Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Vietnamese-Style Tuna Rolls with Pickled Vegetables

These banh mi-inspired tuna sandwiches are loaded with flavor from the inside out. A salty-sour bath for the tuna, highlighted with fresh ginger, and tangy pickled vegetables ensure a tasty combination in every bite.

Traditional Vietnamese banh mi are made with pork, and the bread plays a big role. (Check out more about that at Ground Pork Banh Mi.) For this recipe, I wanted to lighten it up a bit and keep the preparation simple. But no compromising on flavor.

Serves 4

  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 4 tbsp white sugar, divided
  • 2 tsp fine table salt
  • 3 large radishes, very thinly sliced
  • 3-inch piece of seedless cucumber, very thinly sliced
  • 1 packed cup shaved carrots (2-3 medium-small carrots)
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 5-oz cans of tuna in water, drained
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 long baguette, cut into 4 4-1/2- to 5-inch pieces, then sliced into tops and bottoms
  • cilantro leaves with small stems, for serving
Prepared Vegetables
Sliced Baguette
Halved Pieces 
  1. Whisk both vinegars, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and table salt in a bowl until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the radishes, cucumber, and carrots, pressing to submerge.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand 1 hour at room temperature. Drain well through a sieve.
Vegetables in Pickling Liquid
Drained Pickled Vegetables
  1. Combine the fish sauce, lime juice, ginger, and remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar in a medium bowl and season with black pepper. Add the tuna and stir until the liquid is absorbed into the tuna.
  2. Hollow out both the tops and bottoms of the baguette pieces and lay them on a work surface. Divide the tuna mixture and fill the bottom halves. Add the drained pickled vegetables on top. 
Drained Tuna
Fish Sauce Mixture 
Hollowed-Out Bread
Scatter cilantro leaves on top and close the sandwiches. Serve right away.

Vietnamese-Style Tuna Rolls with Pickled Vegetables

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