Rabbit Hunting photo

There is a sizeable Vietnamese population in Lincoln, Neb.—so much so that when I was in college there, 27th street was lined with báhn mì shops. Unfortunately for me at the time, I was a white-bread farm boy and instead subsisted mostly on Subway spicy Italians, Domino’s death disks, and Keystone Light. My loss, as now I know a báhn mì is an incredible sandwich that is at once savory, spicy, sweet, and sour. I don’t how it packs in all those flavors, but it does. This version subs in a quartered cottontail for the usual pork or ham, but I tried to keep the rest of the ingredients as traditional as possible. This marinade also works great with upland birds and, yes, wild pig.

Bunny Báhn Mì

1 rabbit, dressed and quartered
1 baguette
Spicy mayonnaise (recipe below)
Pickled carrot and daikon mix
Fresh cilantro

Vietnamese Marinade
¼ cup lime juice (juice of 3 limes)
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. fish sauce (nuoc mam or nam pla)
1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 jalapenos, finely diced
1 Tbsp. sesame oil

Spicy Mayo
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. Sriracha

1.Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the sesame oil.

2.Make the spicy mayo: Whisk everything together until combined, then cover and keep refrigerated.

3.Place the rabbit pieces in a Ziploc plastic bag and pour the marinade over. (Reserve about a quarter of the marinade for basting.) Press out as much air as you can and seal the bag. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

4.Remove the rabbit pieces from the bag and discard the marinade. Pat the rabbit dry, then place it over a medium-hot fire. Grill, turning and basting often, until the internal temperature of each piece reaches 155 degrees. You may have to manage your fire and meat, as the front legs will cook faster than the rear legs and saddle.

5.When the rabbit is cooked through, transfer the pieces to a cutting board and debone. Slice the meat into small chunks, about ½-inch wide.

6.Assemble the sandwich: Split the baguette in half length-wise and spread the paté along the bottom half. Next comes the rabbit, topped with a handful of pickled carrots and daikon. Top with lots of fresh cilantro and spread a liberal dose of spicy mayo to the top half of the baguette. Have a couple of cold lagers handy to douse the burn as you enjoy the best bunny sandwich you’ve ever eaten.