What up y’all?!
Today on Good Gumbo we are going to head over to the West Bank of New Orleans and go to the Hong Kong Market.
It is full of Asian ingredients, spices, produce, you name it!
I’m going to meet up with Chef Cynthia and we are going to go over to her restaurant and put all those ingredients together that we buy to make one awesome Banh Mi!
This is Good Gumbo.
Hey… Good Morning… Hey Chef Cynthia, How you?
What’s going on here?
I’m getting lost in all these ingredients.
There is just so much stuff in this place.
Isn’t it amazing?!
I wanted to meet here because we are going to go shopping for a little bit and pick up ingredients to make the Bahn Mi.
Banh mi is the Vietnamese word for bread.
In Vietnamese cuisine, it’s also a type of baguette introduced to Vietnam in the mid 19th century, when it was part of French Indochina.
It’s split lengthwise and stuffed with savory ingredients - a concept that’s right at home in Louisiana.
After the fall of Saigon, a little after 1971, there was a big influx of Vietnamese families that came here to New Orleans.
A lot of those were because of Catholic charities because the Vietnamese population is predominantly Catholic.
and they were settled in two different parts of New Orleans.
There was New Orleans East and on the West Bank of New Orleans.
And from what I understand, there is a little bit of infighting.
People came from different area.
Like for me, I came from the fisherman area.
So, it’s a different kind of people.
So, different culture as well.
I am from the farmer and fisherman.
So, compared to, like a uptown kid, it’s hard to get along when you just came to United States and language barrier.
But we try to communicate with each other even though have different sides and see different things.
So New Orleans is known as a melting pot.
So you have all these cultures, flavors, ingredients.
One of my favorite food to eat is Vietnamese, by far!
So, we’re going to make a Bahn Mi today!
We are going to pick out some of the ingredients to do that.
You’re the master at the Bahn Mi.
I know that there are a lot of ingredients that go into it.
Some may be difficult and take time to make.
But some very easy, fresh ingredients.
We have a lot of fresh herb in there.
And I love pork belly.
Now you’re talking to my heart there.
And then we have some beef to make a meatball.
So you have a combination of two.
So you can have either fatty or lean.
And this place has everything.
And this place you get everything.
This stuff I like.
I don’t know why… it has this cumin, savory… Yes, it is.
It is fishy, but delicious.
It tastes like fish.
Oh it does!
Peppermint and Culantro… I love this stuff too.
Especially when you do a fresh seafood with this.
This one when you make a sweet and spicy sauce.
It’s the bomb!
It’s the bomb (laughter.)
Let’s grab some ingredients and go cook.
That’s what I really want to do.
Here, you want to grab cilantro.
Usually the heavier the better?
The meat is sweeter and not have a lot of seed.
So we have a cucumber.
Do you like spicy?
I like it spicy.
I love it spicy.
Put in one more and maybe one more.
(laughter) So we gonna get Daikon.
Daikon on that side.
Look at all this stuff.
So, now we have all the vegetables and we go shop for the meat.
We need meat and what else.
Pork belly (laughs).
I love pork belly, So we are going to get some pork belly for the Bahn Mi.
And why is pork belly so important for this dish?
Because they have a layer fat, layer of meat, fat, meat, and it is not too fatty and not too lean.
So when you make a Bahn Mi, it just go perfect with the sandwich, the bread.
That sounds awesome.
I am going to cook.
You pick out the meat.
I think I am going to take that one right there.
They make the bread here, too, fresh, right?
Yes, I think they bake every every morning.
At nine o’clock?
That's when we get the fresh bread ready to go.
You can feel it here, still hot.
Yeah it’s still warm.
So tell me a little about what we have on the table.
All this wonderful meat.
And Vietnamese butter –buttah!
So that is like a mayonnaise.
Yes, but it is more buttery!
Not like mayonnaise.
We have Cilantro Oh Yes.
And I like Green Onions.
And I like jalapenos.
So I am a fan of heat.
Oh, you're gonna love this.
And pickled Daikon.
And carrot pickle.
So we have a little bit of soy sauce in there.
So there you go, you got the meatball.
And now we are going to do the same thing.
But with pork.
For the pork belly.
So this the pork belly that we got at Hong Kong Market earlier today.
And I love what you did with it.
You said this was poached, right?
This is amazing how the skin, the color of the meat.
You get this beautiful marbling.
Layer of fat.
Layer of meat.
Layer of fat.
Now you are talking my language.
Who would not love pork belly?!
Yeah, it is a perfect combination of meat to fat ratio.
It is wonderful.
You can’t go wrong with this.
So you put a layer of the meat.
How much you love pork belly?
Oh I love it a lot.
You love it a lot.
How about that?
Ah, you’re the best!
I feel like I spoil you Chef.
I think you are.
A little bit of a daaaash of soy sauce.
(Chef Philip) ...looks good.
You see that.
So which one are we going for first?
How about we go for the meatball.
See that red color.
That is the secret.
That’s the secret?
Just a little bit of amazing?
The secret is a little bit of amazing.
That is really, really good.
See how soft it is.
It is the simplicity of the ingredients that really surprise me.
That is what is so good.
Meatball is one of my favorite.
And, of course, pork belly too.
to pork belly!
So now I understand.
Now I understand.
Because Po Boy in New Orleans is a world-famous sandwich.
And in the Vietnamese culture imbedded here in New Orleans, has really made a statement.
And they do it with the Bahn Mi.
It is amazing.
It has put itself into the fabric and the DNA of who we are as New Orleanians.
And I tell you what, you make an awesome sandwich.
Well thank you so much.
You need another bite, huh?
How is that?
The second bite is better than the first bite.