Here I am with my contribution to the party. Finally! A host who comes late to her own party. There aren’t many of that around. I’m a rarity. 😀
If you must know, it wasn’t exactly my fault I’m late. I did prepare at least two kinds of appetizers in the last week. Garlic parmesan bread sticks and lettuce cups. Both times, the family descended on them like wild animals. They were considerate enough to leave me a couple of pieces. Sad little pieces they expected me to photograph and bring to the party. At first I tried to work with them. In the end, I decided I just couldn’t.
Fiesta Friday Anniversary deserves the best! Judging from all the superb appetizers and cocktails you’ve brought to the party, I can see that you agree. It’s a special occasion deserving of a special dish or recipe. So many of you came up with incredibly amazing posts! I was utterly awestruck! How in the world are my co-hosts and I going to select a few for features? It really is near impossible. I’m not sure what to do. I need to think.
For now, let’s talk about these banh mi sliders. I had a hard time coming up with a name for them. First of all, does anybody know what constitutes a slider? Does it have to have beef in it? Does it have to be mini? Or does it have to be anything greasy that slides on a grill?
And then I found out that “banh mi” literally translates into “bread”. So I was worried that you might think I’m serving you mini bread sandwiches, as in “wish sandwiches”. You know, where you just have two slices of bread and you wish you had some meat in between.
Anyway, in the end I decided to go ahead with the name banh mi sliders. I think anybody who is into as much food as we are would pretty much understand what I mean. Regardless of the name, however, these sandwiches are probably the best I’ve ever made. My son said so. And he’s the sandwich connoisseur in the family. His most favorite food of all being hamburgers. If you only need one slider recipe, let it be this one. It is that good!
As far as toppings are concerned, I consider do chua (daikon and carrot pickles) to be a must if you want to call it banh mi. And then it must also have cilantro. But of course you shouldn’t limit yourself. My son, for instance, prefers his with bread and butter pickles, and without cilantro. Can you still call it banh mi? I guess you’ll have to decide for yourself.
What my son and I both agree, however, is that it shouldn’t be without the sriracha mayo or the caramelized onions. They add so much flavor to the sliders. The latter, by the way, is so good you can practically eat it on its own. Try it on a piece of bread with some cheese. OMG, I thought I had died and gone to heaven when I did! Make a lot of it! Eat it with everything!
It may not look very attractive and it takes 45 minutes to make, but trust me, it’s worth every minute. I wish I can bottle it up and send it to all of you! Sharing the recipe is the next best thing I can do. So, here goes.
Banh Mi Sliders
These sandwiches are not hard to make, but the toppings do require time to prepare. You can make them the day before.
The daikon and carrot pickles (do chua)
3 cups daikons cut into match sticks
3 cups carrots cut into match sticks
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar (reduce if you prefer tangy pickles)
1/2 tsp salt
1. Mix sugar and salt into vinegar, stir to dissolve.
2. In a non-reactive bowl, mix daikons and carrots with the vinegar solution. Marinade for at least 2 hours.
The sriracha mayo
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 to 3 tbsp sriracha sauce
Mix mayo and sriracha sauce together. Use more or less sriracha as you prefer.
The caramelized onions
2 onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1. Heat oil and butter in a sauté pan over medium heat.
2. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently to dislodge the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
3. Cook for at least 30 minutes, or until onions are browned.
4. You can deglaze the pan with 1 to 2 tbsp of stock/wine/water to get all the browned bits.
5. Add soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce.
6. Continue cooking until onions are dark brown and thickened. Total cooking time is about 45 minutes.
The meat patties
1 lb 80/20 ground beef
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp fish sauce
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tsp finely minced lemon grass (use only the white and tender inner part of the stalk)
1 tsp sugar (optional)
1. Mix the meat and all the seasonings together.
2. Divide into 6 equal portions.
3. Form into thin patties that are bigger than your slider buns. They will shrink as they cook.
4. Fry or grill patties on high heat, 2 minutes on each side for well-done. Less time if you like your meat slightly pink inside.
To assemble the sliders
1. Slice 6 slider buns in half. Toast until brown and crisp on the outside.
2. On the first half of the bun, spread some of the caramelized onions and place the meat patty on top of it. Add other desired toppings, such as lettuce, cucumber slices, jalapeño slices, cilantro, do chua, bread and butter pickles, etc.
3. On the other half of the bun, spread the sriracha mayo.
4. Put the two pieces together. Insert a pick to hold everything together.
5. This recipe makes 6 (3-inch) sliders.