This pulled pork banh mi features Vietnamese baguette (banh mi) filled with tender and flavorful pulled pork, pickled vegetables, and tasty sriracha mayo sauce. With a slow cooker to cook the pulled pork, this delicious banh mi recipe cannot be easier to make.
What Is Banh Mi (Vietnamese Baguette)
Banh mi simply means bread made from wheat in Vietnamese. I believe it was the French who introduced this bread to Vietnam.
Though it originated from the French baguettes, banh mi has distinguishing characteristics. The crust is usually thinner and crispier, and the white crumb is much lighter and airier than Western baguettes.
In the US., you can buy plain banh mi from almost any shops selling banh mi sandwich. For example, when we still lived near Chicago, we bought plain banh mi from Ba Le Sandwich shop. If it isn’t an option, it is fine to use regular baguettes.
The correct spelling for this bread is “banh mi“. A lot of places use “bahn mi” to refer to it, but it is incorrect.
Banh Mi Varieties
Vietnamese people often eat banh mi for breakfast. In fact, banh mi and noodle soups are among the most popular breakfast choices.
We also eat banh mi alongside with some saucy dishes such as beef stew or black pepper beef. In the old days, many people even enjoyed dipping plain banh mi in sweetened condensed milk.
For breakfast, Vietnamese banh mi is usually stuffed with fillings to make a sandwich. The traditional fillings for banh mi sandwich in the North are fried eggs, pate, pork floss, and Vietnamese ham.
The Southern version can arguably be considered more exciting and flavorful with different types of grilled meat (such as grilled beef banh mi), pickled vegetables, and cilantro. I grew up with the Northern banh mi, and I only started to eat the Southern version more frequently when I moved to the US.
Making Slow Cooker Vietnamese Pulled Pork Banh Mi
This Vietnamese pulled pork banh mi isn’t the most traditional version. It is inspired by the Southern-style banh mi and we love to eat it for breakfast. The crispy bread, tender pork, crunchy vegetables, and slightly spicy tangy creamy sauce are what make it delicious and satisfying.
We always search for breakfast that takes little time to prepare in the morning and this banh mi sandwich recipe is the perfect solution. We cook the pulled pork in the slow cooker and pickle the vegetables overnight, and then assemble the sandwich in the morning.
Ingredients for Vietnamese Pulled Pork Banh Mi
1️⃣ To make the pulled pork, you will need a reasonably fatty cut of pork such as pork shoulder or butt, and spice rub. Slow-cooking the pork will render the fat while keeping the meat moist, tender and flavorful.
2️⃣ The main ingredient for the spice rub is five-spice powder, which is Vietnamese people’s favorite spice for pork. You can find it in many Western grocery stores and of course, Asian grocery stores. You can also order five-spice powder on Amazon.
3️⃣ For the pickled vegetables, you will need crunchy veggies such as carrots, daikon radish or cucumber, vinegar (I recommend rice vinegar) and sugar.
4️⃣ For the bread, as mentioned in the previous section, if you cannot find plain Vietnamese banh mi, substitute it with regular baguettes. We sometimes even stuff all the fillings inside toasted pita bread and it is also very good (we always have some pita bread in our freezer).
Some Products I Used to Make this Dish
- Five-spice powder: I often use five-spice powder from Frontier Co-op, or from Simply Organic sometimes. These blends are quite similar to what we use in Vietnam in my opinion.
- Garlic powder: I like Simply Organic garlic powder, but the one from McCormick is also good and affordable.
- Smoked paprika: I always use McCormick smoked paprika. There’s also an organic version.
- Sriracha: always handy to have one in the refrigerator.
How to Make Vietnamese Pulled Pork Banh Mi
The first step is to cook the pork in the slow cooker, which can be done overnight. It’s not necessary to marinate the pork. Just rub it with spices, throw into the slow cooker, push the button and then walk away! You can then pickle the vegetables for a couple of hours or overnight.
Next morning, or whenever you want to eat it, make the sauce, lightly toast the bread until crispy, shred the pork and then stuff the bread with pork, pickled veggies, cilantro and sauce. Super easy and yummy!
You can create a filling breakfast with this pulled pork banh mi and a cup of tea/coffee or a glass of smoothie. Here are some of the drinks I love to have with banh mi:
Other Banh Mi Recipes
Can’t have enough of Vietnamese banh mi? I think you will also like these recipes:
⭐️ I’d love to hear what you think about the dish, so please feel free to leave a comment and a rating if you have tried it. New recipes are added every week so let’s connect on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates. You can find my collection of Vietnamese recipes here.
