, pretty awesome. It'd be worth it for us to try to replicate.

  5. 5

    wmw — August 28, 2009 @ 4:26 am

    You're right! Looks absolutely scrumptious! Thanks for dropping by my blog ;o)

  6. 6

    Ravenous Couple — August 28, 2009 @ 5:19 am

    bromography: banh mi is really not that much harder then say–making your own burgers. Definitely let us know how it goes if you make it!

    duo dishes: try it and you might not have to go to all the local banh mi shops around LA and OC :)

    wmw: Thanks! We'll have to try the beef version sometime.

  7. 7

    cookingpractice — August 28, 2009 @ 4:58 pm

    you guys make me miss Saigon a lot! :((

  8. 8

    Jess — August 29, 2009 @ 4:06 am

    Oh my god, I've been dying to eat Banh Mi or Bun. It's one of the things I'm craving from down in SoCal — they definitely don't have this in the islands.

  9. 9

    Ravenous Couple — August 29, 2009 @ 5:10 am

    cookingpractice: we love the bread in saigon…it's so hard to find good banh mi bread.

    jess: Seattle has some decent Vietnamese places…but no reason why you can't make banh mi on the islands :)

  10. 10

    kitchenocd — August 29, 2009 @ 7:54 pm

    I need a grill… like you wouldn't believe!!!

  11. 11

    Ravenous Couple — August 30, 2009 @ 2:47 pm

    kitchenocd: you don't absolutely need an outdoor grill for thit nuong. An indoor grill will do fine and we do grill it indoors on occasion.

  12. 12

    MrsLavendula — August 30, 2009 @ 3:30 pm

    ok that looks really good! it must be Vietnamese food for our next dinner out!

  13. 13

    Kevin — August 31, 2009 @ 11:07 am

    That pork sandwich looks good! I like all of the fresh ingredients in it.

  14. 14

    Ravenous Couple — August 31, 2009 @ 3:30 pm

    MrsLavendula: So glad that our Vietnamese food blog inspired to eat some–and maybe make some as well. That's our goal! :)

    Kevin: There's definitely good banh mi places in Toronto. That's why we like it so much-banh mi thit nuong is so well balanced.

  15. 15

    Aaron — September 1, 2009 @ 8:03 pm

    Great thit nuong recipe. Reading it, I think I discovered was my mistake it slicing the pork too thick before I grill. Using the grill basket will also keep the meat cooking evenly.

  16. 16

    Ravenous Couple — September 1, 2009 @ 11:24 pm

    Aaron: The thickness of pork in thit nuong as well as the cut is important. Shouldn't be too thick or too thin. You want some fat in it, so don't choose lean cuts. The grill basket is great for outdoor grilling, but you can also make this on table top grills.

  17. 17

    Nii — September 3, 2009 @ 11:42 am

    I had my first banh mi in Chinatown, NYC – which was okay, but they have started popping up over here in London and they're pretty good!

  18. 18

    Ravenous Couple — September 4, 2009 @ 6:45 pm

    Nii: banh mi in NYC frankly isn't very authentic, with a few exceptions. We're so glad you can enjoy banh mi in London. But try making it :)

  19. 19

    Anonymous — October 8, 2009 @ 1:53 pm

    Can you use beef in lieu of pork? Like skirt beef?

  20. 20

    Ravenous Couple — October 8, 2009 @ 6:14 pm

    anonymous: you can certainly used beef–in fact, a nice medium rare skirt steak banh mi sounds absolutely delicious!

  21. 21

    Lan-Phuong — May 26, 2010 @ 1:28 am

    Hello,

    I absolutely love your blog and have tried some recipes here with great success. I have to say though, that when I tried the homemade mayo for the banh mi thit nuong, I was not able to get it to a creamy consistency both times I tried. I don't know what happened, I have made homemade mayo before, but today, it just wouldn't get creamy. The first time, the egg yolk was room temp, so I was thinking maybe it was too warm. The second time, the egg yolk was straight from the fridge. I had the same results both time: runny mayo.

    I used a blender and fresh lemon juice.

    Any ideas what might have gone wrong?

  22. 22

    Ravenous Couple — May 26, 2010 @ 5:50 pm

    Hi Lan Phuong: are you adding a little bit of salt as you go along? we just whipped ours by hand. So glad you enjoyed our recipes..do join our facebook page and post them!

  23. 23

    Yvonne — July 2, 2010 @ 2:47 am

    I just wanted to let you know that I tried the grilled pork recipe, and loved it. I didn't make the sandwich though, I served it with noodles. It taste just like at a restaurant (a compliment) thank you so much! awesome blog

  24. 24

    Anonymous — April 4, 2011 @ 6:03 am

    Your banh mi photo is used on this website without giving credits. Just wanna let you know.
    http://ryanandrochelles.blogspot.com/2010/08/around-world-in-3-years-10-months.html

  25. 25

    Shu han — July 24, 2011 @ 1:49 am

    that looks so good! and with homemade mayonnaise too! thank you for sharing this!

  26. 26

    Katie @ saltpig canteen — December 9, 2011 @ 11:51 am

    I have an obsession with bahn mi lately, I ate 6 last weekend and already getting withdrawal symptoms. I do want to find a good Vietnamese baguette recipe though as I feel a French baguette just isn’t the same, does anyone have a good recipe?

    • The Ravenous Couple replied: — December 9th, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

      the french taught the Vietnamese how to make the baguette–there are theory’s on it containing rice flour, but we think that may be a myth…we don’t know of any “vietnamese baguette recipes”

  27. 27

    Elsie Hui — March 13, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

    oh wow! I love Vietnamese Subs! :) I’ll make this for lunch soon! SOO GOOD!

  28. 28

    I — March 27, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

    Sounds and looks delicious. Any idea what the other sauce in the store bought sandwiches is? I think it might be soy sauce but not sure. One more idea or suggestion… Can you post a tutorial on how to make soy sauce chicken? Had it a restaurant once and now I do not remember which one and how to make it on my own. Help?

  29. 29

    Lily — June 12, 2012 @ 8:38 am

    I love this recipe! I made it this past weekend for my mom’s birthday and it was a hit! I will definitely make it again! Thank you so much!

  30. 30

    Teena — October 29, 2012 @ 5:46 am

    I love making lemongrass pork as well as other Vietnamese dishes! I want to know if I make a bigger batch of the marinade and bottle it to give away or for later use, do you know how long it stays fresh? I know that for Nuoc Cham and Do Chua, I can make in advance and keep for weeks bottled in the fridge, how about the lemongrass marinade? Thanks for your help :)

    • The Ravenous Couple replied: — October 29th, 2012 @ 8:34 am

      as long as there are no perishable items in the marinade, it should last for a while. good luck and great idea!

  31. 31

    Kim V. — January 9, 2013 @ 9:58 am

    Fantastic recipe! Cooking on an outdoor grill this time of year in Alberta can be difficult, I prepared in a crock pot. The flavors in the sandwich were so harmonious, looking forward to trying it on the grill in more favorable weather.

  32. 32

    hobmi — February 18, 2014 @ 10:43 pm

    Hi
    I can’t grill but I have an oven… do you have a roast pork shoulder recipe please, or is authentic banh mi pork always grilled?

    thanks!

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