I discovered banh mi sandwiches at none other than Num Pang. It was during this summer when I couldn't get an internship, so I enrolled in a digital photography class for the mornings. I spent the afternoons exploring *cheap* restaurants in Manhattan. It was a delicious, creative summer.
One of those restaurants was Num Pang. Their location at the time was really close to where I took class, so I'd frequently get a sandwich + eat it at a nearby park. What really rocks about Num Pang's sandwiches is the bread. It isn't dry; It's like a great French baguette. But it's what was inside those sandwiches that really inspired this recipe.
We've got the shredded carrots. We've got the pickled cucumbers. We've got the cilantro. But I also added something, rice cakes!
If you've never had these, they're glutinous "cakes" made out of rice flour. They're slightly chewy + cook quickly, so they're perfect for times when you need a fast meal. You can easily find them in the refrigerated section of Korean grocery stores.
The best way to see what this is all about is to dive in, so you can grab the recipe below!
Banh Mi Rice Cakes
- 1 small cucumber, deseeded + thinly sliced into sticks
- 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1.1 pound (500g) sliced rice cakes
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 0.5 pound pork sausage, removed from casing
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
- Combine the cucumber, rice wine vinegar + sugar in a bowl. Add salt + pepper to taste. Set this aside to meld together.
- In a large pot, bring the chicken stock and 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the rice cakes + boil them for 3 minutes. Drain + rinse the rice cakes under cold water. Set aside.
- In a large frying pan, fry the sausage until brown. You might want to add a little bit of oil to the pan, but the sausage will release some good old fashioned sausage grease. Remove from the heat.
- Add the rice cakes to the pan with the sausage. Stir to combine.
- To serve, scoop the rice cakes + sausage on plates. Top with the pickled cucumber, shredded carrot + a few cilantro leaves. Enjoy!