Easy Pork Bánh Mì

This version of the bánh mì stays true to the porky, fiery, and pickle-filled classic, all stacked between a crispy baguette. It’s perfect for cutting in half and sharing.

Pork Banh Mi Surrounded by Slices of Cucumber, Jalapenos, Cilantro, and a Bowl of Mayo

Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

The bánh mì came out of French colonialism in Vietnam. The Vietnamese took the best of French cuisine—crispy baguettes and umami-rich pâté—and added local ingredients like pickled vegetables called dồ chua, cold cuts, chili peppers, and homegrown herbs like basil, cilantro, and mint to create this sandwich.

Cross Section of Pork Bánh Mì

Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

Bánh Mì: Layer by Layer

A bánh mì is a cold sandwich with unique flavors and textures. Here is a layer-by-layer breakdown:

  • Traditionally, a Vietnamese baguette is used. Compared to French baguettes, it has rice flour, and the dough is kneaded with more force and speed, leading to smaller loaves that are lighter on the inside and crispier on the outside. Unless you live near a Vietnamese market or bakery, they may be difficult to find. It’s okay to use a French baguette. 
  • This sandwich is filled with a lightly sweetened soy and fish sauce-marinated pork tenderloin. It’s not included in the recipe, but if you happen to be near a Vietnamese grocery store, pick up special cold cuts, like a pork loaf called chả lụa or a pink ham called thịt nguội, for truly authentic flavors.
  • Traditionally, an aioli—a simple creamy mixture of egg yolk, oil, salt, and lemon—is used, but mayo is perfect. If you’d like, smear a layer of butter along with the mayo for extra creaminess and umami.
  • Traditionally, a Vietnamese pâté, a paste made with dried pork liver, is added to the sandwich. In addition to adding rich flavor, the pâté, along with the mayo and butter, keeps the bread from getting soggy—it’s the perfect travel sandwich and my favorite portable food whenever I take a lengthy trip.
  • Sprinkle on Maggi Seasoning—also a French import, originally from Switzerland—for deep savory flavor. It tastes somewhere between soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce.
  • The sweet, salty, crunchy, and sour dồ chua, Vietnamese carrot and daikon pickles, defines the flavor of this sandwich, so don’t skip it. It’s easy to whip up a batch to keep in your fridge. Then, you can make a bánh mì whenever you fancy—in our household it’s often. 
  • Cilantro is the most commonly used herb. If you like a bit of spice, add sliced jalapeños or Siracha.
Pork Bánh Mì

Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

Make It Your Own Bánh Mì

  • Instead of a baguette, use any kind of hearty bread that is crispy on the outside and soft inside. Some options: bolillos, torta, Cuban or French loaves, or Kaiser rolls. 
  • Some people swear by sliced pork belly braised in fish sauce, garlic, shallots, black pepper, and a little bit of sugar. You could also use char siu (Chinese pork BBQ), meatballs, shredded chicken, head cheese, or any cold cuts you have around. For a vegetarian option, you can use grilled or pan-seared tofu or seitan.
  • The pâté is optional. If you don’t prefer it, use butter and/or sliced avocado for a similar creamy texture. 
  • Instead of cilantro, or even with it, add fresh Thai or Italian basil leaves and fresh mint leaves for extra fragrance. Sliced cucumbers and green onions work too. 
  • Instead of Maggi Seasoning, use Bragg Liquid Aminos, Worcestershire sauce, or a splash of soy sauce.

How to Plan Ahead

I recommend assembling the sandwich the morning of the day you plan to serve it, but not earlier because the fridge dries out and hardens the bread. You can prep all the ingredients ahead of time—keep the dồ chua, cooked pork, sliced jalapeños, and cilantro in the fridge for a couple of days. Assemble the sandwich when you’re ready to serve it! 

Easy Pork Bánh Mì Surrounded by Slices of Cucumbers and Jalapenos and a Bowl of Mayo

Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

More Sandwich Recipes to Try

Easy Pork Bánh Mì

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Pickling Time 30 mins
Total Time 65 mins
Servings 2 servings
Yield 2 (6-inch) sandwiches


For the dồ chua

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots

  • 1/4 cup shredded daikon

For the pork

  • 2 tablespoons minced lemongrass

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 shallot, minced

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 10 ounces pork tenderloin, thinly sliced

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For the sandwich

  • 1 (12-inch) french baguette

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

  • Maggi Seasoning, to taste

  • 1/4 cup pâté (optional)

  • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced

  • 6 to 8 sprigs cilantro, tender stems intact


  1. Make the dồ chua:

    In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt, and stir until fully dissolved. Stir in the carrots and daikon and let sit for at least 30 minutes. You can also refrigerate it overnight—it’ll taste better the longer it pickles. This will last up to 4 weeks in the fridge.

    Dồ Chua with Carrots and Daikon for Pork Banh Mi

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

  2. Marinate the pork:

    In a medium bowl, combine the lemongrass, garlic, shallot, sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, and black pepper. Add the thinly sliced pork tenderloin and toss to coat. Let it marinate for at least 15 minutes or overnight in the fridge.

    Marinated Pork for Easy Bánh Mì Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

  3. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  4. Cook the pork:

    Heat the oil in a large cast iron or heavy-bottom skillet over medium-high heat. Add the marinated pork, laying them on the skillet in a single layer, and cook until no longer pink and slightly charred, about 5 minutes. You may need to cook them in batches. Transfer the cooked pork onto a large plate.

    Note: This will create lots of smoke, so open your windows and turn on the kitchen vent!

    Pork Cooked on Skillet for Bánh Mì Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

  5. Toast the baguette:

    Slice the baguette in half lengthwise, but not all the way through, leaving the two sides attached. Open it up like a book and place it cut side up on a baking sheet. Toast it in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes until golden brown. Allow it to fully cool.

    Baguette on Baking Sheet for Bánh Mì

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

  6. Assemble the sandwich:

    When the bread is cool to the touch, pull out some of the inside of the bread with your fingers to make room for the filling.

    Spread mayonnaise on both sides and sprinkle 2 or 3 dashes of Maggi Seasoning. Spread the pâté on the bottom half only. Top it with the cooked pork, the do chua (drain the pickling liquid so the bread doesn’t get soggy), jalapeños, and cilantro.

    Bread Gutted for Easy Banh Mi Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

    Banh Mi Filled with Pork, Pickles, Cilantro, and Jalapenos

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

  7. Serve:

    Slice in half crosswise and enjoy!

    Did you love the recipe? Leave us stars below!

    Pork Banh Mi Cut in Half on Baking Sheet

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

    Pork Bánh Mì

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1552 Calories
47g Fat
195g Carbs
86g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 1552
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 47g 60%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 152mg 51%
Sodium 3726mg 162%
Total Carbohydrate 195g 71%
Dietary Fiber 10g 36%
Total Sugars 32g
Protein 86g
Vitamin C 17mg 85%
Calcium 239mg 18%
Iron 16mg 91%
Potassium 1537mg 33%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.