Banh-Mi-Style Beef Tacos With Pickled Cucumber and Sriracha Mayo

with Chef Robert Larios
Photography by Patricia M. Larios

One of the joys of food in Southern California is the availability of Vietnamese cuisine. Anytime I’m looking for a Vietnamese eating establishment, I have to try one of my all-time favorite sandwiches, the banh-mi sandwich. It has a combination of tender meat, savory sauces and crunchy textures that typically comes from pickled veggies, cilantro, spicy chilies, and if you’re lucky, is topped with a fried egg. This recipe combines the flavors of the banh-mi sandwich and transforms it into a taco. Try this new take on the classic banh-mi sandwich as a taco for a whole new, delicious experience.

¡Buen provecho!



Banh-Mi-Style Beef Tacos

With Pickled Cucumber and Sriracha Mayo

Utensils You Will Need:

  • Small bowl
  • Large pan
  • Paper towel

Yields2 Servings

 1 lime
 1 Persian cucumber
 ¼ oz cilantro
 10 oz ground beef (plant-based proteins are excellent, too)
 5 tsp rice wine vinegar
 4 oz shredded carrots
 2 tbsp mayonnaise
 1 tsp sriracha
 6 flour tortillas (regular size)
 4 tbsp sweet soy glaze
 2 tsp olive oil
 ½ tsp sugar
 Sea salt and pepper (to taste)

1

Step 1
Wash and dry all produce. Halve lime. Trim and halve cucumber lengthwise; thinly slice crosswise into half-moons. Finely chop cilantro. In a small bowl, combine half the vinegar (you’ll use the rest later), juice from half the lime, ½ teaspoon sugar (1 teaspoon for 4 servings), and a pinch of salt. Stir in cucumber. Set aside to quick-pickle.

2

Step 2
Heat a drizzle of oil in a large, preferably nonstick, pan over medium-high heat. Add carrots and cook, stirring, until just tender, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off heat; transfer to a plate.

3

Step 3
Heat another drizzle of oil in same pan over medium-high heat. Add beef; season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up meat into pieces, until browned and cooked through, 4-6 minutes. Stir in sweet soy glaze and remaining vinegar. Bring to a simmer, then immediately turn off heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

4

Step 4
In a second small bowl, combine mayonnaise with sriracha to taste. Season with salt. Stir in water 1 teaspoon at a time until mixture reaches a drizzling consistency.

5

Step 5
Wrap tortillas in damp paper towels and microwave until warm and pliable, 30 seconds. Divide tortillas between plates and fill with saucy beef, carrots, pickled cucumber (draining first), and cilantro. Drizzle with sriracha mayo. Cut remaining lime into wedges and serve on the side.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

 1 lime
 1 Persian cucumber
 ¼ oz cilantro
 10 oz ground beef (plant-based proteins are excellent, too)
 5 tsp rice wine vinegar
 4 oz shredded carrots
 2 tbsp mayonnaise
 1 tsp sriracha
 6 flour tortillas (regular size)
 4 tbsp sweet soy glaze
 2 tsp olive oil
 ½ tsp sugar
 Sea salt and pepper (to taste)

Directions

1

Step 1
Wash and dry all produce. Halve lime. Trim and halve cucumber lengthwise; thinly slice crosswise into half-moons. Finely chop cilantro. In a small bowl, combine half the vinegar (you’ll use the rest later), juice from half the lime, ½ teaspoon sugar (1 teaspoon for 4 servings), and a pinch of salt. Stir in cucumber. Set aside to quick-pickle.

2

Step 2
Heat a drizzle of oil in a large, preferably nonstick, pan over medium-high heat. Add carrots and cook, stirring, until just tender, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off heat; transfer to a plate.

3

Step 3
Heat another drizzle of oil in same pan over medium-high heat. Add beef; season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up meat into pieces, until browned and cooked through, 4-6 minutes. Stir in sweet soy glaze and remaining vinegar. Bring to a simmer, then immediately turn off heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

4

Step 4
In a second small bowl, combine mayonnaise with sriracha to taste. Season with salt. Stir in water 1 teaspoon at a time until mixture reaches a drizzling consistency.

5

Step 5
Wrap tortillas in damp paper towels and microwave until warm and pliable, 30 seconds. Divide tortillas between plates and fill with saucy beef, carrots, pickled cucumber (draining first), and cilantro. Drizzle with sriracha mayo. Cut remaining lime into wedges and serve on the side.

Enjoy!

Banh-Mi-Style Beef Tacos With Pickled Cucumber and Sriracha Mayo

Food Lover’s Dictionary

Mayonnaise [MAY-uh-nayz, may-uh-NAHZ]: A thick, creamy dressing that’s an
emulsion of vegetable oil, egg yolks, lemon juice or vinegar and seasonings. All mayonnaise should be refrigerated once made or opened. Mayonnaise is widely used
as a spread, a dressing and sauce, as well as many other mixtures.

Bibliography: Copyright Barron’s Educational Services, Inc. 2009, adapted from The New Food Lover’s Companion, 2007, by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst.

Recipe: https://www.hellofresh.com/recipes/banh-mi-style-beef-tacos-60510b487d7f950b8951f67a?isMegaAddonsEnabled=true Accessed May 15, 2021.



Cooking Tidbit: Try plant-based proteins instead of beef. Also, if you like spicy hot flavors, you may dice some chili peppers such as jalapeño, serrano or Hanoi red pepper – Vietnamese chili (if you can find them in the market)



Food Quote: “Food is the most primitive form of comfort.”

– Sheilah Graham Westbrook

 

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