I love this sandwich because it's bursting with sweet, spicy and salty flavors in each and every bite. Juicy pineapple relish, pickled cucumbers, marinated pork and a tropical coconut and macadamia spread give this delicious sandwich a distinctly tropical taste.
- 1 medium-sized pineapple (2½- to 3-pounds), peeled, core removed, small diced
- 1/2 cup, firmly packed cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1 small onion or shallot, finely minced (1/2 cup)
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
- 1 tablespoon freshly minced turmeric
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/2 tablespoon finely grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or sliced fresh chiles
- 1 tablespoons salt
- 5 pounds boneless pork shoulder, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices/strips
- 1/4 cup minced ginger
- 3/4 cup crushed, minced lemongrass
- 2 tablespoons minced jalapeño or other medium-hot chile
- 20 cloves garlic
- 5 shallots, sliced
- 3/4 cup fish sauce
- 3/4 cup pineapple juice
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup dark soy sauce
- 6 tablespoons neutral oil
- 2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
- 1 cup lightly toasted macadamia nuts
- 1/2 cup minced and rinsed red onion
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1 tablespoon lime zest
- 1/2 cup neutral oil
- 2 cups thinly sliced cucumbers
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup white balsamic or rice vinegar
- 8 pieces French baguette (banh mi-style)
- butter, softened
- Thai basil leaves
- cilantro leaves
- mint leaves
For the Pineapple Sambal:1.
Sterilize your jars and leave them to cool completely.2.
Peel the pineapples, then cut into 1/2-inch cubes, discarding the tough core.3.
Place the pineapple in a non-reactive bowl, then add all the other ingredients. Using your hands, squish everything together and mix thoroughly.4.
The Pineapple Sambal can be fermented a few days in advance. To ferment it, make the sambal as per the instructions, then place in sterilized jars (with lid lightly screwed on) at room temperature for 3-7 days (the warmer the room, the shorter time it needs to ferment). This fermentation process adds healthy bacteria to the pickle and brings out more of the salty flavor. Store in the fridge once the ferment reaches the taste you like.
For the Lemongrass Pork:
Place the thinly sliced pork in a large bowl or baking dish. Combine the remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Pour the marinade over the pork and massage with your hands until completely incorporated. Allow to marinate 12-24 hours.
Preheat a grill, griddle or cast-iron pan to medium-high heat. Lightly oil the surface once it is hot. Wipe excess marinade from the pork and cook on a hot surface on both sides, until pork begins to caramelize and char slightly on the edges and the pork is cooked thru.
For the Coconut-Macadamia Spread:
Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender until smooth. Keep refrigerated.
For the quick pickles:
Toss sliced cucumbers with the sugar until well-coated. Place in a non-reactive container and pour cold vinegar over, gently pressing down on cucumbers to submerge in brine (cucumbers will release all of their water eventually and soften). Keep refrigerated until needed.
For the sandwich:
Split baguettes in half, brush with softened butter and griddle or toast lightly.
Assemble by placing hot cooked Lemongrass Pork strips on the bottom baguette (4- to 5-ounces). Top with a few tablespoons of Pineapple Sambal and several pickle slices. Top with fresh herbs. Spread Coconut-Macadamia Spread on the top baguette, top it off and secure with a toothpick.