Char Siu Pulled Pork Banh Mi with Asian Slaw

char siu banh mi

 

We’ve been guilty of it many times. Guilty of staring through the windows of Chinese BBQ’s with our mouths watering at the red, glistening, long pieces of barbecue pork hanging by the dozens–watching each droplet of pork fat fall, as if in slow motion, from their charred tips.  We would subconsciously lick our lips as the scents of five spice, soy sauce, hoisin, and charred pork fat reached our noses. And it’s these primary flavors along with the sweetness of maltose that gives it that unmistakable sheen and makes char siu pork so tantalizing to the senses.

 

char siu
photo by: mfng

 

The image of Char siu (also called cha siu, char sieu, or chashao) pork hanging in the windows of small Chinese BBQ’s can be seen across America and is synonymous with Chinese style barbecue.  Char siu pork can be enjoyed in a variety of ways including in a bun (char siu bao) on dum sum carts, in noodle soups such as in egg noodles or ramen noodles, or simply over plain jasmine rice.

A few weeks ago, we catered a baby shower and to feed a large crowd of 40, we decided to use char siu as the main flavoring agent for a slow cooker pulled pork and paired it with a clean and crisp Vietnamese cabbage slaw.  We made about 9 feet of char siu pulled pork banh mi (3 full length baguettes) along with a 5 lbs of pork shoulder and not a single trace was left.  The char siu seasoning is not that complicated and in fact, quite easy to make at home using Metlting Wok or Rasa Malaysia’s recipes. Or you can buy store bought char siu sauce– Lee Kum Kee brand is a good option. We’ve adapted the recipe for a more managable 3 lbs of pork, but feel free to adjust accordingly.

 

charsiubanhmi5web

 

In large bowl, combine the cabbages, rau rau, mint, basil and toss well. Season with nuoc mam cham to taste. For best results, allow the slaw to marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving. The slaw can also be made a day ahead of time. The longer the slaw marinates, the more liquid it releases–toss well and just drain excess liquid before serving.

When the pork is done, it will easily fall apart with gentle pressure–remove the pork into a large mixing bowl and pull using tongs or forks. The pork will release a lot of fatty juices in the slow cooker which you can discard–but we like to keep a small amount to mix in the pulled pork. Now add char siu sauce, 1-2 tbs at a time and coat the pulled pork well.  Don’t over do it–we like to keep extra char siu sauce on the side those who want more.

charsiubanhmi3web
Add the pulled pork to the toasted baguettes and drizzle additional char siu sauce if desired. Generously top with slaw and garnish with fried shallots.

 

char siu banh mi
Combining the finger licking sweet char siu with the crisp and clean slaw in a toasty baguette will have guests craving for more.  Also, the slaw can be served as a side–many guests loved the fresh tart flavors of nuoc mam cham based slaw compared with the mayonnaise laden traditional coleslaw, so be prepared to have extra ready!
With 40 satisfied guests with minimal effort, this char siu slow cooker pulled pork banh mi recipe is a keeper!

Print

charsiubanhmi2web

Char Siu Pulled Pork Banh Mi with Vietnamese Slaw

Ingredients:

Pulled Pork
3 lb pork shoulder
kosher salt
fresh cracked pepper
1 large yellow onion, peeled and cut in 1/4 inch rings
1 1/2 cup char siu sauce (we made our own using recipes above)

Vietnamese Slaw
1/2 head green cabbage, thinly shredded
1/2 head red cabbage, thinly shredded
1/2 cup of rau rau (coriander leaves) coarsely chopped
1/2 cup of mint, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup of thai basil, coarsly chopped
fried shallots
4 tbs nuoc mam cham
optional diced hot chili pepper
French baguettes, toasted

Directions:

Line your slow cooker with the onions. Lightly rub the pork shoulder with small amount kosher salt and pepper and place on top of onions. Brush on a generous layer of char siu sauce, coating evenly. Turn the slow cooker on low and leave on overnight or high, roughly 4-5 hrs.

In large bowl, combine the cabbages, rau rau, mint, basil and toss well. Season with nuoc mam cham to taste. For best results, allow the slaw to marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving. The slaw can also be made a day ahead of time. The longer the slaw marinates, the more liquid it releases--toss well and just drain excess liquid before serving.

When the pork is done, it will easily fall apart with gentle pressure--remove the pork into a large mixing bowl and pull using tongs or forks. The pork will release a lot of fatty juices in the slow cooker which you can discard--but we like to keep a small amount to mix in the pulled pork. Now add char siu sauce, 1-2 tbs at a time and coat the pulled pork well. Don't over do it--we like to keep extra char siu sauce on the side those who want more.

