A good Banh mi is one of my all-time favorite sandwiches. Banh mi is usually served on a good crusty baguette with marinated pork (or sometimes chicken) and a bright slaw with fish sauce and herbs. These Banh Mi Sliders have all the usual flavors but in bite-sized form!
I wanted to make something for an appetizer table that was inspired by this classic Vietnamese sandwich and so I landed on these sliders! While there are other versions of similar recipes on the Internet, most use ground meat which kind of falls apart in a slider.
Instead, I like to marinate a pork tenderloin, roast it, and then slice it thin for the sandwiches. So good!
Let’s dig in and make these delicious little Bahn mi sliders!
What is a traditional Banh Mi?
I’m not going to wade into the world of gate-keeping what should and shouldn’t be a Banh Mi sandwich. Feel free to read up on the history if you are interested.
The good ones I’ve had in my life though have all involved a really tender, marinated meat (usually pork), a good crusty bread, some sort of creamy sauce, and loads of pickled vegetables and herbs. Smashed together it’s one of my all-time favorite sandwiches and always a good lunch option.
Ingredients of good Banh Mi Sliders
When I wanted to bring these flavors into the slider universe, these are the ingredients I knew I wanted:
- Good slider buns. I ended up using a toasted brioche slider bun for my version. I actually think a pretzel bun would be kind of nice.
- Marinated pork. Many recipes you’ll find will use ground meat, but I find that a bit messy in slider form so I like to use a marinated pork tenderloin that is roasted and then thinly sliced.
- Sauce! I use a sriracha mayo for the creamy sauce and also reduce down the marinade along with the pork tenderloin as a salty glaze for the sliders.
- Pickled vegetables. A mix of daikon, carrot, cucumber, and cilantro is the standard!
How to make the pork for these sliders
There’s not much to cook for these banh mi sliders – just the pork!
Start the pork a day in advance if you have time and marinate it in a bowl with fish sauce, soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, ginger, and garlic. The pork should marinate for at least 30 minutes but overnight is ideal.
Then sear the pork tenderloin in an oven-safe skillet for a few minutes per side and then roast it at 350˚F.
When the pork is almost done roasting, I recommend pouring in the marinade leftovers into the skillet. That will bubble immediately and start to thicken as a glaze.
The pork is done when it reaches 140˚F and then you can remove it from the skillet. Continue to simmer the glaze until it thickens, just a few minutes.
Once the pork has rested for a few minutes, you can slice it up and serve it!
Making the slaw and dressing
Other than the pork, the only thing you need to prep for these banh mi sliders is the slaw and the sauce! Pretty straightforward!
For the slaw, I recommend peeling the vegetables and then use a box grater to grate them up. For the cucumbers, seed them and then slice them into long strips.
There is an argument for just keeping the vegetables fresh and maybe just seasoning them with a pinch of salt. Personally, I like to pickle them lightly with a dash of rice wine vinegar, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of sugar.
I like to leave my cilantro out of the slaw it add it to the sandwich so it stays fresh.
It’s personal preference though!
Tips for making delicious banh mi sliders
Here are some tips for making delicious sliders!
- Toast your bun! Sure it’s an extra step but slicing your slider buns and toasting them in a skillet or on a griddle is a great way to add some texture to the slider.
- Think ratios and textures for the sandwich. You don’t want a thick layer of meat and just a few veggies or vice-versa. Try to make sure everything is even.
- Serve these immediately. These break down pretty quickly so serve them as soon as possible!
Lots of substitution ideas for these banh mi sliders!
- If you wanted to substitute chicken, I would use chicken thighs in the same marinade.
- Mix up the vegetables to your liking. Any crunchy vegetable that isn’t overpowering will work well.
- To make it even spicier, add some pickled jalapenos to the slaw.
- You could make a full banh mi sandwich with these same ingredients and just use a crusty baguette instead of slider buns.
Some of the leftovers in these banh mi sliders keep really well and some do not. The pork will keep great for five days in the fridge and reheats fine in the microwave. The vegetable slaw though will start to break down pretty quickly if you pickle it. I don’t love the pickled veggies after more than two days in the fridge.
Store all the ingredients separately. Make sliders as you need them!
Banh Mi Style Sliders
- 1 ½ pounds pork tenderloin
- ⅓ cup fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 inches fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil, For cooking
- 12 slider buns, toasted
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sriracha
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
Quick Veggie Slaw:
- 1 medium daikon radish, peeled and grated
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
- 1 large cucumber, seeded and sliced
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, optional
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- In a medium bowl, add fish sauce, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, minced garlic, and minced ginger. Add pork tenderloin and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350˚F. Place a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Once preheated, add a drizzle of oil to the skillet followed by the pork tenderloin (let most of the marinade drip off, but save it for later). Sear the pork for 3-4 minutes per side and then transfer to oven to roast for 5 minutes.
- Remove pork from the oven and add reserved glaze. Roast for another 10 minutes or until pork tenderloin reaches at least 140˚F in the thickest part of the tenderloin.
- When pork tenderloin reaches the correct temperature, remove from the skillet and return to the skillet to a low heat to simmer so glaze can thicken. Let tenderloin rest. When glaze is thick and coats a spoon, drizzle over pork tenderloin as you slice it for sliders.
- To make the slaw: peel and grate all the vegetables. Combine then in a bowl with a few tablespoons of rice wine vinegar and a big pinch of salt and sugar.
- To make sliders, stir together mayonnaise and sriracha. Toast buns over a griddle or in a skillet. Smear the buns with sriracha mayo and top with a few slices of pork (thinly sliced is best). Top with vegetable slaw, cilantro, and serve immediately.