This is the most unexpectedly tasty sandwich I’ve ever come across in my life (so far). I was introduced to this Chinese BBQ Pork (a.k.a Char Siu) / Rocket / Parmesan / Balsimico / Olive Oil / Sea Salt / Bread combo as a youngster by a friend who makes me look like a lazy sloth when we’re talking ‘energy’ (she later went on to being a triathlete amongst other adventurous things). Back to the sandwich, I was a sceptical little 12 year old when I met this bread-y goodness, but thank golly-gosh I was an adventurous little eater who loved food (always have, always will). I think the fact that it seemed to be fusion, and being the little gourmand I was, I thought I knew a little thing or two about how fusion and food aren’t always a good thing… this was also coming out of the 90s which was much fusion, much East-meets-West if you know what I mean. The moral of the story here is to always give something a chance by giving it a try. The moment my readily receiving tastebuds sent those scrumptious messages up to my sceptical little brain, I was a Char Siu Sandwich convert. In hindsight, I now understand that this sandwich is really a kind of Banh Mi, though it does translate well in a fresh Ciabatta instead of a Viet-French style roll – it’s a super personal, super subjective thing (as is the subject of food).
For all of you who roll in Bangkok (pun intended), Ponytail Journal will be bursting the ‘Made By Legacy‘ biannual flea market bubble, serving many a ‘GOODNESS SANDWICH!’ and plenty of ‘GOODNESS GRANOLA‘ via the ‘Tastiest Life Possible‘ pop-up. Come and embrace #muchdeliciousness. My stand will be sitting cozy between Roots Coffee Roasters & Yellow Stuff Artisan Apron Makers where my P.T.J. Collaboration Carry-Alls will be making their debut to the public. So much goodness going on! To get an idea of how my market weekend with these guys will pan out, you can read my article here about these awesome linen-loving, coffee fanatics (who also live a ‘funnest life possible’ policy).
Meanwhile, here is a little tastebud-teaser that will probably make your expectations too high for my own good. Recipe below.
GOODNESS SANDWICH! (makes one)
You will need:
half a palm-sized piece of good quality Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork) from a Cantonese BBQ shop
a handful of wild rocket or arugula (your choice)
parmesan for shaving (I use Grana Padano for this sandwich)
aged balsamic vinegar, or regular balsamic vinegar (that we will reduce)
sea salt & pepper
extra virgin olive oil
a fresh Ciabatta or French-style roll
Slice your pork against the grain, into small bite sized pieces. If you are using regular balsamic vinegar, heat a small frypan over a high heat, and pour 4 tablespoons of vinegar into your pan to simmer for about a minute. Turn off the heat and let it cool. In a large mixing bowl, grab a handful of washed and drained rocket, and add the cooled balsamic or a dash of aged balsamic vinegar to the rocket. Start with a little, you can always add more once you have tossed and tasted. Add as much shaved parmesan cheese to your heart’s content (I use a vegetable peeler to shave mine), followed by the BBQ pork, a dash of olive oil and a pinch of salt and a good amount of cracked pepper. Toss gently and taste to see if it is salty and sour enough. Slice your bread roll in half so that you have two open faces. Add the salad mix to make a generous sandwich. Shave on some extra parmesan if you love cheesy goodness, and close your sandwich for eating!
Note: If your bread isn’t as fresh or if you would like a toasted version of this sandwich, I would toast your bread halves before you add the filling. Happy eating!