Street Food Week: Wrap-up

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Street Food Week

We had a very busy and productive week.  We were very excited to bring street food to the pages of Modern Day Forager; it is a subject matter that is near and dear to our hearts for so many reasons, it is a culture we truly enjoy when we travel both here and abroad, it is a part of what we think will bring “community” back to our communities, it’s a connection to a simpler time and its just so darn tasty!  Monday we got even more excited when we learned that our Summery Watermelon Soup from last week’s post was being re-published on a national healthy living web site called Hella Wella… Healthy living for the real world.  Then, Tuesday we got an email from the Huffington Post asking us if they could use our photograph and recipe for the Simply Sensational Melon Sangria on their HUFFPOST TASTE .

Singapore by Modern Day Forager

Our week was filled with the hunt and we were in of search of ingredients and inspiration, our first stop was at the Super L Ranch Market at The Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix, where we found several ingredients on the MDF shopping list, a whole bunch of provisions that just looked fun and of course props, we are always in search of that perfect little treasure and this is the place.  Next, we were off to Pro’sRanch Market in search of the perfect tortilla, specialty produce and props, of coarse. props.  Our last stop was to Saffron Market which is located in north Scottsdale, were we found our dried chickpeas and ingredients to make our tahini sauce.

Singapore by Modern Day Forager

One of the best parts of our field trip was that Heather’s daughter Bailey, who is nine, was along for the ride and adventure and how many cool food products we got to experience with her, she is not a stranger to these kinds of trips, however, we were thrilled we got to see it through her eyes as well as share and show her some things we have learned about these foods and cultures.  The hunt, the find and the get is something we talk about a lot here at Modern.  Doing the R&D is a blast and is so satisfying.  We reap the rewards by going to these markets and learning new things.

If you missed any of the posts this week page down and take a look.  Tuesday featured an introduction written by Traci explaining why we are so fascinated with street food, the street food culture and why we think it is so important that we embrace it. Wednesday we gave you our first impressions of the new Scottsdale Food Truck Caravan, what a treat, you should stop by some Saturday evening and check it out and please let us know your thoughts in the comments area or on our facebook page.  We jumped right into recipes on Thursday with our take on one of the most popular United States street foods, the Korean short rib taco, popularized by the LA food truck scene.  If you have never experienced a First Friday in Venice CA. you are truly missing out.   Next, we jumped across the pond to the United Kingdom (and Australia) for one of my favorite dishes Fish and Chips featuring a double or triple cooked chip and simple beer battered haddock or cod. For those of you that jump all over me for using lard in my recipes I fought the urge this time and went with peanut oil just for you, and its high smoke point.  Yesterday we featured what I think is the most under appreciated sandwich here in the States, the  Banh Mi.  We did our MDF version with a lemongrass and spice infused pork, but you can use any meat you have on hand, the crunchy, sweet, savory and spicy elements in this sandwich are what pushes it over the top and Traci added an MDF twist to ours with Granny Smith apples and pickled watermelon rinds.

Let us know your thoughts on the anything and everything we are doing here at MDF.  Thanks.

MDF’s Banh Mi Sandwich

Banh Mi Sandwich

Bahn Mi Sandwich by Modern Day Forager

Recipes by Rj of Urban Table
Photo Styling & Art Direction by Traci of Urban Table
Photography & Art Direction by Heather of Heather Gill Photography

Banh mi is humble, but it packs a real flavor punch and with all the traveling we do, we have found one thing is for sure, no two versions are the same.

Here is ours, we started with a golden crusty baguette with the right amount of chew, we hollowed out the interior of the bread just a bit, so we could add creamy Sriracha mayo, next we add the marinated pork (overnight) flavored with lemongrass and blended spices so the meat would be juicy, tender and succulent, then added it to the bread so that the bread could “sop up the juices”, packed it with a crunchy cucumbers, our twist with the addition of crispy Granny Smith apples, pickled carrot, daikon and added watermelon rind for our take on the traditional pickled veg and put it all together for a real show stopper.

Bahn Mi Sandwich by Modern Day Forager


French baguette or French style hoagie roll (Traditional Banh Mi uses a Vietnamese style french baguette; usually made with a combination of rice and/or wheat flour, resulting in a very light, crackly crust and not overly dense bread.  We like just nice French baguette, don’t use sourdough.

Sriracha Mayonnaise (3 Tablespoons good mayo, 1 Tablespoon Sriracha, squeeze of lime)

Maggi sauce

Lemongrass pork shoulder (recipe below)

English cucumber, sliced very thin

Granny Smith apple, matchsticks

Cilantro, chopped

Jalapeno, sliced thin

Pickled Daikon, watermelon rind and carrot (recipe below)


Slice the baguette into 6 inch pieces and then slice in half.

1. Slice the bread lengthwise, and then use your fingers to make a trough in both halves.

2. Generously spreading the inside with mayonnaise.

3. Drizzle in some Maggi Sauce.

4. Place pork steak on bottom of bread

5.  layer remaining ingredients on top of pork.

6.   Enjoy!

Lemongrass Pork Shoulder


1 pound boneless pork shoulder steak, about 1/2 inch thick cut into 3 inch pieces


2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon chopped shallot

1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoon black soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon oil


In a food processor, process the sugar, garlic, shallot and lemongrass.

Add the pepper, soy sauce, fish sauce, and oil and process to combine well.

Transfer to a zip lock bag add the pork, and turn to coat well.  Refrigerate up to 24 hours.

Let meat come to room temperature before grilling.

Preheat a grill to medium-high.

Grill for 6 to 8 minutes, until cooked through.

Let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Pickled Daikon, watermelon rind and carrot 


1 large carrot, peeled and cut into thick matchsticks

1 pound of daikons (2), (we used green and sakurajima daikons) peeled and cut into thick matchsticks

1 cup watermelon rind, peeled and cut into matchsticks

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons plus 1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cups distilled white vinegar

1 cup lukewarm water


Place the carrot, watermelon rind and daikons in a bowl and sprinkle with the salt and 2 teaspoons of the sugar.  With your hands, knead the vegetables for about 3 minutes, daikons should bend but not break.  Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water, squeeze out all excess water.  Place veggies in a pickling jar. (we used Weck jars)

In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the 1/2 cup sugar, vinegar, and water.  Stir to dissolve the sugar.  Pour over the vegetables, making sure the brine covers the vegetables.  Let the vegetables marinate in the brine for at least 1 hour before eating. 

Bahn Mi Sandwich by Modern Day Forager

Modern Day Forager