In the walk of a cook who fancies herself a genius, there is no pain more excruciating than to realize when someone else has out-genius her.  If you were one of “her” (not saying that I am)(I mean genius?  Who?  Me?), careful, because this is gonna hurt.

This guy, Tyler Kord, who wrote this book, A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches, is really pissing me off.

Okay, fine, go have a super successful and ever-expanding sandwich shop all over New York City as if that was a dream of mine or whaaaatever.  Dream-stealer….  And then sure, why not, go publish a refreshingly hilarious and strivingly honest cookbook that touches subjects beyond the otherwise self-absorbing stand-alone topic of foods, as if that was my personal 2014 2015 2016 resolution that is wilting faster than baby spinach in a hot skillet.  Face-rubber….  But I don’t care, see, don’t care!  But above all of his dream-stealing and face-rubbing behavior, which I have generously forgiven and let go, none has made me scream more in agony when I saw this recipe on page 168…

Pho mayo.

I’ll spare you the whole pretense of “I couldn’t imagine what it would taste like until I put a spoon in my mouth…blah blah blah blah blah”.  Truth was, the minute I read through the recipe, I knew it would work.  The combination of flavors and seasoning just made sense, guaranteeing, even just on paper, a creamy concoction that would embody all the magical essence of a bowl of pho.  Pho, in mayo form.  This realization sent my body into a self-strangling twist on my stone-cold kitchen floor, thinking, no, bleeding from the eternal question that haunts all mankind – Why, why wasn’t I the one who come up with this?

But I wasn’t.  So that’s that.  And by the way, this fabulous creation of what I call Summer Pho Bo Roll, is not in his book.  Yeah, I took his pho mayo… used it to generously coat a truck-load of thinly sliced beef short ribs, bean sprouts and finely chopped Thai basil, then stuffed them into a hoisin sauce -smeared potato roll, topped with chopped onions and a revengeful squeeze of Sriracha sauce.  It’s like eating a bowl of pho bo (by the way, the word “pho” on its own just means “rice noodle”.  Pho bo (bo means beef) is what you are actually referring to), but no cooking!  And it’s summer-friendly!

Dat’s right, Tyler, I stole your pho mayo.  Now you know what it’s like to be hurt.

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Yield: 4 rolls

I made my pho mayo more robust than the original, with a higher ratio of spices to mayonnaise. I did this because I found the original version, while tasting great on its own, getting lost a little in a sandwich form.


  • 1/4 medium onion, peeled
  • 1 1/2" (25 grams) ginger, peeled
  • 1/2 tsp Thai shrimp paste
  • 1 large star anise
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 3/4 cup (180 grams) mayonnaise
  • 14 oz (400 grams) thinly sliced beef short ribs
  • 3 large handful of bean sprouts
  • 1 large handful of Thai basil, finely chopped
  • 1 large handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
  • finely chopped onion
  • 4 potato rolls
  • hoisin sauce and Sriracha sauce to serve
  • lime for squeezing


  1. MAKE PHO MAYO: Cut onion and ginger into thick slices. Over the stove or with a torch (my choice), char the entire surfaces of the vegetables as evenly and thoroughly as you can. Smear the shrimp paste roughly over a plate or skillet, and torch or toast over the stove until darkened as well. Combine star anise, whole cloves, fennel seeds, and ground cinnamon in a small skillet and toast over medium heat until they start to pop and smell fragrant. Transfer all of the above into a blender, along with fish sauce and mayonnaise, and blend until smoothly pureed. Transfer into an air-tight container and keep in the fridge until needed (cold mayo is also thicker and better to use). Can be made days before hand.
  2. MAKE PHO BO ROLL: Season the thinly sliced beef short ribs with a little of fish sauce and freshly ground black pepper, then lay them flat. Heat a non-stick skillet over high heat until very hot, then with a tongs, cook each slices laid flat over the skillet, ON ONE SIDE ONLY, until the cooked side is slightly caramelized but the top side still has pinkish blotches. Transfer the finished slices onto a plate as you go, and repeat with the rest. Once completely cooled, drain off any liquid and mix with enough pho mayo, chopped basil and mint until generously coated.
  3. If you were like me who is not a fan of raw bean sprouts, microwave the bean sprouts on high for 30 seconds, then shock in iced water. Squeeze out all excess water, then toss with pho mayo to coat. For the potato rolls, brush both sides with melted butter then toast on a skillet until the edges are crispy.
  4. TO ASEMBLE: Slice the potato rolls open and smear a layer of hoisin sauce on the bottom, then a layer of bean sprouts, then some sprinkle of chopped onion, then top with lots of pho mayo-coated beef slices. Season with freshly ground black pepper and a good squeeze of Sriracha sauce.


