One of my favorite go-to meals lately has been “lazy banh mi.” Mind you, this is nowhere close to an authentic version of the classic Vietnamese sandwich. Let’s put it this way: it’s just a lazy person’s approximation of a delicious sandwich somewhat inspired by a banh mi.
To make this dinner, I’ll put some cucumbers and carrots in a rice wine vinegar pickling solution. Then, I’ll walk to the Jimmy Johns on the other side of my block to buy a day-old baguette for 50 cents (since I live nowhere near a Vietnamese bakery, their bread is my favorite for banh mi). When I get home, I’ll roast a small pork tenderloin. Then, all that’s left to do is slice the pork, load it into the baguette with the pickles, add some cilantro, jalapeños and sriracha mayo, and boom – dinner is served. It’s so so so good, but I think I’ve served it enough that my husband is getting a bit sick of it.
So, what’s a girl to do? Well, I took all of my favorite flavors and served them up as nachos. A little something different for Jeff, while still using the ingredients I love.
You’ll start with a base of fried wonton chips (these take a bit of time and love to make – see the note below the recipe). Then, you’ll pile on some cooked ground pork that’s been jazzed up with garlic, ginger, sriracha and fish sauce. You’ll probably want to add a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese to these nachos. Mind you, banh mi sandwiches are never served with cheese. But for nachos, well, you need something to bind everything together. Skip the cheese if you want, but the nachos will be even messier than usual to eat without the cheese acting as a binder.
After a quick trip to the oven to melt the cheese, you’ll pile your nachos high with pickled cucumbers, carrots, jalapeños (or homemade pickled jalapenos), cilantro, green onions and a drizzle of sweet chili mayo. For me, nachos aren’t complete without a flurry of something fresh, crunchy and green.
Get out of here, boring iceburg lettuce – these banh mi nachos call for organicgirl sweet pea greens. This product is a mixture of tender baby greens and sweet pea shoots. It’s super fresh and vibrant, with a subtle sweetness that makes it perfect as a salad, in a sandwich, or of course, on NACHOS!
For the Pickled Cucumbers:
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
For the Sweet Chili Mayonnaise:
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
For the Pork:
- 1 pound ground pork
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
For the Wonton Chips:
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 6 ounces (4-1/2-inch square) wonton wrappers, cut in half diagonally
For the Assembly:
- 6 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 cups organicgirl sweet pea greens
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Make the Pickled Cucumbers: Place vinegar, water, sugar and salt in large jar and shake to combine. Add cucumbers to jar, cover, and turn to combine. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes or refrigerate up to 3 days. Before using, remove cucumbers from pickling liquid and gently pat dry with paper towel.
- Meanwhile, make the Sweet Chili Mayonnaise: In small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, chili sauce and sriracha.
- Make the Pork: In large skillet, cook pork over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked through, breaking up pork with back of spoon and stirring as it cooks. Add garlic, fish sauce, ginger and sriracha; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
- Make the Wonton Chips: Place a medium high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 inch of oil to pan; heat until shimmering. Adding one or two wonton wrapper halves at a time, fry 2 to 3 seconds per side or until deep golden brown, reducing temperature to medium if wrappers are getting too dark. Transfer wrappers to paper towel-lined plate; repeat with remaining wrappers.
- Assemble the Nachos: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On large rimmed baking pan, layer Wonton Chips, cheese and Pork mixture. Transfer to oven and bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and pork is warmed through. Top with jalapeño, sweet pea greens, cilantro, carrots, onions and Pickled Cucumbers. Drizzle with Sweet Chili Mayonnaise and serve with lime wedges.
Home Chef Tip: The wonton wrappers cook so quickly that it's hard to fry more than one or two wrappers at once (otherwise, they'll burn before you have time to turn them all and get them out of the pan). This process is a bit time consuming, but not difficult. However, if you'd like a quick shortcut, substitute unsalted plain tortilla chips for the wonton chips.
Disclosure: This was a sponsored post written by me on behalf of organicgirl. Sponsored posts help me pay for the costs associated with this blog (groceries…lots of groceries), and help support me as I pursue a career in recipe development and food photography. All opinions are 100% my own.