Grilled Pork Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwich)

a flavorful grilled pork banh mi in a serving basket with quick pickled vegetables, sriracha mayo, and cilantro
I’d like to thank the Iowa Pork Producers Association for sponsoring this blog post, and as always all my opinions and writings are 100% my own.

Pork tenderloin marinated & grilled to perfection is the star of this authentic Vietnamese Pork Banh Mi Sandwich. The grilled pork is topped with crunchy quick pickled veggies, cilantro, and spicy or sweet mayo served on crunchy French bread.

What is a Pork Banh Mi?

A Banh Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich, and it is delicious. This popular food comes from a fusion during the era of French Colonialism in Vietnam. Marinated meats with crispy vegetables are served on a French baguette. The most common of the meats to be used in these scrumptious sandwiches are, you guessed it, pork.

Pork is marinated and grilled, vegetables are quick pickled, and flavorful mayos are made all served on a warm French baguette, its basically what dreams are made out of. 

Why Pork?

Pork is packed with protein! Pork is a complete protein and filled with essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that people need. I use a pork tenderloin in this recipe which is the the leanest out of all of the pork sections not to mention when grilled properly is is so good! Check out this awesome infographic with just the amazing amount of protein power pork contains!

infographic for how pork is high in protein

That is why I was so excited to team up with Iowa Pork Farmers to create this delicious meal! 

Did you know that one third of the pork raised in the United States comes from family farms in Iowa? And that is way more pork than the population of Iowa can eat, so chances are wherever you live the pork you are picking up at your local grocery store was raised on a family farm in Iowa. So rest assured that your pork is responsibly raised by a great Iowan family!  Learn more about pig farming here!

What is in a Pork Banh Mi?

As most sandwiches this Pork Banh Mi does a few parts that come together. A pork tenderloin is marinated & grilled, vegetables are ‘quick’ pickled, 2 flavorful mayos (a sweet lime and a sriracha) are made, and everything is served with cilantro over a French baguette/ loaf of French bread. 

To keep this recipe simple you will see that the ingredients used in the marinade, vegetables, and mayos all overlap. This way all of the different parts can be made at the same time really easily. So when you are measuring out the sauces and vinegars for the marinade you can measure out the pickling liquid at the same time.

Most of the ingredients you will find easily at the store or you probably already have at home. If you don’t do a lot of Asian inspired cooking you might need to find rice vinegar and fish sauce at the store, these sauces are pretty common and they are important to the flavor of the dish, so no skipping!

As we talked about before a Pork Tenderloin is the star of this dish. Cheap and easy to find (thanks Iowa farmers) you will want to get one that is about one pound big. The pork will then be marinated with rice vinegar, fish sauce, brown, sugar, garlic powder, and sriracha (don’t worry there isn’t enough sriracha to make it spicy, just flavorful). The pork is then grilled and sliced to be put on the sandwich.

picture of pork tenderloin and ingredients needed for the marinade

For the quick pickled vegetables I just use carrots and cucumbers. For the cucumbers I recommend the English variety because they are less seedy and watery, leading to a crunchier quick pickle. The carrots are shredded for easier prep and eating, feel free to buy pre-shredded carrots, you’ll only need 2 carrots if you are shredding it yourself. Traditionally some other vegetables are added like daikon radishes which are hard to find, or jalapeños which can add a lot of unwanted spiciness so I didn’t include them in this recipe. The vegetables are then “pickled” aka sloshed around in a mixture of rice vinegar, fish sauce, and brown sugar to marinate in the sauces flavors.

For the mayo portion of the banh mi I really wanted to vamp it up so I am sharing not one but two awesome options. You can make both if your family is mixed on sweet vs spicy or just one or other other if that is all that your family is going to want. The first one is a sweet garlic lime mayo, made simple with a dash of garlic powder, lime juice, and mayo. The second (my personal favorite) is a sriracha mayo, which you guessed it is sriracha and mayo mixed. So use both, use one, either way the flavored mayos definitely level this sandwich up!

ingredients needed to make the two flavorful mayos

The last things you will need for the sandwiches is a bunch of cilantro with the steams removed and a baguette/loaf of French bread. For your bread you will want to find a baguette or similar bread, you will want it to be crunchy style, somewhat hard on the outside but soft on the inside. You will also want your bread to be the proper proportion to feed 4 people a decent sized sandwich. I tested this recipe out with both a cook & serve variety and a fresh grocery store bakery variety and both were amazing!

a baguette and a bunch of cilantro for the sandwiches

How to Make a Banh Mi Sandwich

First you will want to marinate the pork. You can marinade the pork for at least an hour or up to overnight. I personally like to get it ready in the morning along with the quick pickled vegetables so the sandwiches come together really quickly once its dinner time. To make the marinade add 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon sriracha, & ½ tsp garlic powder to a large bowl or sealable bag. Mix marinade together, add pork tenderloin, and let it rest in the fridge.

Next you will make the quick pickled vegetables, I like to make these at the same time I make the marinade since they share so many ingredients. Plus making it in the morning or the night before gives the vegetables a little longer to soak up the flavor.  In a large bowl mix 3 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 2 teaspoons brown sugar together until sugar is dissolved. Add shredded carrots and sliced cucumbers. Mix together well until vegetables are fully coated in the liquid. If making ahead of time cover and refrigerate until ready to use. If not, keep the bowl with a mixing spoon on the counter, give the vegetables a stir in the liquid every so often as you make the rest of the meal. 

