Lyndey Milan's banh mi with quick pickled vegetables recipe is perfect for the changing seasons, so choose a wine with refreshing appeal, like your favourite dry Rosé to pair with the simple deliciousness of a banh mi.
750g–1kg boneless pork belly
2 tsp sea salt flakes
4–6 French bread rolls or 1–2 baguettes
Quick pickled vegetables
1 (150g) Lebanese cucumber, deseeded
1 small (250g) daikon, or part of daikon
1 small or 1/2 large red onion
2 jalapeno chillies, deseeded or to taste
1/3 cup (75g) cup sugar
1/3 cup (80ml) water
110ml rice wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
Coriander sprigs and sliced shallots, to serve
Recipe by Lyndey Milan
Photography by John Paul Urizar
Styling by Michaela Le Compte
Food prep by Sarah-Jane Hallett
1. Optional the night before: score the pork rind with a very sharp knife. Place a rack or a plate upside down in the sink. Carefully pour a kettle of boiling water over the pork belly to open up the cuts to ensure a crisp crackling. Pat dry with paper towels and put on a plate, uncovered, in the fridge overnight to dry.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C. Remove pork from the fridge to come to room temperature. Sprinkle the top with salt and rub it in, making sure it gets into the scores in the rind.
3. Place pork, rind side up, in a baking dish and roast for 25–30 minutes. Reduce heat to 180ºC and roast for approximately 20–25 minutes more (depending on thickness) or until the rind is crisp and the meat juices run clear. If the juices are clear and the rind is not crisp enough, grill for 5 minutes or until the rind blisters.
4. Meanwhile for pickle: thinly slice vegetables (or use julienne peeler) into even julienne strips and pack tightly into a jar (in layers looks pretty). Combine sugar, water, vinegar and salt in a small saucepan and heat, gently, stirring until sugar and salt have dissolved; pour over vegetables, cool, then refrigerate until needed.
5. Remove pork to a warm plate, loosely cover with foil and rest for 10 minutes.
6. If the crackling is very crisp, to carve, it may be easier to turn the pork crackling-side down. Place a slice inside each bun, or piece of baguette, top with pickles, coriander, shallots and serve immediately.
For gluten-free eating, wrap pork and pickles in lettuce wraps or rice paper. Also great in bao buns. Store leftover pickle in the fridge – it will stay crisp for over a month though the cucumber will darken.