Banh Mi…where do I start? This creation is a culinary delight to the taste buds. It hit the sweet, sour and savory notions with a kick of spice and deliciousness that just “Goes There.” On a recent trip to Key West, we visited a little Cuban Food shack and discovered that Banh Mi can be anything but traditional. Imagine my surprise when I ventured into a Cuban joint and seen a “Cuban Banh Mi Sandwich.” Yeah like a real Cuban Sandwich with authentic pressed bread married a Banh Mi…I wasn’t leaving without trying it. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed. In fact the intrigued stayed with me. Less than a week back from our trip and here I am in the kitchen hatching up a plan to recreate my experience…with a twist of course.
Here it is…my play on a Cuban Banh Mi, in a tostada!
Bahn Mi typically has a quick pickled trio for crunch. I immediately took a different path and used less than traditional ingredients…but if you must stay true here is a recipe for the pickled vegetables.
Pickled Banh Mi Vegetable Trio
1/2 pound daikon, peeled
1/2 pound large carrots, peeled
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar
¾ cup water
Mix liquids in a mason jar until sugar is dissolved. Cut vegetables into 4 inch long thin matchsticks. Add to jar and set aside for at least an hour. Refrigerate leftovers.
Ok, so obviously I didn’t do the above. I got an idea and we needed food like A.S.A.P. Heres what I did. Don’t argue just try it!
Quick Banh Mi Slaw
1 cup Precut Slaw Mix
½ Jalapeno-thinly sliced*
5 radish bulbs- sliced matchstick style
½ Cucumber- sliced and cut into matchsticks
1 tsp Sugar
¼ tsp Sea salt
4 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
2 Tbsp Water
1/2 cup Cilantro- diced (stems included)
I prepared veggies and mix into the bowl. Top with salt, sugar, vinegar, and water. Toss to mix. Set aside while you prepare meat. ****Now I like things hot so this was fine for me. When you pour vinegar on sliced jalapenos the mix gets hot. Juices and all. If you don’t like to much heat, omit or add jalapeno’s directly to the tostada.
2 lbs diced chicken breast
¼ Onion- diced
2 tbsp Grapeseed or other healthy oil.
½ Jalapeno Sliced** if you like heat
1.5 tsp Sea salt
2 tsp Sweet Paprika
2 tsp minced garlic
⅓ cup Guava paste
Heat oil in a pan on medium high heat. Add Chicken, Onions and sliced Jalapeño and seasonings. Toss and cook for 4 minutes. Lower heat and add garlic. Cook until chicken is no longer pink, tossing as you go. Add ⅓ cup of Guava Paste. It will melt and coat chicken. Raise heat for a minute and coat meat. When paste melts and coats meat turn off heat.
In a pan add oil and fry corn tortillas until crispy.
12 Corn Tortillas
Oil- Grapeseed or Canola 1/2 inch in depth
In a small pan, heat oil until hot. Place shell in oil and fry on one side 30 seconds and flip and fry until crispy. Sprinkle with salt. To avoid oily shells make sure oil is hot before placing shell inside. Oil will bubble when you place the shell in it. Use tongs to let oil drain back into the pan before plating it.
Suggested Sides: Garlic Rice, Black Beans, Street-Corn, Agua Fresca or Fruit.