Slow Cooker Bánh Mì Vietnamese Sandwich made with slow cooker pork on a French baguette, topped with pickled carrots, cucumber slices, jalapeno and cilantro on a white plate.

Slow Cooker Bánh Mì Vietnamese Sandwich

What makes this Bánh Mì Vietnamese Sandwich just so special? Its fusion of flavors, the influence of French and Vietnamese cultures, and the gorgeous toppings that transform it from plain Jane bread and pork to something spectacular, in a bahn mi recipe made with the ease of the slow cooker. You can also save time and make it in a pressure cooker.

Slow Cooker Bánh Mì Vietnamese Sandwich made with slow cooker pork on a French baguette, topped with pickled carrots, cucumber slices, jalapeno and cilantro on a white plate.
Slow Cooker Bánh Mì Vietnamese Sandwich

Bahn Mi recipe – a delicious Vietnamese Sandwich made with succulent pork and fresh toppings on a French baguette, made with the ease of a slow cooker!

Bahn mi Vietnamese sandwich with pickled carrots, cucumber, jalapenos and cilantro on a French baguette on a white plate.

Note: This post first appeared on January 13, 2012. The recipe has been updated from the archives with updated content and photographs, as well as improved kitchen notes and recipe annotation. I hope you enjoy this favorite from my kitchen.

Early this morning, my son watched in the bathroom mirror as I swept a wash of light taupe on my eyelids. “Mama?” he asked, “Why do you have to wear makeup?”

I paused. A little longer than I normally do to answer his questions.

“Well, I don’t have to. But I like to,” I attempted to explain. “It helps me feel prettier.” I wanted to keep it sweet and simple.

“I already think you look pretty, without all that stuff.”

Oh dear, what have I done to deserve this little guy?

Hours later, I was putting together some sandwiches, and still thinking about my sweet boy. And I realized, our food has makeup, too. A sandwich is just fine and dandy, with its bread and its meat, but it is definitely enhanced when you garnish it with toppings.

Like the Bánh Mì, for example.

It certainly is pretty.

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but in this case, it is also in the taste buds. I think that is something we can all understand, even when you’re six.

Bahn mi Vietnamese sandwich with pickled carrots, cucumber, jalapenos and cilantro on a French baguette on a white plate.

What is Bánh Mì?

What makes this Vietnamese sandwich just so special? Its fusion of flavors, the influence of French and Vietnamese cultures, and the gorgeous toppings that transform it from plain Jane bread and pork to something spectacular. With the crunch of watery cucumber, the tang of lightly pickled carrots, pungent cilantro, and heat from jalapeno – you can no longer consider it ordinary.

Bánh Mì translates to “bread” in Vietnamese, and in the case of this sandwich, specifically a French-style baguette is the star of the show. But between you and me, all the ingredients in the sandwich are lead actors, from the roast pork to the crunchy toppings. They all play a role in balancing each other out, and the bread supports them all.

A traditional banh mi starts with the baguette, a good swipe of mayonnaise, and an even spread of paté. On top of that is the succulent pork and crunchy vegetables and pickles for an unforgettable sandwich.

Toppings for banh mi Vietnamese sandwich.

Slow Cooker Bahn Mi Recipe

I love Bánh Mì and was immediately drawn to Charles Phan’s approach of brining his pork in a garlic bath before roasting. When I was on a slow cooker kick, I wanted to see if the recipe could be adapted to this method. It absolutely works. The resulting pork is tender and flavorful, and the perfect base on which to build a gorgeous Bánh Mì.

If you’re in a rush, you can also use a pressure cooker, like an Instant Pot, to make this dish! I include instructions in the recipe below.

A banh mi isn’t complete without all the toppings, so don’t skimp. The pickled carrots can be made in advance (or while the pork is simmering in the slow cooker).

Slow Cooker Bánh Mì Vietnamese Sandwich on a white plate.

More Vietnamese-inspired Recipes To Try

Shaking Beef Vietnamese Stir Fry
Traditional Vietnamese Iced Coffee (Ca Phe Sua Da)
Vietnamese Iced Coffee
Prime Rib Pho | Simple Sundays

Note: This post first appeared on January 13, 2012. The recipe has been updated from the archives with updated content and photographs, as well as improved kitchen notes and recipe annotation. I hope you enjoy this favorite from my kitchen.

