VIETNAMESE STYLE BANH MI BURGER
Banh mi, or even a banh mi burger, is something I know very little about. I’ve thought about it. No one wants a food blogger who is completely ignorant of the intricacies of this wildly popular sandwich. It’s a disgraceful thing to do. It wasn’t long before I started asking my friend about the inherent banh mi-ness of this classic sandwich. It wouldn’t be a wonderful sandwich without the essential pickled vegetables, which often seem more significant than the meat itself. And, of course, there is The Bread.
The concept of a banh mi burger made me nervous, so I was reluctant to give it a go. What about this roll? When we decided to burgerize our banh mi sandwiches, the delightfully fluffy, lightly toasted Cobblestone Bread Co.TM burger bun we were using worked brilliantly.
The alliteration of “banh mi burger” is what’s keeping me going right now. I’ll get to the point in a second…
See? The banh mi burger has a beautifully fresh and green flavor profile that is missing from bacon- and cheese-laden burgers that are also smothered in mayo and ketchup. (Hey…focus…Focus! Let’s get back to the vegetables, shall we?) Anyone who is already hot and sticky in the summertime wants to rub their faces in a greasy sandwich? Yes and no, depending on your mood and the swimsuit of your choice. Sometimes you want something that won’t give you quick food triplets.
Summer grilling and fresh, crisp, and easy meet in this banh mi hybrid perfection. Pickled vegetables, jalapenos, and fresh herbs such as mint, cilantro, and Thai basil were served on top of the flawlessly cooked medium-rare burger.
Thus, I arrive at the following point. Our family has always relied on a good gas grill’s BTUs to do the hard lifting, and we’ve had good luck with it. For the first time in years, we have to admit that the Big Green Egg® is an excellent charcoal-burning appliance. Our gas grill occasionally turns the meat a brackish black color, but the natural wood lump charcoal imparts a deft, subdued smokey flavor and turns the meat a delectable shade of golden red.
Come on, let’s make some food!
- 1 ½ pounds of ground beef
- 4 slices of cheddar cheese
- 4 Kaiser Rolls
- 2 julienned or spiralized carrots
- 1 thinly sliced small bunch radishes
- 1 thinly sliced jalapeño
- 2 tablespoons of Sriracha or sambal
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup of rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup of mayonnaise
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tablespoon of canola oil
- Mint, Thai basil, and cilantro
- salt and pepper
- Toss the carrots, radishes, and jalapenos with the vinegar and sugar in a large basin. Dispose of. Add the mayonnaise, garlic, Sriracha, and lime juice to a medium bowl and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste, and put that away as well.
- Make 4 equal servings of beef, each about 6 ounces in size. Using your hand, make a small depression in the middle of each section. Brush the burgers with a light coating of oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Grill at a high temperature. Each side should take around 3 minutes to get slightly browned and crispy. After 3 minutes, flip the burgers and cook the other side. For medium-rare, add the cheese on top and cook for another one minute. Depending on how well you want the meat cooked, you can alter the cooking times.
- Meanwhile, lightly toast the rolls cut-side down for a couple of minutes on the grill.
- Your burgers should be done cooking by now. Tent with foil while they cool for a few minutes after being removed from the grill or pan. Top the patties with a dollop of spicy mayo and a bun. Then add your pickled vegetables and herbs on top. Serve!