Recipe for Lemongrass Steak Banh Mi, winner of ACE Bakery's national sandwich showdown

Thuy Nguyen Crawford of Burlington, Ont., won ACE Bakery's "Canada's Best Sandwich Contest" Friday with a Lemongrass Steak Banh Mi and Asian coleslaw inspired by her Vietnamese heritage. Here is the recipe, which makes four sandwiches:

2 large cloves of garlic, finely minced

45 ml (3 tbsp) minced lemongrass

60 ml (4 tbsp) fish sauce

30 ml (2 tbsp) honey

1 red Thai chili, finely minced

453 g (1 lb) sirloin steak cut 5 cm (2 inches) thick. Choose a high quality steak with lots of marbling.

1 ACE White Baguette

Spicy Garlic Aioli (see recipe below)

Asian Coleslaw (see recipe below -- prepare at least four hours before sandwich assembly)

In a container large enough to hold the steak, mix the garlic, lemongrass, fish sauce, honey and chili. Roll the steak in the marinade and marinate for at least three to four hours (or overnight) in the refrigerator.

Spicy Garlic Aioli

120 ml (1/2 cup) mayonnaise

15 ml (1 tbsp) Sriracha (rooster sauce ... increase or decrease based on your desire of spiciness)

1 small clove of garlic, finely minced

15 ml (1 tsp) fresh lemon juice

Mix all the ingredients together well.

Asian Coleslaw

The coleslaw should be made at least four hours (or overnight) before you are ready to assemble the sandwich. You can make extra to serve as a side salad or keep it overnight in the refrigerator.

45 ml (3 tbsp) fish sauce

45 ml (3 tbsp) sugar

1 garlic clove, finely minced

120 ml (1/2 cup) fresh cilantro, chopped in 2.5-cm (1-inch) lengths

1 Thai chili thinly sliced (increase or decrease based on your desire of spiciness)

720 ml (3 cups) shredded green cabbage

240 ml (1 cup) peeled shredded carrots

1 Vidalia onion, thinly sliced to make 120 ml (1/2 cup)

Mix the fish sauce, vinegar, sugar and garlic together until the sugar is dissolved.

Combine the remaining ingredients together and mix well.

Pour the vinaigrette over the coleslaw mixture and toss.

Preparing the sandwich:

Preheat BBQ or grill pan so that it is hot.

Grill the steak to your desired doneness, approximately three to four minutes per side for medium-rare. Let the steak rest for 10 minutes.

Cut the baguette into four equal portions. Slice the baguette pieces lengthwise, but not all the way through, and grill for about one minute until toasted.

Slice the steak 0.3 to 0.6 cm (1/8 to 1/4 inch) thick, against the grain.

Spread the Spicy Garlic Aioli on both top and bottom sides of the baguette portions. Layer the sliced steak on and then top with the Asian Coleslaw.


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