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Vietnamese Pulled Pork Bahn Mi

This is my take on the traditional Vietnamese Pork Bahn Mi. There is something so mouth watering about Vietnamese food, it is spicy, and fresh, packed full of exciting and robust flavors with the generous use of ingredients like chili and mint & coriander. As we have just come out of winter here in Aus I have been addicted to my slow cooker of late, and I couldn’t help but give this Vietnamese classic a go with a healthy little twist!

Now, before we go any further here, this isn’t technically a very “Vietnamese” base, but it just works, and when teamed with a crunchy Vietnamese slaw, you have yourself a kick ass Pulled Pork Banh Mi, trust me! (pun intended)

I have tried to reduce the amount of sugar in my marinade and sauces, by using naturally sweet ingredients (you’ll find a lot of caster sugar in sauces in traditional Vietnamese recipes, so I try and always find ways around this).

Most of these ingredients I consider to be staple pantry items (things that I use all the time, like cumin, paprika, oregano) while the others are super easy to find at your local supermarket/grocer. Teamed with using a slow cooker, this recipe for the ultimate Vietnamese Pork Bahn Mi is fuss free!

Vietnamese Pulled Pork Bahn Mi Spices
Vietnamese Pulled Pork Bahn Mi Spices
Vietnamese Pulled Pork Bahn Mi Spices
Vietnamese Pulled Pork

For the Pork I have used a 2kg pork shoulder with the bone in, which made for PLENTY of left overs for things like pulled pork slaw salad. 

For the Vietnamese Mustard by using mustard powder and smoked paprika, you have a perfect harmony between smoky and sour and not only tastes amazing but smells amazing too. If I have left overs, I pop it in a glass jar and keep in my fridge and use it on grilled chicken.

Vietnamese Pork Bahn Mi

For the slaw I used my mandolin to get things crispy and evenly shredded, however using your good old fashion knife work does the trick too. You can add in most things that you have in your fridge! I have in the past used snow peas, beans, cucumber etc.

For the buns, it really depends on how indulgent you feel, for me, I opted for gluten free paleo buns (which you can find at most health food stores these days), if gluten doesn’t concern you, opt for a crunchy sourdough or something similar. 

Vietnamese Pork Bahn Mi Recipe

Prep time 15 mins
Cook time 6-8 hours
Total time 6:15-8:15 mins
Serves 6

This is best done in a slow cooker – but in the oven for 6 hours does the job too!


Vietnamese Mustard

1 can tinned tomatoes
1 cup water
¼ apple cider vinegar
Pinch Himalayan sea salt
Pinch of pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons mustard powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon mirin
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 onion finely diced
2 garlic cloves

Pork Rub

1.5 – 2kg pork shoulder (bone in)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Vietnamese Slaw

1 cup finely shredded wombok cabbage
1 carrot shredded, peeled with peeler, grated etc
15 snow peas sliced diagonally
Bunch of coriander shredded
Bunch of mint shredded
4 green shallots sliced

Vietnamese dressing

¼ cup rice wine vinegar/coconut vinegar
2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small red chilli finely diced
1 teaspoon sesame oil


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees
  2. On a low heat, sauté the onion and garlic until translucent and tender.
  3. Combine all other ingredients for the bbq sauce, simmer on low for 20 – 30 minutes.
  4. Blitz in a food processor.

While the sauce is simmering,

  1. Pat dry your pork shoulder and rub the pork in the pork rub.
  2. In the slow cooker, put the pork in, then pour 1/3 of the sauce over.
  3. Put on low for 6-8 hours in the slow cooker, every few hours, baste the pork in the liquid surrounding the pork.
  4. After 6 hours, return to the pork, it should be falling off the bone. If it isn’t, leave it in there for another 1-2 hours.
  5. Once falling off the bone, shred with 2 forks.

For the dressing:

  1. In a small dressing shaker combine all ingredients and shake.

For the slaw:

  1. Put everything into a bowl and toss through the dressing. Re-heat your Vietnamese mustard and assemble our buns with the pulled pork and slaw!
Vietnamese Pulled Pork Bahn Mi
If you fancy this Vietnamese Pork Bahn Mi Recipe try my other healthy lunches here.

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  1. ohhhh lord I know what I am making this weekend!!!

    1. Hey martha!

      Yummmm – I hope you made it!!

  2. I just got all of these ingredients!!! YUM!!! Cant wait to make this tonight

    1. Hi Sarah!
      Oh YUM!!!!
      how did it go?

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