  Pin It

40 Responses to “Char Siu Pulled Pork Banh Mi with Asian Slaw”

  1. 1

    Gastronomer — November 9, 2010 @ 5:47 am

    Simply brilliant! I can almost taste the pork through my computer screen. *Almost*

  2. 2

    riceandwheat — November 9, 2010 @ 6:20 am

    I've totally been caught staring too long in front of the BBQ pork window too. I can't wait to try making this for a party because it looks like the perfect party food. Great meeting you guys this weekend!

  3. 3

    Cathy @ ShowFoodChef — November 9, 2010 @ 6:41 am

    Wow, that looks so good. Wonderful post, you guys! And loved meeting you this past weekend, too.

  4. 4

    Brooke@foodwoolf — November 9, 2010 @ 6:55 am

    Wow. Am I hungry now! I MUST make this banh mi asap. Great photos! Oh, and I'm glad you enjoyed the writing seminar!

  5. 5

    Donna - Dishy Goodness — November 9, 2010 @ 7:20 am

    I am actually salivating from this gorgeous post! I wonder if one were pressed for time — if the results would be comparable using a pressure cooker instead of the slow cooker?

    I must try this recipe — great combination of crunchy and tender textures. Thanks!

  6. 6

    5 Star Foodie — November 9, 2010 @ 3:20 pm

    This banh mi looks absolutely mouthwatering! And I really want to pick up every bit of that char siu sauce off the screen :)

  7. 7

    Miss.Adventure — November 9, 2010 @ 3:25 pm

    This looks so good!! I may have to borrow my roommate's slow cooker!!

  8. 8

    The Duo Dishes — November 9, 2010 @ 4:57 pm

    We had our first banh mi under your wise hands, and we could definitely taste test this one. If 40 smiling faces weren't enough…

  9. 9

    Ravenous Couple — November 9, 2010 @ 5:08 pm

    @riceandwheat: great meeting with you too! nothing like windowtasting :)

    @cathy: great to meet you too! hope to see you around in LA

    @foodwoolf: don't think we used a taboo word…woohoo!

    @donna: not sure about the pressure cooker..but w/ a slow cooker, just prep it overnight and voila!

  10. 10

    Austin S. — November 9, 2010 @ 7:18 pm

    that looks just wonderful guys! I'm so happy for and proud of you… keep up the great work!!!

  11. 11

    Jean — November 10, 2010 @ 12:33 am

    This post almost had my buying some char siu this afternoon (but already had other plans for dinner). I LOVE banh mi!

    It was so nice to meet you both this weekend–I'm a big fan of your blog. Can't wait to participate in your next Delicious Vietnam event. Looking for recipes now. :-)

  12. 12

    Debi (Table Talk) — November 10, 2010 @ 1:21 am

    I just finished dinner….not hungry at all…not one bit.
    But I have to say, looking at this photo has me wishing for some!
    Great idea for your baby shower–I can see why there weren't any leftovers.

  13. 13

    Fresh Local and Best — November 10, 2010 @ 4:44 am

    This looks so good! I'm also one of those people guilty of staring at the BBQ in the window. What an impressive baby shower that must have been to have presented those three long banh mi sandwiches. Great idea!

  14. 14

    Liren — November 10, 2010 @ 5:33 am

    Those tantalizing drips of char siu sauce are unbearable! It's time for me to invest in a slow cooker.

    {great meeting you both this weekend, by the way! I have a lovely photo of the two of you that I'll be sending your way soon.}

  15. 15

    Melissa Wilks — November 10, 2010 @ 3:03 pm

    What else did you serve to the 40 guests? I'd love to hear the whole menu. Thanks for the wonderful recipes!

  16. 16

    Ravenous Couple — November 10, 2010 @ 5:03 pm

    @christine: you should def. get all your blogger friends to throw you the baby shower..it would be an amazing spread!

    @liren: it was so great to meet you! thanks again for the photos.

    @Milissa: we also served the Chicken Curry (though not in pot pie form), the nem nuong cuon, and some carbs, fried rice.

  17. 17

    Ninette — November 11, 2010 @ 3:42 am

    I've been overwhelmed at work and haven't been posting or reading as much. I like how you've expanded your blog and I'm so glad for your success. You deserve it! Love this post. I've been experimenting with my slow cooker the last few weeks after turning up my nose at it for almost 20 year since I got it for a wedding gift. How funny you use a slow cooker here!

  18. 18

    pigpigscorner — November 12, 2010 @ 2:43 pm

    Wow, that's one gorgeous baguette! *drools*

  19. 19

    denise, the prime magpie — November 12, 2010 @ 5:08 pm

    Oh my word. This sandwich has left me speechless… and HUNGRY. You've inspired me; was trying to come up with a different way to prepare pork shoulder and this looks outstanding. Mr. Wasabi loves char siu pork, so this will surely be a hit. Thank you for being the spark of inspiration!!

