An Iron Chef's Love Letter to the Banh Mi
The Vietnamese banh mi is now integrated well into the pantheon of mainstream American sandwiches. All over the country, you'll find renditions of the crispy baguette filled with meats, pickled carrots, daikon, mayo, cilantro and often much more.
But Morimoto—of Iron Chef fame—is never content with the standard version of any dish. That's why the "Duck Duck Mi" at his eponymous New York restaurant is as decadent a sandwich as you’ll find anywhere. A deboned duck leg and thigh is seasoned with coriander, cinnamon, star anise, cardamom and Sichuan pepper (quite similar to a five-spice blend); poached in a water bath for 12 hours; then deep-fried until crispy. And that's just the beginning.
The bread. Morimoto builds his sandwich on Sullivan Street Bakery's stirato bread, a crusty, baguette-like loaf that's a favorite of chefs across New York City.
The filling. You've got that intricately seasoned fried duck—now add duck liver mousse, pickled carrots and daikon, sliced Japanese cucumber, pickled cilantro leaves and stems and a dressing made from hoisin, sambal, Kewpie mayo and citric acid. And the finishing touch? Crumbled, rendered duck skin for an extra-crunchy, extra-ducky garnish on top.