Saigon Po’Boys with Pickled Carrot Ribbons and Charred Smoky Jalapeno Aioli

Pairs well with:


Bright and full-bodied, this Zinfandel wine is a curious contradiction in tastes.

Discovering a wonderful Vietnamese sandwich!


Pickled Carrot Ribbons

4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into long thin ribbons with a mandolin or vegetable slicer

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (unseasoned)

3 Tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


2 pounds ground chuck

¼ cup onion, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

2 Tablespoons fish sauce

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons lime zest

2 teaspoons five spice powder

2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper

Charred Smoky Jalapeno Aioli

2 jalapenos

2 scallions, trimmed

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons Colavita Extra Virgin olive oil

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice

Vegetable oil, for brushing

6 french rolls, split

18 cilantro sprigs


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

Combine carrots, vinegar, sugar and salt in a bowl. Let marinate for about 1 hour at room temperature, tossing occasionally.

To make patties, in a large bowl combine the ground chuck, onion, garlic, fish sauce, sesame oil, sugar, lime zest, five spice powder and pepper. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Form into 6 patties. Cover and refrigerate.

Toss jalapenos and scallions with olive oil. Grill the jalapenos and scallions until the jalapenos skins are charred and scallions are browned, turning occasionally. Transfer to plate to cool slightly. When jalapenos are cool enough to handle; peel, seed and core*. Place mayonnaise in food processor. Add jalapenos, scallions, garlic, cilantro, salt and smoked paprika. Process until smooth. Transfer to small bowl. Stir in lime juice. Cover and refrigerate. Can be made up to 2 days in advance.

Brush the grill rack with the vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 – 7 minutes each side for medium. Place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling. Remove the patties and rolls.

To assemble the burgers, spread the Charred Smoky Jalapeno Aioli on the cut sides of the rolls. Place a patty on each roll bottom. Drain the Pickled Carrot Ribbons; divide evenly and place on top of each patty. Top each with 3 cilantro sprigs. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.

*You may choose to use disposable gloves for this step.