Instant Pot Banh Mi is a Vietnamese Pork Sandwich that has an explosion of flavors. This Asian sandwich is assembled on a toasted French baguette with pork, pickled vegetables, pate, fresh herbs and condiments. Bring the flavors of your favorite banh mi food truck or takeout to your kitchen with this easy recipe.
Bahn mi has really grown in popularity with the onset of the food truck phenomenon in the US. I was introduced to banh mi when I visited a neighborhood Vietnamese restaurant and I was hooked from the first bite! It really is one of the most delicious sandwiches I’ve ever had.
My daughter’s best friend is Vietnamese and she told us that saying ‘banh mi sandwich’ is like saying ‘sandwich sandwich’ or it could be ‘bread sandwich’. I had no idea! (Umm, kinda like when people say ‘chai tea’. ‘Chai’ is ‘tea’ in Hindi!) So we’ll just refer to it as ‘banh mi’, shall we?
So what is a banh mi? Bahn mi is a sandwich that originated in Vietnam, following the introduction of French bread by the French colonists. If you’re interested, find out more about the history of banh mi, particularly in the US.
The best part about this Instant Pot banh mi is the explosion of flavors (sweet, sour, spicy, salty, savory) and different textures (crispy, crunchy, chewy, airy). Bahn mi is made from toasted baguette, pâté, mayonnaise, pickled daikon radish and carrots, sliced green chili peppers, cilantro leaves, Maggi sauce, and pork. These ingredients contribute contrasting flavors and textures, that when put together, make for an awesome sandwich.
My Instant Pot Banh Mi recipe is adapted from a grilled pork banh mi recipe that I make. Because it’s pressure cooked in the Instant Pot, I adapted the recipe to shred the meat and increase the spices.
Pâté (pronounced ‘pah-tay’) is a meat spread that can be kind of expensive and/or may not be available to you. If your pâté is not spreadable, slice it thinly. If you don’t want to use pâté, substitute a slice of ham. But you will be missing the rich flavor of the pâté.
Try to find a light crusty baguette – avoid a dense, chewy bread. If you have a Vietnamese bakery near you, all the better! Bolillo rolls, Cubano rolls, or hoagie rolls also work well. And don’t skip toasting the bread; I find that the Instant Pot banh mi is so much more flavorful with a toasted baguette.
Maggi sauce is a soy-based sauce that’s made with different recipes depending on the country it’s sold in. You can find many of them on amazon. It’s one of the ingredients in an authentic, traditional banh mi. A few drops of Maggi sauce in the banh mi, when you’re assembling it, adds a lot of flavor. You can find Maggi sauce in Latin or Asian grocery stores. I use the Latin version. Read more about this sauce in Andrea Nguyen’s primer on Maggi sauce.
If I don’t have any on hand, I use Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce, which is a Thai sauce I use in noodle dishes.
Daikon is an Asian radish and is usually available at regular grocery stores, but you’ll definitely find it in an Asian grocery store. (Warning: it’s got a very strong smell, especially if you store the pickle in a bottle!) If you can’t find it, omit it. Yet another ingredient that when combined with all the others, really enhances the flavor. I’ve provided a recipe for pickled daikon radish and carrots – it’s really simple to make.
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce (or to taste)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp minced garlic
Optional toppings: sliced cucumbers, sliced jalapenos, fried egg
If you don’t eat pork, substitute bone-in chicken thighs and pressure cook them for 15 minutes with a natural release (NPR) and proceed with the recipe.
This recipe was made using a 6 quart Instant Pot Ultra. I haven’t had any issues with the Instant Pot coming to pressure with this recipe. However, if you experience the ‘burn’ message frequently you might need to add some extra liquid, e.g. some broth or water.
[Read more: Instant Pot Burn Message]
If you’re new to the Instant Pot and aren’t familiar with how to use it, please read the Instant Pot DUO Beginner’s Quick Start Guide or the Instant Pot ULTRA Beginner’s Quick Start Guide first and then come back here to learn how to make this Instant Pot Instant Pot Banh Mi.
Instant Pot Instant Pot Banh Mi Ingredients
How to Make Instant Pot Instant Pot Banh Mi (Step-by-Step Instructions)
- In a small bowl, stir together lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, black pepper, Chinese 5-spice powder, and sugar
- Place pork in inner pot, pour marinade over meat and turn to coat.
