This Vietnamese shrimp banh mi-inspired sandwich combines colorful quick-pickled vegetables, a sweet-and-spicy peanut sauce, fresh herbs, & tender shrimp.
For Shrimp Boil:
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 star anise
- 1 small white onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
For Quick Pickled Veggies:
- 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 mini cucumbers (or 1 English cucumber), thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
- 1 daikon radish, peeled and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
For Peanut Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
- 1 baguette
- 1 small bunch mint leaves
- 1 small bunch cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped (optional)
- For the shrimp boil: Place the lemon, peppercorns, bay leaf, star anise, onion and garlic in a large stock pot and fill with water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered.
- Add shrimp to the water and cook until pink and slightly firm, about 3 minutes. Plunge the shrimp into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain shrimp and refrigerate until ready to use.
- For the quick pickled veggies: In a large bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add daikon, cucumber, and carrot and toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- For the peanut sauce: Heat peanut oil in a small saucepan over moderate heat. Once hot, add onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until pale golden, about 4 minutes. Whisk in water, peanut butter, hoisin, tomato paste, and sugar and bring to a simmer. Whisk for 1 minute, then transfer to a small bowl to cool.
- To assemble the sandwiches: Cut baguette into 4 equal pieces, then slice each in half lengthwise. Spread a thin layer of peanut sauce on the cut side of the baguette. Top with shrimp, pickled veggies, fresh mint, and cilantro. Add a sprinkling of peanuts if you like, place the top on your sandwich, and enjoy!
If the honey doesn’t dissolve into the vinegar for your pickling liquid, microwave the mixture in 15-second intervals, whisking in between each, until dissolved.
You can slice your veggies however you like, but thin is best for the pickling liquid to do its job quickly. I used a vegetable peeler to get ribbons, but you could also thinly slice them with a knife. You could even use a spiralizer or the grater plate on a food processor for the carrot and daikon.
You can stir chopped peanuts into the peanut sauce if you like a chunkier texture. They’re great sprinkled onto your sandwich, too!
Keywords: banh mi, shrimp boil, peanut sauce