Slow Cooker Bánh Mì - Vietnamese-style Sandwich

Banh Mi recipe - a delicious Vietnamese Sandwich made with succulent pork and fresh toppings on a French baguette, made with the ease of a slow cooker!
Slow Cooker Bánh Mì Vietnamese Sandwich made with slow cooker pork on a French baguette, topped with pickled carrots, cucumber slices, jalapeno and cilantro on a white plate.
Print This Pin This
4 from 2 votes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Vietnamese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 604kcal

Ingredients

For the pulled pork:

  • 2- pound boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 jalapeno diced
  • 1 2-inch slice ginger
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

For the pickled carrot:

  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely shredded carrots

For the sandwiches:

  • pickled carrots above
  • 2 long baguettes cut in thirds or 6 small rolls split lengthwise
  • mayonnaise
  • pâté optional
  • 1 English cucumber thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • reserved sauce from pulled pork
  • hot sauce

Instructions

Slow Cooker Instructions

  • Season the pork shoulder with salt and pepper. If you have a few extra minutes, heat some olive oil in your slow cooker insert (or in a separate pan if your slow cooker doesn’t allow for this) and brown the pork on all sides. If not, no worries, skip this step.
    In the insert of a slow cooker stir together the jalapeno, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, and brown sugar. Nestle the pork shoulder in the liquid. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4-5, until the pork is very tender, rotating once during cooking process if desired. When the pork is ready, shred the meat. Strain and reserve the sauce, skimming any fat if necessary.

Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot Instructions

  • Season the pork shoulder with salt and pepper. If you have a few extra minutes, heat some olive oil in the pressure cooker on the sear setting and brown the pork on all sides. If not, no worries, skip this step.
    In the insert of an electric pressure cooker, stir together the jalapeno, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, and brown sugar. Nestle the pork shoulder in the liquid. Cover and cook on high pressure for 65 minutes, then allow the pressure cooker to depressurize on its own. Shred the meat. To allow the sauce to thicken a bit, either set the pressure cooker to the simmer or slow cook setting and continue cooking until the sauce has reduced a bit. Strain and reserve the sauce, skimming any fat if necessary.

Make the Pickled Carrot

  • In a medium glass bowl, combine the vinegar, sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Add the carrots and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Drain well and refrigerate until ready to use.

Assemble the Sandwiches

  • To assemble the sandwich, slice the baguettes or rolls in half lengthwise. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise (I like to spike mine with hot sauce) on the bottom half and if you like, some pate as well. Top with the pulled pork, cucumber, cilantro, pickled carrots and sliced jalapenos. Drizzle with reserved sauce and hot sauce. Close the sandwiches and enjoy.

Notes

Adapted from Charles Phan’s Garlic-Brined Pork Banh Mi, via Food & Wine.

Nutrition

Calories: 604kcal | Carbohydrates: 85g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 2631mg | Potassium: 955mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 5629IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 5mg
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Comments






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  1. Khang

    3 stars
    Looks good. Can you go back through the article and correct “bahn” to “banh”?

    Reply
  2. Michelle

    5 stars
    Everyone in my family enjoyed these (kids had regular mayo and the vegetarian kid added lettuce and tomato, but still…)! I call it a win!

    Reply
  3. Christine Oldroyd

    Just tried this recipe (tripled, with a 6 lb bone-in pork shoulder) yesterday for a Labor Day pot luck. I wasn’t quite sure about the cook time…but per Google searching, set it for 10 hours. Wow! What a wonderful flavor the pulled pork had. The sandwiches were a big hit. Note: I didn’t pickle the carrots myself; I just purchased a pickled daikon & carrot mixture from our local Japanese market (apparently standard bento supplies). Highly Recommend!!! This is definitely a keeper. Thanks so much for this recipe.

    Reply
    • Liren Baker

      Hi Christine, wow – a 6 lb pork shoulder cooked in this recipe is definitely a great way to feed a crowd! I am so glad that the sandwiches were a hit at your potluck — and what a great timesaver to find the pickled daikon and carrot at the market! Thank you so much for coming back to let me know!

      Reply
  4. keisha

    Thanks so much for this recipe! My hubs looooves banh mi. I kind of messed up, though, because I used tenderloin (what was in my fridge), and I didn’t try to make up for the lack of that good, flavorful pork shoulder fat. It ended up with good flavor but was a bit dry. Definitely going to do this again with the right cut of meat! :-)

    Reply
    • Liren Baker

      You’re so welcome, Keisha! A tenderloin would surely work, too, but if you try it next time with the tenderloin, I would just slow cook it for about 3-4 hours instead! But hope you get to try it with the pork shoulder!!