  20. 20

    kitchenreport — November 12, 2010 @ 5:37 pm

    Delicious photos! I need to figure out where to get these spices in my neighborhood….

  21. 21

    The Cooking Photographer — November 12, 2010 @ 8:52 pm

    I'm drooling over your beautiful photographs.

  22. 22

    Ravenous Couple — November 12, 2010 @ 9:25 pm

    @ninnette: Thank you so much! we hope you get back to blogging all your delicious recipes more often!

    @denise: glad we can inspire! we're sure you'll add your creative touches to this dish if you make it.

    @cooking photographer: thank you!

  23. 23

    Eunice Yooni Kim — November 13, 2010 @ 4:59 pm

    this is great.
    although, is 5 hours on low really long enough for the pork? just wondering.

  24. 24

    izzy — November 14, 2010 @ 2:22 pm

    I've slow cooked char siew as well and have used it in sandwiches and in empanadas (its better in the empanadas if using just the meat.) Here's a tip – to get some of that "charred" taste and crunchiness, arrange the pulled pork in a iron skillet and broil until the sugars caramelize.

  25. 25

    mycookinghut — November 17, 2010 @ 9:09 pm

    I am a big dan of Banh Mi.. this one looks gorgeous and delicious!

  26. 26

    Rich — November 19, 2010 @ 5:13 pm

    Oh, it's almost lunchtime and that photo is KILLING me! That looks so good I can almost taste it. And that's the problem, is I can't actually taste it …

  27. 27

    Ravenous Couple — November 23, 2010 @ 3:32 pm

    @izzy: thank you for that great tip!! we'll definitely try it next time.

  28. 28

    Chef Mireille — December 6, 2010 @ 3:43 am

    as someone who is obsessed with Bahn Mi sandwiches and a char sui aficionado – this is a great combo I can't wait to try!

    Char Sui Pork is the most common chinese dish eaten in Trinidad!!! At least if you are not Muslim!

  29. 29

    LawMommy — December 7, 2010 @ 12:38 am

    My husband and I adopted our daughter four years ago from Da Nang, when she was four years old. She misses the food and I try to cook things that make her happy.

    I just wanted to tell you I've made this recipe three times since you posted it, and to tell you how much we all really enjoy it!

  30. 30

    Pretty. Good. Food. — December 23, 2010 @ 12:28 am

    Wow, this looks and sounds fantastic! :)

  31. 31

    Kung Food Panda — December 30, 2010 @ 6:52 am

    I might have to get a slow cooker just for the pork recipe. It actually looks doable for KFP!

  32. 32

    Eva — April 28, 2011 @ 8:00 am

    I LOVE your site! I’m fortunate to live near Boston’s large Vietnamese community, so I eat the cuisine very often.

    I especially LOVE banh mi. I wrote about one particularly good shop in Dorchester:

    Keep up the great work with the site!

  33. 33

    Pulled Pork Asian Flavor with Vietnamese Slaw « Queen of the Chennaults — June 21, 2011 @ 12:16 am

    [...] I made it! Ever since I saw the pulled pork picture from here, it has been on my list for quite some time. I had some Chinese BBQ sauce in the fridge so I [...]

  34. 34

    Chantal — December 2, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

    Wow, can’t wait to make this dish…finally broke down and got a slow cooker just so I can me this :)…I love vietnamese ffod and I love pulled pork…sounds like the perfect combo…

  35. 35

    Sewing | it's only a 30-something wasteland — May 11, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

    [...] pork with Asian flavours.  I used the sauce from this website but used the cooking method from this one, since I was pretty sure that less than a cup of sauce in my slow cooker was a short path to [...]

  36. 36

    LA — February 26, 2013 @ 6:22 am

    I come back to this recipe again and again. I can’t even count the number of times I have made the slaw on its own. Thank you. This is simply delicious.

  37. 37

    Char Siu Pulled Pork Banh Mi with Asian Slaw — September 9, 2013 @ 11:43 am

    [...] Recipe [...]

  38. 38

    Lynda — March 5, 2014 @ 5:26 pm

    Dont know if I already told you buuuuuttttt…this may be the “Vietnamese engagement chicken” we are all waiting for <3 I made this twice – once for a ski trip (portable, easy to assemble, so much flavor) and another time for a picnic weekend in the cabin on the lake. The Man was very pleased <3
    Moreover – with blogs talking about making 300 sandwiches – I wonder if that lady made something like THIS to get to 300. Thank you for the inspiration and encouragement. Next year, when I have someone to cook for – I am going to try all of your recipes and commit to keeping these recipes alive for the next generation. Super stoked!!!

  39. 39

    alexandra — April 22, 2014 @ 1:22 pm

    the pictures are visually stunning you can practically taste the goodness jumping off the page!

Leave a Comment




Current ye@r *