Slow Cooker Vietnamese Pulled Pork Banh Mi
For the Pulled Pork
- 1 1/2 lb pork shoulder or pork butt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons five-spice powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/3 cup water
For the Pickled Vegetables
- 2 oz julienned carrots
- 4 oz julienned cucumber (or daikon radish)
- 3/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- pinch of salt
To Assemble the Banh Mi Sandwich
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- black pepper
- 3-4 banh mi, lightly toasted (or baguettes)
To make the pulled pork
- Combine salt, five-spice powder, garlic powder, paprika and black pepper in a bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork shoulder/butts.
- Transfer the pork to the slow cooker, add the water. Cook on low for about 8 hours (or 6 hours on high) or to desired tenderness.
To make the pickled vegetables
- Julienne carrots and cucumber (or daikon radish). If using cucumber, remove all seeds before you julienne them. In a jar or bowl, combine rice vinegar, water, sugar and salt, and then add the veggies. Cover, refrigerate to pickle for 2-3 hours or overnight.
To assemble the banh mi sandwich
- In a bowl, mix together mayonnaise, sriracha, lime juice and honey to make the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Shred the pork. Slice the banh mi (or baguette) open lengthwise, fill with pulled pork, pickled veggies and cilantro, then drizzle with plenty of sauce. Serve immediately.
Love this recipe, and have made it several times – we use the hoagie rolls from a local bakery for the bread and add fresh jalapenos. The pickled veggies are very well balanced and are great in other contexts too.
I was wondering can I convert this recipe using Instant pot.
I’m sorry for my late reply. I have used the slow cooking function of my Instant Pot to make this recipe, however I haven’t tried it with the pressure cooking function. I checked some other Instant Pot pulled pork recipes, and it seems possible but you may need to make some tweaks (such as increasing the amount of liquid and adjusting the cook time). You can rub the pork with spices, then sear it with the sauté function. Set the pork aside and add water or broth to the Instant Pot and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Place the pork in the pot and pressure cook on High. It seems most recipes say to cook it on High for 60 minutes. I hope this helps.
Made this for my family this evening and everyone loved it! The amount of spice was perfect and the pickled vegetables were a great addition.
I’m glad that everything turned out perfect for your family, from the spice mix to the pickled veggies. Thank you so much for the feedback!
This recipe is SO delicious and very easy to follow. It’s not 100% authentic Vietnamese food but definitely a very good Vietnamese-inspired dish. I’ve made this dish 5 times already and am planning to making more in the future. Thanks for sharing this!!
Thank you so much for the comment and rating! I’m beyond happy to hear that you’ve made it so many times. It’s fun to make creative Vietnamese-inspired dishes every now and then in addition to the classic ones right :). I have some other banh mi recipes I haven’t had a chance to share yet, but I will update this post with links to new ones when they are ready.
What are pork butts. Never heard of it
Pork butt is a cut that comes from the shoulder of the pig and it is great for pulled pork since it is well-marbled and very flavorful. You can read more about it in this article https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-is-pork-butt-2216905. I hope this helps.
I truly never post comments but this dish was incredible! I made it last week for my family and am making tomorrow night for all my sister and her family. It was an incredible slow cooker meal that wasn’t a casserole or the like. Thank you, this was LOVED by everyone in our family.
Thank you so much for the glowing review which made my day. I really appreciate it. Among all the recipes I have shared over the years, this one is still the most special to me. I’m so happy your family loved it and I hope your sister and her family will enjoy it too. Thanks again!
Absolutely phenomenal! This recipe is spot on!
The family loved it!! Thank you for sharing!!!
It’s great to hear that your family loved it. Thank you for taking the time to come back and let me know!
Has anyone tried this with chicken instead? I’m not a huge pork person.
I haven’t tried this with chicken, but my guess is it will also work because five-spice powder also goes well with chicken. You may need to adjust cooking time though since chicken will cook faster than pork shoulder.
Made these tonight and they were delicious! My 8 year old made me promise to make them again and to put the leftovers into his school lunch for tomorrow. Will definitely be making these again…I already made a promise to do so! LOL
Thank you for trying the recipe! Your comment made my day. So happy to hear that it turned out delicious and it was even approved by your 8 year old. Thank you!
Making this tomorrow! Looks delicious. Excited to try something new.
Thanks Talia! I’m happy to hear that you are going to try this tomorrow. Please let me know how it turns out for you.
I really enjoyed it. The picked veggies and sauce were delicious, and everything tasted so fresh!
Thank you so much for letting me know! I’m very happy to hear that :).