Instant Pot Pork Banh Mi Sandwiches

updated Mar 4, 2020
Recipe Review
Pork Banh Mi Sandwiches

Here, the Instant Pot makes quick work of cooking pork tenderloin for an easy banh mi sandwich at home.

Serves4 to 6

Makes2 to 3 sandwiches

Prep15 minutes

Cook36 minutes

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Credit: Photo: Christine Han; Food Styling: Pearl Jones

Few things compare to biting into a banh mi sandwich, with its combination of rich pork, crunchy pickled vegetables, and toasted mayo-slathered bun. I still remember digging into my first one ten years ago, and the sweet-and-tangy Vietnamese sandwich remains one of my favorite sandwiches to this day.

It wasn’t until this year, however, that I attempted to make one at home. To speed up the process of cooking the pork, I turned to my Instant Pot, and it practically did all the work for me. Here’s what you need to know before you start.

The 4 Components of a Banh Mi Sandwich

1. The bread: Banh mi translates to “bread” in Vietnamese, and for the best banh mi, you’ll want to head to your local Vietnamese bakery and look for a Vietnamese baguette, which is crunchy like a French baguette but chewy like French bread. If you can’t find it, a French baguette makes a fine substitute.

2. The meat: Banh mi can be made with a variety of proteins, but pork tends to be the most popular (slow-roasted pork topped with pork pate is a classic combination). Our simplified recipe uses the Instant Pot to make delicious and juicy pork tenderloin, which acts as the base of this sandwich. Cooking the pork with fish sauce is classic, and adds savory umami flavor.

3. The veggies: A fresh layer of pickled vegetables and herbs, often consisting of carrots, daikon radish, cilantro, or mint, adds tang, crunch, and freshness to the roasted pork. Here, we quick pickle the veggies for the sake of time, and we also call for regular radishes. If you can find daikon at your local store, however, give them a try. You won’t be disappointed.

4. The sauce: Mayonnaise is the classic finishing touch to a banh mi. The creaminess of the mayo paired with the acidity of the vegetables brings the perfect balance of flavor to every bite.

Pork Banh Mi Sandwiches

Here, the Instant Pot makes quick work of cooking pork tenderloin for an easy banh mi sandwich at home.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 36 minutes

Makes 2 to 3 sandwiches

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the sandwiches:

  • 1/4 cup

    rice vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons

    granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 2

    Persian cucumbers

  • 5

    radishes

  • 1 cup

    shredded carrots

  • 2 to 3

    soft baguettes

  • 1/2 cup

    mayonnaise

  • 10

    fresh cilantro sprigs

For the pork:

  • 1

    medium lime

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 2

    (1 1/2-pound) pork tenderloins

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons

    granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon

    fish sauce

  • 2 tablespoons

    Sriracha hot sauce

  • 2 cups

    chicken broth

Instructions

  1. Juice 1 medium lime into a medium bowl. Add 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Thinly slice 2 Persian cucumbers and 5 radishes on a mandolin or with a sharp chef’s knife. Add to the bowl, along with 1 cup shredded carrots, and toss to combine. Set aside to marinate.

  2. Make the pork: Juice 1 medium lime. Crush 2 garlic cloves. Cut 2 pork tenderloins in half crosswise and season them with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil with the Sauté function in an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker until shimmering. Working in two batches, add the pork and sear on all sides until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes per batch. Return the pork to the pot.

  4. Add the lime juice, garlic, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 2 tablespoons Sriracha, and 2 cups chicken broth, and stir to combine. Lock the lid on and make sure the valve is set to seal. Set to cook under HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. When the cook time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 5 minutes. Quick release any remaining pressure.

  5. Transfer the pork to a clean cutting board and let rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile, simmer the cooking liquid with the Sauté function. Trim the ends from 2 to 3 baguettes, then cut crosswise into 4 or 6 (6-inch) pieces. Split each piece lengthwise to form sandwich rolls.

  6. Spread the top half of each roll with 2 tablespoons mayonnaise. Thinly slice the pork crosswise, and place on the bottom half of each roll. Drizzle with some of the reduced cooking liquid. Top each roll with 1/2 cup pickled vegetables and 2 sprigs cilantro. Close the sandwiches, cut each one in half, and serve.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The sliced pork and pickles can be refrigerated separately up to 4 days.