The No. 1 Banh Mi

Adapted by
May 2022


(Yield: 120 servings)
5 pounds ground Niman Ranch pork shoulder
Sea salt
Black pepper
Neutral oil
10 pounds chicken livers
10 medium-sized shallots, sliced
15 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons five-spice powder
1 ½ cups rendered pork fat
Ham Hock Terrine:
(Yield: 160 servings)
10 pounds smoked ham hocks
1 ounce gelatin powder, bloomed
Pickled Vegetables:
(Yield: 160 servings)
5 quarts white vinegar
5 quarts sugar
1 cup sea salt
20 pounds matchstick carrots
10 pounds shredded daikon radish
To Assemble and Serve:
(Yield: 2 sandwiches)
Two 8-to-10-inch long French baguettes
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
2 to 3 slices smoked bologna
¼ bunch cilantro, big stems removed
1 small jalapeño, thinly sliced into rounds
Kikkoman gluten-free soy sauce
Black pepper


For the Pâté

On a hot flat top, add ground pork and season liberally with salt and pepper. Sear until golden brown and fully cooked. Transfer pork to a big bowl. Grease the flat top with a little bit of oil, add chicken livers, and season liberally with more salt and pepper. Sear until medium-rare. Add chicken livers to the pork. Add shallots, garlic, and a little bit of oil to the flat top. Cook until shallots are soft and translucent. Add remaining ingredients, sautéed garlic and shallots, 2 tablespoons salt, and 2 tablespoons black pepper to the bowl. Mix thoroughly. Transfer mixture to a food processor then purée until a smooth consistency. Stir in ½ cup coarsely ground black pepper. Store in a nonreactive container, refrigerate, and reserve. 

For the Ham Hock Terrine

In a large pot, add ham shanks and 3 gallons water. Bring to a simmer. Cook until the meat is falling off the bone, about 3 hours. Transfer ham to a large bowl and let cool. Strain and reserve ham stock. Once ham has cooled, pick and discard cartilage, bones, and tough meat. Dice fat, julienne the skin, and return to the bowl. Set aside. In a pot, bring  4 cups reserved ham stock to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in gelatin. Pour the stock over the ham meat, fat, and skin. While warm, transfer the meat mixture to a 400-sized hotel pan and press with another hotel pan to weigh down. Refrigerate overnight to set.

For the Pickled Vegetables

In a 12-quart clear container, add vinegar, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine until salt and sugar dissolve. In a large, nonreactive container, mix carrots and daikon until evenly distributed. Distribute vegetable mixture out into three 12-quart, clear, plastic containers. Evenly pour vinegar mixture over the vegetables. With a gloved hand, toss vegetables and press down so they are all submerged under the pickling liquid. Pickle at minimum 30 minutes and at most 1 week.

To Assemble and Serve

Heat oven to 375°F. Toast baguettes 3 to 4 minutes. Bread should be super crispy on the outside and steamy and warm on the inside. Slice baguettes lengthwise then slather the entire inside with mayonnaise. Spread bottom of each sandwich with 1 ounce Pâté. Start evenly layering from bottom to top of each sandwich, in this order: Cucumber, 1 to 2 slices bologna, 1 to 2 slices Ham Hock Terrine, ½ cup Pickled Vegetables, cilantro, jalapeño, 3 dashes Kikkoman soy sauce, and a few cracks black pepper. Close the sandwich, cut in half, and eat right away!