Spam Banh Mi Sliders

Happy Fourth of July!! Hope you're all set for the holiday and ready to bbq to your heart's desire, eat a slice of pie or two, and have nothing else on the docket other than some good hangs and a lot of chill time. I'm currently making a stone fruit pie and some everything bagel hamburger buns (this seems to be a new tradition, as this is the second year I'm makin' them) and cannot wait to head over to hang with the crew later this afternoon.

When I think of the 4th, I think of all the things I just mentioned, but above all else, I think of burgers. Which is why I could think of no better time to share a recipe from my pal Jon's new book, The Slider Effect, than today. If you don't know Jon, he writes the blog The Candid Appetite and makes some of the most exciting and fun (truly fun) food like pb&j coffee cake, neapolitan marshmallow treats, and falafel waffles (say that five times fast). And now he's got a new book out and it's all about sliders! Think tex-mex black bean burgers and bacon western cheeseburgers but minified 'cuz they're sliders!!

Jon's book is packed with so many ways to slide, I can't even (as in, it's awesome). And what's rad is that you can really mix and match buns and meats and all that good stuff. In the book, these sliders actually feature pork patties, but I really wanted spam, so I went that route and slathered the sauce that woulda gone in the patties onto the spam slices instead (that was Billy's brilliant idea btw). I'm pretty much obsessed with these sliders and probably would have had way too many if it wasn't for etiquette and waistline restrictions. 

If you're a fan of fun, mini things, and anything yummy, I highly recommend you check out Jon's book (The Slider Effect, in case you already forgot). It's pretty perfect for any gathering, weeknight dinner, or gosh, anything really! I love all the bun options and since I'm on a crazy bread making kick, I'm def gonna try my hand at a few others soon (the buns I'm making today are from the boo,k too)! And if you're still looking for some Independence day inspo, these little guys are B O M B and super easy to pull together. 

Ps - I have to share this, cause I'm obsessed. I just got a new peeler (see above) and it's a total game changer. I wanna peel all the things now!

Pss - Happy Monday to everyone who isn't celebrating the fourth--I think it's still a really good day for these sliders!

Spam Banh Mi Sliders

Slightly adapted from The Slider Effect

Makes 10 - 12 slider

INGREDIENTS

CRUSTY FRENCH BREAD ROLLS

  • 2 1/4 tsp. (1/4-oz. packet) active dry yeast
  • 2 1/4 c. warm water (about 110°F)
  • 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 5 c. all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 tsp. table salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp. whole milk

PICKLED VEGETABLES

  • 2 large carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 1 medium daikon radish, peeled and julienned
  • 4 Tbsp. + 3 tsp. granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 c. white rice vinegar
  • 1/2 c. warm water

SPAM SLIDERS

  • 2 12-oz. cans of Spam, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 3 Tbsp. chili garlic sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 12 crusty french bread rolls (recipe above or store-bought)
  • Kewpie mayo
  • Sriracha sauce
  • 2 kirby cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • 2 haas avocados, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 c. loosely packed cilantro leaves

TOOLS

  • Mixing bowls
  • Whisk
  • Wooden spoon
  • Silpat mat or parchment lined baking sheets
  • Wire rack
  • Kitchen towels and/or plastic wrap
  • Pastry brush
  • Whisk
  • Razor blade
  • Sharp knife
  • Peeler
  • Colander
  • Large nonstick pan
  • Small saucepan
  • Long toothpicks

FIX

CRUSTY FRENCH BREAD ROLLS

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast into the warm water. Stir in sugar and let rest in a warm spot until foamy and doubled in size, around 45 minutes. (If yeast doesn't foam, toss out and start again.)
  2. Stir in 3 cups of flour and the salt and whisk together until it becomes too difficult then switch to a wooden spoon and mix until it comes together and is smooth. You can switch to your hands if it's too difficult to mix with the spoon. Add in the remaining 2 cups of flour, a 1/2 cup at a time until the dough comes together and pulls away from the bowl.
  3. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Oil a large bowl and transfer dough to the bowl. Turn over to coat both sides then cover bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let rest in a warm spot until doubled in size, around 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Punch down the dough and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Divide into 24 even pieces and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats and begin rolling dough into a tight ball. (See gif for tips.)
  5. Place on prepared sheet and repeat with remaining pieces. Be sure to evenly space balls as you place them on the sheet. 
  6. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cover sheets loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes or so (until doubled in size) in a warm place.
  7. Whisk together egg and milk and brush on tops of rolls. Using a razor blade, cut a 1-inch slit down the center of each roll. Mist the bottom of the oven a few times through out baking time for extra-crusty rolls. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer rolls to a wire rack to cool completely before serving. Store leftover rolls in an airtight container at room temp for up to four days

PICKLED VEGETABLES

  1. Toss together carrots and daikon with 3 teaspoons of sugar and the salt in a large bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and press down to release excess liquids. Return to the bowl and combine with remaining 4 tablespoons of sugar, vinegar, and water. The vegetables should be completely covered with liquid. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit until ready to use

SPAM SLIDERS

  1. Heat a large nonstick pan, over medium-low heat and fry spam slices on both sides until crispy. In a small saucepan, whisk together chili garlic sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, and granulated sugar and heat over medium heat until reduced by half. Remove from heat. Brush onto crispy spam slices. 
  2. To assemble sliders, cut the rolls in half and spread each half with mayo and sriracha to your liking. Add a slice or two of spam to the bottom half of the roll, followed by a handful of pickled vegetables, a few slices of cucumber, jalapeño, cilantro, and avocado. Replace top half of roll and skewer with a long toothpick.
  3. Serve and enjoy!