I go through phases with cooking and ingredients, just like most people go through phases with fashion. My current kitchen obsessions right now are honey and anything pickled. Honey is my go-to sweetener in almost all instances – sweet, savory and cocktails. Not only does it always seem to add just the right amount of sweetness without being cloying, but it adds great flavor to dishes as well.
And pickled things? It’s pretty much like that Portlandia sketch up in here. Have jars, have vinegar, will pickle. I’m especially enjoying Asian-type pickles – using things like daikon radish, and pickling them with rice wine vinegar.
This Honey Grilled Pork Banh Mi with Spiralized Pickled Vegetables actually sort of made my eyes roll back into my head as I ate it, because it was just SUCH a satisfying combination of my current kitchen obsessions.
There’s honey in three – count ’em – three places in this recipe. First, spiralized carrots, cucumbers and daikon are pickled with rice wine vinegar, salt and honey. Pork tenderloin is sliced and simply sprinkled with salt and pepper, then grilled. When the pork comes off the grill, it’s brushed with a spicy-sweet glaze that is just a combination of honey and sriracha.
Crusty baguettes (remove some of the “innards” so your sandwich isn’t overwhelmed with bread) are lightly toasted on the grill, then spread with a mayonnaise spiked with lime juice, Asian sweet chili sauce, and [even more] honey.
The pork and pickled vegetables are piled on the bread, then finished with a few leaves of cilantro and mint. Everything comes together in this spicy, sweet, creamy, pickle-y, meaty sandwich.
For the Spiralized Pickled Vegetables:
- 2 cups rice wine vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 large carrots, spiralized
- 2 medium cucumbers, spiralized
- 1 medium daikon radish, spiralized
For the Sweet Chili Mayonnaise:
- 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
For the Pork:
- 2 tablespoons sriracha
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 pork tenderloins, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch thick pieces
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
For the Assembly:
- 1-1/2 baguettes
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
- Make the Spiralized Pickled Vegetables: In medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, water, honey and salt. Place carrots, cucumbers and daikon each in their own quart-sized mason jar or other sealed container. Divide vinegar mixture between jars. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 3 days. Before using, remove vegetables from pickling liquid and gently pat dry with paper towel.
- Make the Sweet Chili Mayonnaise: In small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, chili sauce, honey and lime juice. If desired, cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.
- Make the Pork: Preheat grill for direct grilling over medium heat. In small bowl, stir together sriracha and honey. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper; transfer to grill. Cook 8 to 10 minutes or until internal temperature of pork reaches 145 degrees F, turning occasionally. Remove pork from grill; leave grill on. Brush pork with sriracha mixture.
- Cut whole baguette crosswise into 4 pieces; cut half baguette crosswise into 2 pieces. Slice baguette pieces lengthwise; use fingers to remove some of the bready interior of each piece. Transfer baguette pieces to grill and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly toasted, turning frequently.
- Spread half of baguette pieces with Sweet Chili Mayonnaise. Divide pork, pickled vegetables, cilantro and mint over mayonnaise-spread baguette pieces. Top with remaining baguette pieces.
Home Chef Tip: This recipe has a lot of elements, but almost all of them can be made in advance. That's how restaurant chefs prep, and how you should, too. The pickled vegetables, the sweet chili mayonnaise, and the honey-sriracha combination that is brushed on the pork can all be made up to 3 days in advance. If you do this prep over a weekend, this dish should come together as a pretty easy weeknight meal - simply grlll the pork, toast the bread, assemble and serve!
Don't have a spiralizer? Just thinly slice the carrots, cucumber and daikon and proceed.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 519Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 2968mgCarbohydrates: 81gFiber: 4gSugar: 38gProtein: 18g