Vietnamese Red Char Pork Tacos Banh Mi Style

Vietnamese Red Char Pork Tacos
Vietnamese Red Char Pork Tacos Banh Mi Style

I LOVE Vietnamese food, especially banh mi sandwiches. There is nothing like that crispy french bread cracking under the pressure of your teeth, that sweet red pork, those insanely spicy jalapenos and the fresh veg and these tacos are a absolutely no exception. I like to dress them up with avocado aioli, sweet potato fries, crispy pig skin, pickled onions and, of course, a fried egg for perfection. This recipe has a lot of prep, but believe me, it’s all worth it.

Pickled Red Onions:

2 c water

2/3 c white distilled vinegar

2 tsp white granulated sugar

2 red onions, thinly sliced

Avocado Aioli:

11/2 c real mayonnaise 

1 ripe avocado, seeded and skin removed

1/1 tsp lime juice

Crispy Pork Skin:

2 lb pork skin slab

1 tbs olive oil

1 tbs kosher salt

The Tacos:

2 lb pork roast, trimmed 

1/2 c ketchup

1/4 c hoisin

1 tbs rice wine

1 tbs vegetable oil

2/3 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder

1/2 tsp teriyaki marinade

1 tsp chili oil

1/2 tsp red food coloring

24 corn tortillas (2 per taco)

2 c matchstick carrots 

1 bunch fresh cilantro, rough chopped

3 large jalapenos, thinly sliced

1/2 green onions

1/2 lb sweet potato fries

12 large eggs, optional 1 egg per person

Sriracha, optional

To pickle your onions, combine water, sugar and vinegar in a sauce pot. Heat to boiling for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Put onions into a canning jar and use a ladle to pour hot liquid over onions. Set aside and bring to room temperature. You can store these in the fridge for up to a month.

Make your “cheat” aioli by combining all ingredients in a food processor and blending well until there are no more chunks of avocado. You can transfer this to a squeeze bottle and chill before serving.

Preheat oven to 250. Start off by making your pork skin. Slice it into 1 x 4 inch strips. Coat all strips with 1 tbs olive oil and kosher salt. Separate on a sheet pan and bake for 2.5-3 hours until firm and dried out. Once done, thinly slice. Preheat deep fryer to 318. Fry pork skin in small batches for 1-2 minutes or until they puff up a bit.

While the pork skin is cooking, dice your pork roast into 2 x 2 inch pieces. Make your marinade by combining the next 8 ingredients in a seal bag. Add the pork and coat well. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours. To cook your pork, preheat your oven to 450-500 (this will depend on your oven). Heavily spray a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray. pour pork out onto sheet pan and spread meat out, try to make sure pieces are not overlapping. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Do not toss meat around during the cooking process. 

About 30 minutes before the pork is done, heat up your tortillas by carefully softening in hot oil or spraying with nonstick cooking spray and heating on a flattop or skillet. Keep them warm by wrapping them in paper towels then a kitchen towel. Cook up your sweet potato fries according to package directions. No, I do not cut my own fries. I did enough of that in the restaurants and absolutely do not miss it.

Cook up your eggs and start putting your tacos together. You can change these up by adding or omitting different ingredients. My favorite way is adding the carrots and jalapenos to the tortillas, top with pork, then skin. Add cilantro, pickled onions, a fried egg and a drizzle of sriracha and green onions. Another method is to add your pork, skin, cilantro,sweet potato fries, green onions and avocado aioli. 

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