No need to go out for the best banh mi in town.
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- 2 large carrots, cut into matchsticks
- 8 baguette rolls, split, warmed or toasted
- 5 leaves iceberg lettuce, coarsely shredded
- 2 green onions, shredded
- 6 birdseye chillies, thinly sliced (see Note)
- 1/2 cup coriander sprigs
- Japanese mayonnaise, to serve
- 3 lemongrass stalks
- 1.2kg pork belly, fat trimmed, cut into 6cm pieces
- 1 tablespoon chinese five spice
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 brown onion, thinly sliced
- 8 garlic cloves, smashed
- 3 eschalots, halved
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- Combine vinegar and sugar in a large bowl. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add carrot and chill for 2 hours or overnight.
- Meanwhile, make pulled pork. Preheat oven to 180°C or 160°C fan-force. Cut lemongrass 10cm from root. Core and reserve. Keep stalk tops for cooking the pork. Toss pork in Chinese five spice and season. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large heavy based saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook pork, in 2 batches, for 6 minutes or until browned all over. Discard oil. Return pork to pan with stock, onion, lemongrass stalk tops and half of garlic. Bring to the boil. Cook, covered, in oven for 2 hours or until pork is very tender. Transfer pork pieces to a plate and discard lemongrass stalk tops. Reserve cooking liquid. Discard most of pork fat.
- Meanwhile, using small bowl of processor, process eschalot, reserved lemongrass and remaining garlic until very finely chopped.
- Heat remaining oil in same pan over medium-high heat. Cook lemongrass mixture for 3 minutes or until fragrant. Add sugar and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until golden. Add reserved cooking liquid. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and gently simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce thickens. Add pork and coarsely shred pork with a fork. Simmer until liquid has evaporated.
- Drain carrot well. To serve, fill bread rolls with lettuce, carrot, shallot, pulled pork, mayonnaise, coriander and chilli.