Instant Pot DUO Pressure Cook:
- Close the lid and make sure steam release handle is in ‘Sealing’ position
- Press ‘Manual’ (or ‘Pressure Cook’) and ‘+’ or ‘-‘ until display reads ‘60′ (60 minutes).
Instant Pot ULTRA Pressure Cook:
- Close the lid.
- Select Pressure Cook mode and adjust time to 1 hour (01:00).
- Press ‘Start’.
- Instant Pot display will change to ‘On’.
- Once the Instant Pot is pressurized, the float valve will go up.
- The display will count down from 60 to 0; it will then switch to ‘Keep Warm’ mode and display ‘L0:00’ or ’00 00′ and begin to count up.
- Allow the pressure to release naturally (NPR). The float valve will be in the down position. This may take 15 to 30 minutes.
- Press Cancel and Open the Instant Pot.
- Transfer the pork from the Instant Pot to a large bowl.
- Reserve the cooking liquid.
- Shred the meat using two forks, and remove any visible fat.
- Heat a large frying pan on the stovetop, add 1 Tbsp oil and allow to heat up.
- Spread out two cups of meat in the pan and saute till nicely browned on one side. Add cooking liquid (1 to 2 teaspoons at a time) to moisten the meat and deglaze the pan, up to 2 tablespoons total. (Taste as you go to make sure the meat doesn’t get too salty, since the liquid is being reduced and flavor is being concentrated.)
- Cut a 6-inch piece of baguette in half lengthwise.
- Spread butter on the inside of both halves.
- Toast the bread on both sides on a griddle or in the oven.
- Spread a generous quantity of Sriracha mayo or mayo on one half of the baguette.
- Spread a generous quantity of pâté on the other half.
- Layer pork, pickled daikon and carrots on the bottom half.
- Drizzle a few drops of Maggi sauce, to taste. I sometimes substitute Golden Mountain seasoning sauce, which is a fabulous Thai sauce that I use on noodles.
- Layer cilantro, sliced jalapenos on top.
- Top with the other half of the baguette and serve immediately.
Instant Pot Bahn Mi | Vietnamese Sandwich
Instant Pot Banh Mi is a Vietnamese Pork Sandwich that delivers an explosion of flavors. This Asian sandwich is assembled on toasted French bread or baguette with pork, pickled vegetables, and fresh herbs. Bring the flavors of your favorite banh mi food truck or takeout to your kitchen with this easy recipe.
In a small bowl, mix lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, black pepper, Chinese 5-spice powder, and sugar.
Place pork in Instant Pot inner pot, and pour sauce over meat and turn to coat.
Pressure cook for 60 minutes.
Allow the pressure to release naturally (NPR) and open the lid.
Transfer the pork from the Instant Pot to a large bowl and reserve the cooking liquid.
Shred the meat using two forks, and remove any visible fat.
Heat oil in a large large nonstick frying pan on the stovetop.
Spread two cups of meat in the pan and saute until browned on one side. Add cooking liquid (1 to 2 teaspoons at a time) to moisten the meat and deglaze the pan, up to 2 tablespoons total. (Taste as you go to make sure the meat doesn't get too salty.)
Cut a 6-inch piece of baguette in half lengthwise.
Spread butter on the inside of both halves.
Toast the bread on both sides on a griddle or in the oven on a tray.
Generously spread mayo on one half of the baguette.
Generously spread pâté on the other half.
Layer pork, pickled daikon and carrots, a few drops of Maggi sauce, cilantro, and sliced jalapenos on the bottom half.
Top with the other half of the baguette and serve the banh mi immediately.
- Prep time does not include steps that are already accounted for in the ingredient list, e.g. minced garlic, cut vegetables, etc.
- Bread should not be hard and chewy, but light and airy
- If you're using larger piece of pork, cut it into 2 or 3 pieces
- See the blog post for more detailed recipe tips
I am not a certified nutritionist. I provide my best estimate of nutritional information merely as a courtesy to my readers. If you depend on nutritional information for dietary or health reasons, I suggest using your favorite online nutrition calculator to confirm the nutritional value of this recipe based on the actual ingredients that you use.
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