lemongrass steak banh mi closeup

Lemongrass Steak Banh Mi Sandwiches

I love any kind of fusion food; Korean tacos, ramen burgers, BBQ nachos, cronuts, you name it - but the banh mi sandwich is definitely one of the OG fusion foods. The pickled carrot and daikon, combined with cilantro and jalapeños are Vietnamese, but the baguette, mayonnaise (and sometimes addition of pâté) are French. While banh mi sandwiches are typically made with roast pork I had one with beef recently and loved the flavor combination. I don’t typically like chunks of steak on my sandwiches because you take a bite and you feel like you’re in a fight with the sandwich - the whole piece falls out and then you’re left with an empty sandwich. It’s not graceful. This meat is not like that; it is so tender from being marinated you can actually take bites out of it like a normal sandwich. While marinating for a day seems like a long time, it is worth it for how tender the meat comes out.



For the lemongrass steak:

¼ cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons minced lemongrass

2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon minced ginger

2 teaspoons minced garlic

½ teaspoon ground white pepper

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 pounds flank steak


For the pickled vegetables:

1 large daikon radish, peeled and julienned

1 large carrot, peeled and julienned

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon plus ½ cup granulated sugar, divided

1 cup white vinegar


For the sandwich:

2 French baguettes, trimmed and halved so they are each about 10”

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 large cucumber, thinly sliced

2 jalapeños, thinly sliced

½ cup cilantro leaves

1 tablespoon soy sauce



For the lemongrass steak:

In a bowl whisk together the soy sauce, fish sauce, olive oil, lemongrass, rice wine vinegar, honey, ginger, and garlic. Season the steak on both sides with the salt and pepper then place it in an airtight container, pour the marinade over the top and turn the steak so that both sides are coated. Marinate the steak for at least an hour and up to overnight.

When ready to cook the steak, let it stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. Heat a large lightly oiled skillet over medium high heat then add the steak and sear on both sides, about 5 minutes each side (depending on thickness), until the meat registers an internal temperature of 140°, medium.

Remove the steak to a cutting board and let the meat rest for at least 15 minutes. Thinly slice the meat and set aside.


For the pickled vegetables:

Add the daikon and carrots to a bowl and toss with the salt and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Use your hands to massage and squeeze the vegetables until they have reduced to about ¼ of their size. Rinse the vegetables in a fine mesh strainer under cold water then return to the bowl. In another medium bowl combine 1 cup of cold water, the remaining sugar and vinegar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Pour over the daikon and carrots then cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before using and up to 4 weeks. When ready to use remove the vegetables from the marinade. 


For the sandwich:

Preheat broiler to high. Slice each baguette lengthwise and lightly butter on both sides. Place on a cookie sheet and broil until the bread is golden brown, about 2 minutes.

To assemble the sandwiches, spread about a tablespoon of mayonnaise on the bottom half of each baguette, then top with a layer of cucumber then jalapeños followed by a layer of beef then pickled carrots and daikon then cilantro. Sprinkle the top with a little soy sauce then close the baguettes. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve.


Serves 4. 

lemongrass steak banh mi sandwiches
lemongrass steak banh mi sandwich


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