Banh Mi Smash Burger – Vietnamese Flavors for the Ultimate Burger
If you have followed me on Instagram for a while, you should know that I love flavors from the Far East. And the Banh Mi, is very high on the list of my favorite sandwiches. I also love burgers. Especially smash burgers. So I figured I would combine the two into a Banh Mi Smash Burger.
The result is a delicious combination of classic banh mi flavors and textures along with the crispy, fatty smash burger. If haven’t had a banh mi sandwich yet, close your browser, open you map app and find yourself the nearest Vietnamese restaurant. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Or better yet, make my Sous Vide Pork Belly Banh Mi – A Vietnamese Street Food Sandwich for yourself.
The Banh Mi in the Smash Burger
A banh mi sandwich is street food that originated from Vietnam. There are many variations but you can typically expect a baguette stuffed with a protein, vegetables and mayo. It is a fairly simple sandwich that is meant to be assembled quickly. It is street food after all.
The banh mi that we know today was born in the 1950’s after the French were booted from Vietnam and they were no longer a colony. The banh mi sandwich is a Vietnamese take of a classic French baguette sandwich which includes cold cut meat, cheese and butter. During the French rule, the ingredients were expensive and the French did not allow Vietnamese food to be combined with French food. So after French were defeated, the Vietnamese people could both afford all the ingredients and makes their own recipes. Yes, you read that right. The French did not allow the Vietnamese people to alter French cuisine dishes. If you would like to read more about the unsavory history, click here.
My local Vietnamese sandwich shop serves their creations with cilatro, cucmber and pickled vegetables. I am not one to mess with perfection so that’s what I topped my Banh Mi Smash Burger with as well. The pickled vegetables are done quickly so this is a meal that you can create on a weekday. In fact, I recommend doing it on a weekday especially if you’ve had a rough day at work. This meal will certainly turn your mood around.
The Smash Burger
Smash burgers are better than patty-formed burgers. There I said it and it feels good to get it off my chest. Making a smash burger couldn’t be easier. All you do it form a ball of ground beef, place it on a hot and flat cooking surface, and then smash it down with a spatula. You don’t have to worry about forming the patty, or making sure it cooked to the correct internal temperature. Smashing the ball of meat into a patty shape on a hot surface creates a burger with a crispy caramelized crust that tastes amazing. And they cook very quickly so you can get dinner served in a hurry. Or make seconds or thirds because there will probably be requests for them.
The ending result is a smash burger with all the banh mi flavors that all work together to make a great bite. The warm crispy pork with spicy and creamy mayo combine with the acidic vegetables is am amazing combination. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
Banh Mi Smash Burger
- A flat top cooking surface (cast iron skillet, griddle, etc)
- Flat bottom spatula
- ½ red onion julienned
- 1 carrot shredded or cut into thin matchsticks
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ½ tablespoon kosher salt
For the burger
- 20 ounces ground pork 1 ¼ pounds
- 3 tablespoons of a natural oil (canola, vegetable, etc)
- 4 burger buns
- 1 cucumber cut into thin rounds or ribbons with a peeler
- 1 bunch cilantro
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- sriracha (to taste)
- kosher salt
For the pickled vegetables (this step can be performed days ahead and kept in the fridge)
- To make the pickling liquid, combine vinegar, water, sugar and salt in small pot. Bring to boil over medium heat.
- Simmer for 2 minutes then remove from heat to cool slightly
- Julienne the red onion and shred the carrot. Place in a heat resistance container.
- Pour pickling liquid over the top of the vegetables. Let cool to room temperature.
For the burgers
- Heat cooking surface (flat top griddle or cast iron skillet) over high heat. Preheat for 5 minutes. I highly recommend doing this outside as it's going to splatter.
- Form 5 ounces balls from the ground pork
- After the cooking surface has come to temperature and preheated for a few minutes. Add the oil and ground pork balls. Don't touch just let them cook. You may need to do this step in batches depending on the size of your cooking surface.
- After the balls have cooked for about 60 seconds, smash down with the backside of a spatula to form a thin patty. Sprinkle each patty with kosher salt and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Flip the patties, sprinkle with kosher salt again and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Remove from cooktop to a wire rack or plate
Assemble the burger
- In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and sriracha and mix together.
- Coat bottom and top bun insides with sriracha mayo.
- Place a layer of cucumbers followed by a pork patty (or two if you want a double) on the bottom bun
- Layer on some of the pickled vegetables with a good amount of cilantro leaves
- Place the top bun half on top and enjoy