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Banh Mi is one of my favorite sandwiches of all time. Some of you are probably saying Banh wha?? This is a Vietnamese style sandwich and it is all kinds of delicious. Boneless skinless chicken thighs are marinated in lemongrass, fish sauce, and lime juice then grilled or browned on the stovetop. You can eat the chicken just like that or add pickled veggies and fresh sprigs of cilantro and put it on French Bread.
Banh is the Vietnamese word for Bread. Baguettes were introduced to the Vietnamese during the time that Vietnam was a French Colony. I’m ashamed to say I only started eating these delicious sandwiches in the last year or so. I always went to my favorite Vietnamese places for Pho. I completely ignored everything else on the menu until I had read a newspaper article on the Banh Mi. I picked up two sandwiches on my way to the beach with my husband one day and we were blown away. I knew I had to try making them at home. And the recipe I came up with could not be easier or more flavorful! Banh Mi can be made with pork as well as chicken.
The pickled veggies on top are really simple to make. You simple slice the veggies with a veggie peeler or a mandolin. Then thinly slice them. Put them in a jar with rice vinegar and water, kosher salt and some sugar. They keep with the fridge for a long time. I use carrots and daikon radish. The daikon radish looks like a very large parsnip. I was surprised to find it easily at my military commissary. Watch the video below to see how I prepare the veggies. Again you do not need a mandolin to do this, you can simply make ribbons with a vegetable peeler and slice those thinly. Here are links to my favorite mandolin and my favorite vegetable peeler. Y shaped peelers are the way to go, I can’t believe I ever used anything else. They are super inexpensive and make peeling a breeze. Anytime someone who hasn’t used one comes to my house and uses one, they rave about it.
Y Peelers: http://amzn.to/2Bs85pk
Handheld Mandolin: http://amzn.to/2BrqpPa
- 1 daikon radish, sliced into thin strips (julienned)
- 2 carrots, sliced into thin strips (julienned)
- 3/4 C rice vinegar
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tube of lemongrass (4 oz) such as Gourmet Garden's Stir in Lemongrass Paste you can find it in the produce section near fresh herbs
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- zest of 1 lime
- Juice of 1 lime
- pinch of salt
- 6 small frech baguettes or two large baguettes cut into thirds
- 6-12 sprigs of fresh cilantro (stems and leaves)
- Use a mandolin or vegetable peeler to create ribbons with the carrots and daikon radish. Then slice those thin ribbons into matchsticks with a knife.
- Place the julienned daikon radish and carrots in a large mason jar or other glass container with a lid.
- Add in the sugar and kosher salt.
- Pour in the rice vinegar and the warm water.
- Shake it all up and then place it in the fridge for at least four hours.
- Whisk together the lemongrass, fish sauce, garlic, lime zest, lime juice and pinch of salt.
- Place the chicken in a plastic bag, and pour the marinade over. Seal the bag and rub the marinade into the chicken. Place in the fridge and allow it to marinate 8 hours or overnight.
- When ready to cook the chicken pull it out and heat a grill to medium heat or heat a pan on the stovetop over medium. Cook the chicken for about four minutes per side. When it has reached an internal temperature of 165 you can pull it off and allow it to rest for five minutes before thinly slicing (If doing the sandwiches).
- Slice the Baguettes open and pull out some of the bread in the middle to allow room for the chicken and veggies.
- Place a few slices of chicken, and some carrot and daikon radish on the bread along with a sprig or two of fresh cilantro. Serve wrapped in parchment or as is.