Deconstructed Banh mi with crackling anise pork

An original spin on the Banh mi with its typical pickled carrot, cucumbers and daikon here I used big noodles instead of the bread. Cilantro, mint and jalapeño to top it off and spice it up, laying bare the bánh mì in a plate.

The delicate sauce is made out of chilies, fish sauce, lime zest and juice. With spicy Sriracha mayonnaise and Hoisin sauce on the side.

 

What you need

+ 1 lb pork belly
+ 2 carrots
+ 1 cucumber
+ 1/2 a Daikon (or more)
+ Medium / Large Pad Thai Noodles
+ 2 tbsp Fish Sauce
+ 2 Limes (Juice and Zest)
+ Chili Oil
+ Mint, Jalapeno, Cilantro (for garnish)
+ Star Anise (to Roast the pork)
+ 2 Scallions, 4 garlic cloves, 1 tbsp peanut oil (for the sauce)
+ Salt, Pepper, Sugar and Rice Vinegar
+ Sriracha mayonnaise and Hoisin Sauce

Preparing the Pork Belly…

Preheat the oven at 220°C / 430°F.
Wash and pat dry the meat.
With a sharp knife, entail the pork fatty skin every 1/4 inch, making sure not to slice through the meat.

Seasoning the Pork…

Rub the skin with a good amount of salt and pepper. The more salt, the more crackling it will be.
Stuff a few anise stars through the skin.

Roasting the Pork…

Lay the pork belly on the wire rack of a roasting pan and roast it in the oven for 30 min.
Turn the temperature down to 160°C / 320°F and cook for another 25 minutes per 1lb.
Remove from the oven and cover with foil. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes up to one hour.

Meanwhile…

Prepare the vegetables, herbs, noodle and sauce.
Wash the carrots, daikon, cucumbers, cilantro, scallions, mint and jalapeno.
Thoroughly wash and scrub 1 lime. Preferably, you would use an organic lime. If not, let the lime sit in hot water for a couple minute before scrubbing.

Julienne and pickle the vegetables…

I use a Y-peeler to julienne the carrots daikon and cucumbers, but a spiralizer would be even faster.
Marinate the vegetables into a mix of equal part sugar and vinegar. Depending how much vegetables you want to pickle, use 2 tbsps to 1 cup of each.
Place in a shallow bowl or ziplock to shake it, and let it stand at room temperature for at least 30 min. If you can do this the day prior, its even better.

Boil the Noodles…

That is the very easy part. Just follow the package directions.
Don’t over cook them because we will stir fry them later.
However once they are cooked, shake them really well in a colander and give them a couple stir to get rid of all the water.
Then it is good to place the colander over a hot bowl of water, covered with a cloth so they dont dry out and stick.

Prepare the Noodle Sauce…

Roughly chop the cilantro, and pick out a few mint leaves.
Thinly slice the scallions, garlic and jalapeno.
Grate one of the lime using a microplane to get the zest.
Juice both limes.
Mix together 1 tsp chili oil, 3 tbsps fish sauce, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper.

Final Steps…

Do this at the last moment, once the pork has cooked and already rested at least a bit:
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large wok or pan and add the scallions and garlic.
Stir while cooking for 5 minutes or so until its fragrant.
Add the noodles and cook while stirring for 2 minutes.
Pour in the fish sauce mixture from the side of the pan (not on top of the noodles). Give it a couple stirs so that the noodles are evenly covered.
Remove from heat and add the lime zest and juice.
Hopefully by now the pork is done and has finished resting so you can go ahead slice it along the original entails.

Put it all in a bowl

Start with a layer of noodles at the bottom topped with the fresh cilantro and mint springs. Add the pickled vegetables, pork and a spoon full of both Sriracha mayonnaise and hoisin sauce on the side.

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