A rustic baguette filled with juicy charred chicken, cucumbers, tangy pickles, fresh cilantro, and creamy mayonnaise. Banh Mi sandwiches are the perfect meal solution for the busiest days of the week. They are highly customizable pacifying even the pickiest of eaters and are irresistible because they are well balanced in flavor. This is an express version of the recipe that only uses accessible ingredients and may be easily modified to suit your palette!
Why This Works
Vietnamese sandwiches are sweet, savory, tangy, fresh, crunchy, and have umami. They are a brilliant go-to meal for the busiest days of the week because of their simplicity.
What is a banh mi?
Bánh mì (bun mee) translates to bread in Vietnamese, specifically demi-baguettes. The sandwich that is made out of a banh mi is called bánh mì thịt. It originated in Saigon, Vietnam in the 1950s under French occupation and is one of the most recognizable inventions of French-Vietnamese cuisine. The core components of a bánh mì thịt is protein, fresh cucumbers, fresh cilantro, Vietnamese pickles, pate (a French terrine of pork, duck, or chicken liver), and sauce. My version of the recipe omits the pate which may be an acquired taste.
Banh mi thit is usually made with Vietnamese pickled daikon and carrots (do Chua). It’s a quick pickle recipe that is crucial to rounding out the sandwich by adding tanginess, umami, and crunch!
What type of protein do I need to make a banh mi?
The banh mi thit sandwich is very versatile and may be made with chicken, pork, beef, seafood, and even tofu.
What type of bread do I need to make a banh mi?
Bread is one of the most important elements of a good banh mi thit however, multiple options may work. They are traditionally made with a very soft and airy baguette similar to a submarine, hoagie roll, italian sub. I personally prefer French baguettes due to their chewy center, crisp golden crust, and rustic look.
Chicken Banh Mi
- 1 lb chicken thighs
- 1 lime trimmed, halved, juiced
- 2 tbsp Maggi Seasoning sauce or dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- 1/2 tsp
ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/4 tsp white sugar
- 2 garlic cloves trimmed, peeled, minced
- 1 baguette
sliced into thirds, split in half
- 1 jalapeño thinly sliced
- 1/3 bunch cilantro
- 1/2 english cucumber sliced into stalks
- 1 cup Vietnamese pickles recipe on page
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- Chicken | Add the chicken thighs into a bowl. Add lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, sriracha, sugar, salt, pepper, and garlic. Toss until evenly coated and marinate at room temp for 10 mins. Set a pan over the stove on medium high heat. Once the pan comes to temperature, add a generous splash of oil to the pan. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken thighs spacing them out. Sear on both sides until 165°F / 78°C.
- Assemble | Smear mayo to the baguette, add 2 pieces of chicken, Vietnamese pickles, cucumbers, cilantro, and jalapeños. Eat immediately!