This recipe is from the August 2004 issue of Real Simple magazine. It's a favorite in our house. My only real deviation from this recipe is to marinate the flank steak overnight or from morning until cooking at dinnertime. Don't be afraid of the mayo, it broils off in the oven and serves only to soften the bread surface. You cannot taste it and the recipe just isn't the same without it. Being weird about mayo, I have made it both ways. Enjoy (Michelle, I know you've been waiting for this)! Also, I double or triple the marinade to make more meat and also use an entire bottle of rice vinegar and make a lot more pickled veggies so there are lunchtime leftovers for Jon.
Vietnamese Steak Sandwiches (Banh Mi)
1/2 lb. piece of flank steak, about 1 inch thick
1 TEAspoon sriracha chili sauce (found in the international aisle of most supermarkets...heck, I can even find it here in Wheeling!)
4 TEAspoons sugar
1 1/2 TABLEspoons nuoc nam (fish sauce...once again, head for the international foods aisle)
1 TEAspoon minced garlic
1 cup rice wine vinegar
3 radishes thinly sliced (daikon if you can find them, but regular radishes are just fine)
1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
1/2 medium bell pepper, cut into thin rings
4 TABLEspoons mayonnaise (don't even think of using Miracle Whip)
1 small loaf (appx. 8") baguette or french bread, halved and cut horizontally
6 sprigs fresh cilantro
Place chili sauce, sugar, fish sauce and garlic into a gallon ziploc bag. Mix together and add meat to marinate. Heat oven (or toaster oven) to 450 degrees. Heat an outdoor grill or stovetop grill pan to medium-hot. Place vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Toss the radishes, carrots and pepper into the vinegar. Remove from heat, cover and set aside. Place the marinated steak on the grill and cook to medium, 4-6 minutes per side and allow to rest before cutting into thin slices. Meanwhile, spread mayo on the baguette. Heat the open baguette, mayo-side up until the mayo melts and the bread begins to get crispy. Fill the baguette with the vegetables and steak, and top with cilantro.