So Jordan and I got hooked on the very end of the Great Food Truck Race on the Food Network. The idea behind it is that operators of food trucks compete against each other for sales. They are given the same amount of money in each city to buy ingredients and given a set amount of time to get as many sales as possible. The winner is the one who makes the most money. Surprisingly to me, one of the biggest successes was a truck called NomNom serving Vietnamese sandwiches called Banh Mi. I had always been interested in having one because I think Vietnamese food is one of the most underrated Asian foods around. Pho - beef noodle soup - is my favorite in the winter.
Now, my husband does not share my love of Vietnamese foods. In fact - he and fish sauce (a common Vietnamese ingredient) don't get along at all. Even a little bit of this savory sauce added to a dish he can taste. So when throughout the Great Food Truck Race season he increasingly expressed an interest in trying the Banh Mi, I was rightfully skeptical. I repeatedly explained that fish sauce was an ingredient in the sandwich, along with pate (another of my favorites and his not so favorite) but he persisted. So this week, while reading Gourmet, I saw a recipe for Banh Mi. (NOTE: while Gourmet has sadly gone out of business, they are apparently publishing montages of previously published recipes in new forms) I had my doubts about this particular recipe - it used chicken instead of pork and included liverwurst. Now I have never had liverwurst but more importantly - I didn't even know where to buy it. So I doubled checked the recipe with Epicurious.com and read the reviews...not so good. By the way, the user reviews on Epicurious recipes are invaluable. So I searched the website and found a new one...and it was far and away a success. This sandwich has the beautiful balance of tastes: savory, sweet, sour, spicy - that all good Vietnamese food has. Needless to say, despite the fish sauce, Jordan loved everything about the Banh Mi!