The sliced beef short ribs (or other parts of beef) can be found in all major Asian markets for the purpose of hot pots. In this application, aim for a thicker slice for better texture.


  • Apodemus

    July 13, 2016 at 9:38 PM Reply

    This looks excellent and debauched. Your site is so much fun to read, thank you for sharing!

    • kimithy

      January 24, 2017 at 11:41 PM Reply

      “Debauched” is pretty much the perfect term for at least half the recipes on this site :) Never thought I’d ever, EVER consider a food recipe “naughty”, but somehow she manages to make cooking feel like a little rebellion. Love it.

  • Carina Simeon

    July 13, 2016 at 10:09 PM Reply

    Oh mi, I can not stop laughing – what fun it is to read your article. I like to read them aloud!! so as to make full and proper use of all the !!! and ???? and other bits in your text and have the feeling that we are sitting somewhere, having a coffee or whatever! and you talking.
    That recipe… you said “Tyler Kord eat your heart out” – is simply delicious and your photography as always suberb. Thanks. Carina

  • Jill Shepherd

    July 13, 2016 at 10:36 PM Reply

    You complete me.

  • heather (delicious not gorgeous)

    July 13, 2016 at 11:10 PM Reply

    oh, you are fabulous. but we all already knew that (; i had a pho burger at a night market in southern california earlier this year, and was mindblown that it tasted like pho but there were no noodles or soup at all (and also could not for the life of me figure how the hell they did it). thanks for demystifying it!

  • Dawn Barnhart

    July 14, 2016 at 12:54 AM Reply

    I so love reading your posts… guaranteed laughter! Now you know how I feel when I read your recipes. Looks delish!

  • Richard Griffiths

    July 14, 2016 at 5:31 AM Reply

    Well, Lady with a vengeance, I would not worry.

    It sounds like Tyler Cord is having a very stressful life which is not good for a man who seems beset by his worries.

    In addition, I had a look at his site and I cant say that I fancied any of his recipes whereas with your site it is not whether I fancy them or not – they order me into the kitchen and JUST GET COOKING NOW !!!!

  • Khuzaima

    July 14, 2016 at 10:11 AM Reply

    Read this on the morning, and I just want to eat those sandwich right now.

    Anyway, such a great revenge huh? xD
    I wanna know how Tyler respond to this.

  • JDSavage

    July 18, 2016 at 10:14 AM Reply

    Made it! Silly good and way different fresh awesomeness. Shrimp paste was comically pungent and almost made the wife opt out but she was equally blown away by the finished product. Thanks!!!

  • Fernando @ Eating With Your Hands

    July 19, 2016 at 10:10 PM Reply

    Gotta make this! And ordered the cookbook, looks something right up my alley – thanks for that!

  • Jessica Carbon

    July 19, 2016 at 11:38 PM Reply

    dear god. why do you do this to me. I need this so badly

  • Lynna Huynh

    July 21, 2016 at 3:44 AM Reply

    This sounds absolutely, fabulous!! I love sandwiches and and I love pho!! :D

  • Ellie | from scratch mostly

    July 25, 2016 at 9:02 AM Reply

    Haha wowww I love the title of that cookbook! So….upsetting indeed, and yet so clever and comprehensive about how we feel about being out-smarted by others much “better” than us. ;)) This sounds and looks so amazing! That’s what I love about your palate. It’s always in search for unconventional flavors that just…work.

