Last time I was in New York, I was staying a block away from the best Banh Mi I have ever had. It was so good, I went back for more the next day. Something else on the menu caught my eye instead. The third sandwich down the line was called the Sloppy Bao. An amazing combo of curried ground beef, cilantro, mango, and that awesome bread. I recreated the sandwich with a few mods this past weekend and it was everything I remembered.
When I got this at the shop, it did not have pickled onions on it, but it was listed as an ingredient on a website I saw about the sandwich. I just put a "quick" pickle on these red onions by slicing them very thin and soaking them in vinegar for about an hour.
Thin slices of everything.
The mango is supposed to be green and not quite ripe.
This is a red curry paste for the beef.
After the beef is browned, drain the fat and add the curry paste.
When the paste is fragrant after about 2 minutes, add some water to the pan to deglaze. Mix everything well and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Under the beef is sambal. So spicy!
I love this sandwich.
The paste was about 5 shallots, 7 cloves of garlic, a few inches of ginger, 7 dried chiles(seeds removed), teaspoon whole cumin, teaspoon whole coriander, teaspoon peppercorns, a handful of cilantro roots or stems, zest and juice of one lime, a teaspoon of garam masala or any curry powder. If I had lemongrass that day, there would have been about 5 stocks worth in the paste, prepared this way.
Blend this up in the food processor!
Brown beef, drain fat, fry paste in with beef, deglaze with water, add salt and about 1/4 cup of sugar. Taste and adjust seasonings. It should be spicy!
Serve on a baguette with sambol, cilantro, cucumber, green(unripe) mango, and "pickled" red onions(a red onion thin sliced and soaked in vinegar for an hour)