A Sandwich a Day: Grilled Local Bluefish with Leeks at Num Pang
In this great city of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around New York. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.
Our love affair with Num Pang's Cambodian sandwiches is no secret (see our reviews here, here, and here), so we figured their newest seasonal offering would be worth checking out—and this fish-splosion did not disappoint.
When I generally think of a banh mi, my mind automatically jumps to some sort of meaty, (okay, porky) filling. The Grilled Local Bluefish with Leeks is a curveball, but the bold flavors of the salty fish and the pickled veggies marry surprisingly well. Full disclosure: this is a seriously fishy sandwich, not some mild, tasteless white meat. The fish fillet is soft and oily from liberal application of the Thai Basil-infused olive oil, the crunch of the cucumber, carrots and cilantro provide textural interest, and the creamy spiced mayo ties it all together. The only disappointing aspect was the leeks, which were cooked to the brink of mush and brought nothing to the party in terms of texture or flavor.
This sandwich has altered my mindset about banh mi for the better. It's a seasonal special, but if it were up to me it would become a permanent fixture.