Next you’ll whip up your mayos, again you can make this ahead of time if you choose or right before you are about to eat. Divide the mayo evenly between to 2 small bowls. Add remaining sriracha to one of the bowls and the lime juice and a dash of garlic powder to the other. Mix each bowl separately until a smooth sauce forms. Set aside (in fridge if necessary) until ready to use. 

Once all the prep work is done you are ready to get grilling! Pre-heat your grill to high. Remove pork from the marinade, allowing any access marinade to drip off. Place over direct heat. Grill 4 minutes, rotate pork tenderloin. Grill 4 more minutes. Rotate again, grilling another 3-4 minutes until internal temperature reaches 145º F in the thickest part of the cut. Remove from the grill and cover (with tin foil), let rest 3 minutes. 

While the pork is resting slice french bread loaf in half the long way. Turn grill to low and place bread on the grill cut side down, grill 1-2 minutes until warm and slightly toasted.

Thinly slice the grilled pork tenderloin into slices for the sandwich, cut against the grain, pork should be slightly pink in the center.

a pork tenderloin sliced open reveling a slightly pick center on a cutting board

Now you are ready to build your sandwich! Start by adding cilantro to the bottom of the loaf of bread followed by the pickled vegetables (drained). Add the sliced pork over vegetables. Close sandwich and using a serrated knife cut into 4 pieces. 

Serve your sandwiches with the sweet and spicy mayos allowing each person to choose the sriracha or lime to spread on the top piece of bread. Or if you are all using the same feel free to spread on the top loaf before cutting and serving! I think that these Grilled Pork Banh Mi’s go amazing with french fries or my crispy roasted baby potatoes.

four serving baskets filled with fries and grilled pork banh mi's on a table top with flavorful mayo sitting in bowls

garlic lime mayo drizzled over a banh mi in a serving basket with French fries

grilled pork tenderloin in a banh mi sandwich in a serving basket

Pork Banh Mi

Pork Banh Mi

Yield: 4 sandwiches
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Marinade Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Marinated pork tenderloin grilled to perfection topped with quick pickled veggies, cilantro, & flavorful mayo makes a mouthwatering Pork Bank Mi Sandwich.

Ingredients

  • 1 (1lbs) Pork Tenderloin
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded (2 carrots)
  • 1 english cucumber, sliced thin
  • 5 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons sriracha
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon + dash garlic powder
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1 large loaf french bread

Instructions

  1. For the Pork Tenderloin: To make the marinade, add 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon sriracha, & ½ tsp garlic powder to a large bowl or sealable bag. Mix marinade together and add pork tenderloin. Marinate at least 1 hour or as long as overnight.
  2. For the Quick Pickled Vegetables: In a large bowl mix 3 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 2 teaspoons brown sugar together until sugar is dissolved. Add shredded carrots and sliced cucumbers. Mix together well until vegetables are fully coated in the liquid. If making ahead of time cover and refrigerate until ready to use. If not, keep the bowl with a mixing spoon on the counter, give the vegetables a stir in the liquid every so often as you make the rest of the meal.
  3. To Make the 2 Flavorful Mayos: Divide the mayo evenly between to 2 small bowls. Add remaining sriracha to one of the bowls and the lime juice and a dash of garlic powder to the other. Mix each bowl separately until a smooth sauce forms. Set aside (in fridge if necessary) until ready to use.
  4. Pre-heat grill to high. Remove pork from the marinade, allowing any access marinade to drip off. Place over direct heat. Grill 4 minutes, rotate pork tenderloin. Grill 4 more minutes. Rotate again, grilling another 3-4 minutes until internal temperature reaches 145º F in the thickest part of the cut. Remove from the grill and cover (with tin foil), let rest 3 minutes.
  5. While the pork is resting slice french bread loaf in half the long way. Turn grill to low and place bread on the grill cut side down, grill 1-2 minutes until warm and slightly toasted.
  6. Thinly slice the grilled pork tenderloin into slices for the sandwich, cut against the grain, pork should be slightly pink in the center.
  7. To build the sandwich, cilantro to the bottom of the loaf of bread followed by the pickled vegetables (drained). Add the sliced pork over vegetables. Close sandwich and using a serrated knife cut into 4 pieces.
  8. Serve sandwich with the sweet and spicy mayos allowing each person to choose the sriracha or lime mayo to spread on the top piece of bread.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 494 Total Fat: 43g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 35g Cholesterol: 39mg Sodium: 1295mg Carbohydrates: 18g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 7g Protein: 9g
Nutritional data is automated, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.

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Peace & Love

Lauren, The Schmidty Wife

P.S. Looking for more pork recipes? Check out my Quick Easy Pork Fried Rice, Apple Bacon Blue Smothered Pork Chops, or my Ground Pork Stir Fry.

I also have a Shrimp Banh Mi with Quick Pickled Vegetables you can check out!

Please note that my links above may be affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. I recommend them because they are helpful, and are companies that I trust, not because of the commissions that I may earn from you using these products.

2 Replies to “Grilled Pork Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwich)”

  1. Emeline Hoblick says: Reply

    Made this recipe and it blew me away! So delicious! My husband and I made the pork tenderloin our smoker and it turned out amazing. Definitely give this a try!

    1. So glad you enjoyed it Emeline! I bet it tasted amazing in the smoker!!

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