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Julia Barretto And Chef JP Anglo Recreate Healthy, Authentic Vietnamese Flavors With Banh Mi And Pho

At Kitchen Nomad, Chef JP breaks down the secrets to recreating authentic banh mi and pho—healthy Asian food that taste and feel good

What is there not to love about Asian cuisine? Asian food is flavorful, easy to make, and easily packed with so much vegetables for that healthy finish.

This is one of the many reasons Vietnamese cuisine has become more and more popular all over the world. Vietnamese classics like the banh mi and pho are not just easy to do—they also come packed with meat and vegetables to tick off your fiber and protein needs for the day.

For the fourth episode of Kitchen Nomad, Chef JP Anglo and Julia Barretto recreate the authentic flavors of Vietnamese cuisine through banh mi and pho—two of the most iconic Vietnamese recipes

Banh mi

Banh mi dates back to post-colonial Vietnam, right after French left Asia after World War II. It all started with the baguette, which the French brought to Vietnam to fulfill their need for bread. The French left, but the baguette stayed with the Vietnamese, giving birth to the banh mi.

Nowadays, you’ll see banh mi in all shapes and sizes. It’s essentially a sandwich that’s crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, so you can literally go wild with the possibilities in terms of filling.

But when talking authentic banh mi, Chef JP Anglo says the secret is in the meat filling that should have a perfect balance of flavors and textures.

To get this savory meat filling right, the key is in the umami hit from just  the right mix of sour, salty, and sweet. Chef JP’s secret barbecue marinade for his pork liempo is made with coconut vinegar, calamansi, brown sugar, lemongrass and Knorr liquid seasoning. In the restaurant, he uses Knorr chicken powder, but at home, you can use Knorr chicken cube.

Authentic banh mi’s impactful flavor comes from its spread. Chef JP’s version uses a generous pinch of Knorr pork cube, which will add a lot of flavor because it’s made from real pork (healthy tip: you won’t need to add salt any more!). Add that to pineapple-orange juice, garlic, calamansi, leeks, and a little liver spread.

When putting together your banh mi, you can be creative with the vegetables and seasoning you’d like to include. For that Filipino touch, Chef JP recommends to put atchara, which adds a bit of a sour-sweet kick. 


The Vietnamese are also obsessed with noodles, that’s why the pho is considered their national dish. Just like the banh mi, many historians believe that the pho started to become a food staple food after the French improved the availability of beef in the country. Originally, pho was sold at dawn and dusk in the streets by mobile kitchens. This style of selling Vietnamese classics like pho and banh mi remain to this date, contributing to the vibrant street food culture of Vietnam

Since beef is the star flavor of the pho, Chef JP recreates this dish with his trusty Knorr beef cube, which can bring out that umami and beef taste in any dish.

To raise the healthiness and flavor of your pho, consider some of the most traditional pho add-ons: bean sprouts, coriander leaves, leeks, and fresh basil.


Prep time: 20 mins 

Ingredients:300 grams pork tenderloin


2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped garlic cloves

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1/2 Knorr Chicken Cube 

2 tablespoons Knorr Liquid Seasoning

annatto oil, for basting


1 cup liver spread

1 piece Knorr Pork Cubes

1/2 cup pineapple-orange juice

Sandwich components:

2 long pieces or 4 mini pieces baguette (French bread)

1 cup Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise

Handful of wansuy (coriander) leaves

1/2 cup atchara


1. To make the pork marinade, mix Hoisin sauce, vinegar, garlic, fish sauce, Knorr Chicken Cube and Knorr Liquid Seasoning. Marinate in chiller for 2 to 3 hours.

2. To make the spread, mix together liver spread, Knorr Pork Cube and pineapple-orange juice. Set aside.

3. Brush pork pieces with annatto oil, then grill or roast in a toaster oven

4. Toast baguette slices in a toaster until golden brown

5. To assemble sandwich: Spread liver spread generously on one side of the bread then spread mayonnaise on the other. Lay your pork tenderloin and top with wansuy and atchara.

Close your sandwich and put butter on top layer on baguette. Enjoy with your favorite potato chips.



3 liters water1 kilo beef bulalo with bone marrow

1/2 kilo beef brisket, cut into cubes

2 pieces Knorr Beef Cubes

1 inch knob ginger, pounded2 pieces star anise

2 tablespoons fish sauce (add more according to preference)

400 grams rice noodles, cooked following package directions

1 cup bean sproutsa bunch of wansuy (coriander) leaves

1/4 cup sliced leekshandful of fresh basil leaves

calamansi slices

Hoisin sauce

Sriracha sauce


1. Boil beef bulalo with bone marrow, beef brisket, Knorr Beef Cubes, ginger, star anise and fish sauce.

2. Slow cook for at least 4 to 6 hours, depending on how much you are making and until beef is tender.

3. When you are ready to serve, divide the cooked rice noodles into bowls and top with tenderized beef pieces, bean sprouts, wansuy (coriander), leeks and basil leaves. Serve with hoisin and Sriracha hot sauce with calamansi on the side.

Kitchen Nomad

After four episodes of Kitchen Nomad, it seems like Chef JP has indeed succeeded in turning Julia into a semi-pro chef. She is now able to recreate authentic Asian dishes from her kitchen at home. Don’t miss this last episode (for now) of Kitchen Nomad