This recipe is all about the carrots… The kind pulled fresh out of the ground, sweet and crunchy and carroty. I think I love garden carrots as much as I love garden tomatoes!
I’ve wanted to make a version of this sandwich all season long… It has been in the “Spring/Summer Want-to-Make” pile ever since I drooled over it week after week during a show about food trucks on the Food Network.
I knew there was something special about the flavors in this sandwich, and I correctly figured if it could be made in a food truck it could be made in my kitchen!
Sad to say, the banh mi truck did not win, (nor did the food truck from Austin…). The winning truck was from New York, and they made killer burgers, which now that I think about it actually seems kinda boring compared to a few bites of this sandwich!
3 cups shredded garden carrots
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
Pinch kosher salt
1/3 cup shoyu soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons garam masala, recipe follows
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1.5 pounds thin pork loin chops
6 soft rolls
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
Jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced circles
About 2 hours before serving prepare the pickled carrots. Whisk the sugar, vinegar and salt until dissolved. Add the carrots, cover and refrigerate.
About 1 hour before serving, combine the soy sauce, sugar, garam masala, black pepper and garlic. Pour over the chops, seal and marinate in the refrigerator.
Heat a heavy pan over medium high heat and oil lightly. Take the pork chops out of the marinade and place in pan, being careful not to crowd the chops. No meat should be touching, so do this step in 2 batches.
Cook on each side about 2 minutes; each chop should be a caramel brown color. Remove to carving board and let rest for 5 minutes.
Slice the chops into thin strips. Lightly toast the buns.
To assemble sandwich, spread mayonnaise over bottom of bun. Pile a layer of pickled carrots, then a layer of cucumber slices, then some sprigs of cilantro. Add a generous amount of pork strips, thin slices of jalapeno and a big squeeze of lime juice over the whole thing!
Garam Masala (This is totally worth making and keeping on hand!)
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground fennel seed
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
Mix well, using a spice grinder if some of your spices are still in seed form. Store in a tightly closed container and use at will!
Recipe inspired by Texas carrots and adapted from Banh Mi Wrap