Banh mi’s flavor system is proving itself as fertile ground for innovation. Here, Cameon Orel, Senior Culinary Associate with Kathy Casey Food Studios in Seattle, extends that craveable flavor combination into a modern fish sandwich, developed for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.
She uses silky, rich black cod, marinated in soy sauce and fish sauce, then seared until golden brown. Tucked into a slider-sized piece of warm French baguette slathered with mayonnaise, the fish is topped with pickled radish, onion and carrot, fresh jalapeño, cilantro, cucumber, Sriracha and a squeeze of lime juice.
“We wanted to choose a fish that could hold up to the powerful layers of flavor in a traditional banh mi sandwich,” says Orel. “The richness of the Alaska black cod is the perfect partner, delivering another layer of umami to the dish. Fresh and fragrant, the combination of the warm fish with the texture of the tangy pickled vegetables and crunch of the cucumber yield a remarkable contrast in every bite.”
She points out the opportunity with banh mi, as it’s traditionally served at all times of the day. “An operator can fill the need for a handheld, all-day dish with trend-forward flair,” she adds. “The pickled vegetables offer an opportunity to create an in-house signature item. Try adding crisp napa cabbage, or fresh mint. An entire meal is contained in the warm bread, sure to satisfy all of the senses.”