      Reply
  5. Mordan Jonroe

    Very good recipe! Nothing prepared in this recipe stands out on its own as ‘very good’ but the flavors combined make for a delicious sandwich! Definitely toast those buns too!

    Reply
  6. Jennifer Markey

    I just made this for a baby shower to rave reviews! I will hold on to this one for the future. Thanks!!!!

    Reply
    • Liren Baker

      I’m so thrilled, Jennifer! I never thought to make this for a baby shower, but it makes perfect sense, slow cookers are brilliant for parties. I’m so glad that everyone enjoyed it, and yay for sweet babies!

      Reply
  7. Jocelyn

    Do you think there’s a way to speed up the cooking process – maybe in a dutch oven?

    Reply
    • Liren

      Absolutely! You can definitely braise it in a Dutch oven in the oven and cut the cooking time. I would say that depending on the pork you use, you can probably estimate between 1.5 to 2.5 hours. Chef Phan’s version calls for roasting in a 400 oven for about 1.5 hours.

      Reply
  8. Jenna

    I made this yesterday and it is delicious! I even ate it for breakfast today (shhh!).
    I did everything as ordered, except for the mayo I mixed 1/2 cup of mayonnaise with the juice of a lemon and 2 teaspoons of sriracha. Also, for the carrots, I used rice vinegar as opposed to white vinegar. I wanted a little extra Asian flare.

    My parents had no idea what banh mi even was and they loveddd the sandwiches. I can’t wait to make it again!
    Thanks!!

    Reply
    • liren

      I’m so glad you loved it, Jenna! Love what you did with the mayo and carrots, yum! And to know that your parents enjoyed it makes me super happy :) Thank you for stopping back to let me know!

      Reply
  9. Kasey

    Adorable story, Liren! I want to have a banh-mi party with friends (probably because they look so pretty and taste so delicious!). I’ve been on the lookout for recipes and this looks like the ONE. Happy weekend!

    Reply
  10. beti

    I saw this sandwich a while ago and I found it quite interesting I didn’t knew that it was this easy to make, looks fantastic!

    Reply
  11. Lori Lynn

    Those are simply lovely. the colors are gorgeous!
    I posted Banh Mi canapés recently too. They were a big hit, how could they not be, with all those flavors??
    LL

    Reply
  12. Maureen

    This sandwich is beautifully attired! I couldn’t resist biting into it before I took the photo. You have wonderful restraint.

    Reply
  13. Hyosun Ro

    That Banh mi looks so delicious! Your photos are simply stunning. I’ve been cooking pork shoulders in a slow cooker quite often. Next time I do that, I will try to make this banh mi. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  14. Jean

    I agree with your little guy–you don’t need makeup.

    I have to say your recent posts have been spot on with my cravings. Just last month a friend referred me to some banh mi places in San Jose after expressing my disappointment in not having any decent ones closer to home. I have yet to visit them but maybe I won’t have to since you already have such a nice recipe here.

    Have a great weekend, Liren!

    Reply
  15. Bonnie

    I have been wanting to try bahn mi. This will be in the weekend rotation. It looks beautiful as well.

    Reply
    • Liren

      Thanks Lisa! Hope you’re having fun at Alt – wish I was there, too!

      Reply
  16. Elizabeth @ Saffron Lane

    Your little guy sounds entirely too good to be true (I hope mine is as insightful and wise! ;-)). I’ve been looking for a good Bánh Mì recipe, so thanks for the inspiration.

    Reply
    • Liren

      Oh, yours will be! Of course, there will be moments, where he won’t be the sweetest, but it’s gems like this that we need to hold on to :)

      Reply
  17. Mindy

    Your killin’ my weekly menu plans with these back to back mouth waterers!
    This is one of my favorite sammies – can’t wait to recreate it at home.

    Reply
    • Liren

      Don’t mean to throw a wrench in your menu plans, but hope you do get to make it soon :) Have a wonderful weekend!

      Reply
    • Liren

      Aw, Jen :) Feel free to borrow mine anytime! They could use an Auntie Jen in their lives :)

      Reply
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