  • lieberlecker

    July 25, 2016 at 10:41 PM Reply

    Simply brilliant :-)
    Text, photos AND recipe – I want more!
    Regards from Zurich,

  • Jill

    August 8, 2016 at 5:52 AM Reply

    This was AWESOME!!!! I will say that I’ve cooked a lot of Asian food, but never had a need for Thai shrimp paste. It was literally the smelliest thing I have ever opened in my kitchen. GOOD GOD! Like a diaper full of Limburger cheese. And when I heated it up to toast it? Was I scared? Yes. Did I use it anyways? OF COURSE I DID. You said to use it, so I used it. Where your blog is concerned I learned to NEVER QUESTION THE RECIPE!

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      August 8, 2016 at 6:11 AM Reply

      Jill. I know I know, shrimp taste smell like toe-jam from hell, but when it’s toasted and added to dishes, it miraculously becomes something else!

      • Jill

        August 9, 2016 at 10:32 PM Reply

        I have to get a torch though. My daughter moved out and mine with her. I think the small frying pan I tried to “toast” the paste in may be unusable now…. maybe after 10-12 more washings… :)

        Oh and I went to 2 Asian grocers here in Phoenix and none of them had boneless short ribs. I tried doing it myself but it’s impossible to cut the meat thinly from already cut short ribs so the meat was kind of tough. I may go for tenderloin next time, and there will be a next time very soon, unless you have a suggestion for a substitute. (I assumes you meant the Korean style short ribs meat which my butcher said was different than the american short rib)

        • mandy@ladyandpups

          August 10, 2016 at 5:18 AM Reply

          Jill, I would try those thinly sliced beef for hot pot? They are not as tender as short ribs but will do the trick!

  • Clio

    August 17, 2016 at 2:47 AM Reply

    Mandy, I feel this comment is really overdue. I made this and it was so delicious!! I mean it was perfect. Me and my boyfriend were almost weeping as we ate it. But, truth is, I have made so so many of your dishes over the past year or so (the smushed lamb meatball burgers, the punch-it burger, the awesome cauliflower dish etc etc) and they are always amazing! I have done things that I thought only other people did like make my own harissa and moon cakes and English muffins under your guidance. And each time I have a slightly guilty conscience that I haven’t even said so much as a quick thank you. So here it is: I am truly grateful that you put so much time and energy into sharing these recipes, writing such hilarious text and breaking everything down with your step-by-step photos for me, and everyone else, to greedily consume for free. In a sea of food blogs yours stands out a mile. Thank you thank you thank you – you are brilliant!

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      August 17, 2016 at 3:51 AM Reply

      Clio, oh you’re so very welcome! It just makes me happy to know that you enjoyed the recipes :). Let’s keep exploring this food-world together and I hope you keep having fun with it.

  • Daniela

    August 22, 2016 at 6:48 PM Reply

    I was looking at this recipe with a hungry and longing hart since you posted it. And now that I finally had the chance to make these summer rolls I am more than happy to say, that they were exactly the way I imagined them to be! Thank you very much, yesterday you brought that wonderful melancholic feeling of sultry summer evenings back to me!

  • Sephora Couturier

    January 5, 2017 at 5:04 AM Reply

    I was looking for a recipe to surprise my husband (usually he’s a better cook than me!) and yahooo!!!! I found this one just perfect.
    Love and best wishes for you :)

  • Amy

    November 12, 2017 at 7:46 AM Reply

    Usually, I stay away from any recipe that includes ribs of any type (just because I never make them right), but I just added all of the ingredients to my shopping list because my husband is absolutely going to love this!

  • Edward Stevens

    March 20, 2019 at 6:01 PM Reply

    Really Amazing, Like before you share some awesome content. Really love it.
    Thank you.

  • Kecia Stewart

    May 10, 2020 at 10:40 AM Reply

    Is it okay to just use regular short ribs (boneless)? Thank you!!

  • Jeffy

    July 8, 2020 at 3:03 AM Reply

    I see brown sugar in the ingredient list and granulated sugar in the instructions. Which one is better? Can’t wait to try this.

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      July 8, 2020 at 1:46 PM Reply

      Jeffy, oops sorry I believe I meant light brown sugar not dark brown but granulated works too.

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