banh mi

Slow-Cooker Pork Banh Mi Salad

This Slow Cooker Banh Mi Salad is going to blow you away. If something isn’t jam packed with flavor, I don’t want to eat it. Beer, dressing, salad, sandwiches. Whatever it is, I want to be punched in the mouth with spices, textures, and flavor profiles. This salad delivers.

banh mi

I got to the airport more than 2 hours early for my return flight from San Francisco. This meant that I was wandering around half asleep at 6 am, looking for something I could take with me to eat on the plane ride home. I found a Banh Mi Salad and was super excited about it. My experience with Banh Mi is lots of flavor and crunch. When I broke out my salad on the flight, I was let down. It was pretty sad and bland, but still better than the scary pre-heated burgers everyone around me was ordering. But that’s not saying much.

After this major letdown, I decided to create my own version. I combined the ease of slow cooked pork with the vegetables of a banh mi. The resulting salad has the flavor of a Banh Mi sandwich, and won’t let you down like my plane (or should I saw plain??) version did.

banh mi

 

If you came to this recipe looking for a typical banh mi, I’m sorry. I took a lot of creative liberties with this recipe and definitely veered away from traditional ingredients a bit. What you will find here is the spiciness you’d expect from jalapenos, pickled tanginess from the carrots, a sweetness from the lime and honey in the marinade, and plenty of crunch. You can serve your salad with crackers like I did here, or just enjoy it without. Up to you. Personally, I kind of need crackers of some sort (usually rice crackers) with my salad in order to feel 100% satisfied at the end.

If you don’t have a spiralizer or a slow-cooker, keep reading! Vegetarians, I’ve got an idea for you too.

The pickled veggies can be sliced instead of spiralized. Or, if you don’t feel like quick-pickling them, you could just slice them up and throw them on the salad. No slow-cooker? Other than get one ASAP because they make life so much easier, you could just simmer the pork in a big sauce pan on low. You’d actually have to be home to stir and monitor, but the resulting flavor would be the same! I’m going to be sharing my list of must-have meal prep gadgets soon, and you can bet a slow-cooker will be on there. Serious time-saver and budget-friendly!

Oh and before I forget! Options if you don’t eat pork: You can sub chicken breasts in the pork recipe. You could also marinate tofu for a few hours instead of slow-cooking pork. Or you could just crack open a can of garbanzo beans and use the marinade like a dressing. You do you. And let me know how it all turns out in the comments so that others can try too!

Ready for the recipe? You can complete all three steps, or just make the pork to enjoy throughout the week. It’s your call, but I promise the chopping and slicing that goes into making this salad is worth it.

PIN IT!

banh mi

 

Slow-Cooker Pork Banh Mi Salad

Slow-Cooker Pork Marinade Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon liquid aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons honey (I used Bee Pollen Infused Bare Honey)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1.5 pounds pork loin (or chicken breast/thighs)

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients for the marinade together.
  2. Add pork or chicken to your slow cooker.
  3. Pour the marinade over top, flipping your meat over to make sure the marinade hits all sides.
  4. Turn slow-cooker on medium or low for 4-6 hours.
  5. Flip meat halfway through. (optional)
  6. When cooked through, remove meat and shred with two forks.
  7. Add shredded meat back to broth.

Quick-Pickled Carrots Ingredients:

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegarbanh mi
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Quick-Pickled Carrots Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. While waiting for liquid to boil, spiralize or slice carrots.
  4. Slice lime into wedges.
  5. Add carrots and lime to a mason jar.
  6. Pour liquid over carrots and lime.
  7. Let cool to room temperature before screwing the lid on tightly and placing in fridge for 2 hours.
  8. Veggies will stay fresh up to 2 weeks.

Banh Mi Salad Ingredients:

  • romaine hearts
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Slow-Cooker Pork Banh Mi Salad Assembly

  1. Start with layering salad ingedients on the bottom of a bowl.
  2. Next add quick-pickled carrots.
  3. Top with slow-cooked pork.
  4. Toss everything together and enjoy!

**There is no dressing with this recipe, because you should get a lot of flavor from the slow-cooked pork marinade and quick-pickled carrots. If you need a dressing, I suggest drizzling with some apple cider vinegar and sesame oil, or just squeezing fresh lime over the top of it all.**

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