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pork belly banh mi recipe
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Total: 1 hours, 30 minutes

Servings: 4


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Step 1

Heat the oven to 275 degrees. Mix together the garlic, ginger, sake, brown sugar and soy sauce in a large, nonreactive, oven-proof pot or casserole. Add the pork and just enough water to cover the pork completely. Cover the pot with 2 layers of foil (and the casserole lid, if using) and cook for 2 to 3 hours, until the pork is fork-tender.

Step 2

Remove the pork from the braising liquid and place in a nonreactive dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Step 3

Cut the pork belly into lardons (1 inch-by- 1/2 inch-by- 1/2 inch). Place them in a large, heavy-bottom saute pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until their edges slightly crisp and the fat is mostly rendered, about 10 minutes. Strain and discard the fat. Set aside the meat; you will have about 4 cups, more than is needed for the sandwiches in the final recipe. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate; reheat before using. The meat will keep for 5 days refrigerated.

Step 4

Combine the chipotle puree and mayonnaise in a small bowl. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed. (This makes about 1 cup aioli, more than enough for the sandwiches.)

Step 5

Place the julienned daikon and carrots in separate, nonreactive bowls. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon salt over each and gently mix into the vegetables. Allow each to sit for 30 minutes.

Step 6

Rinse the daikon and carrots separately under cold running water until the water runs clear. Shake vigorously to remove the excess water.

Step 7

Combine the daikon and carrots in a medium nonreactive bowl and stir in the rice vinegar and sugar. Taste and adjust the sweetness with additional sugar as desired. Cover and refrigerate until needed; drain the pickled vegetables before using. This makes about 2 cups pickled daikon and carrots.

Step 8

Spread each ciabatta half with 1 tablespoon of the aioli. Divide the pork belly among the 4 bottom ciabatta halves (one-third cup per sandwich), then top with the pickled vegetables. Sprinkle evenly with the cucumber, and repeat with the cilantro. Place 2 to 3 jalapeno slices on each half, or more to taste. Cover each sandwich with the remaining ciabatta bread.

Step 9

Grill the sandwiches using a panini press or on a grill over medium heat and weighted with something heavy (like a cast-iron skillet). Cut each sandwich in half and serve immediately.