Making a Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwich at home is easier you think! This quick Banh Mi recipe has authentic flavors and only takes 25 minutes to make.
Who would have guessed that making a banh mi sandwich at home would be a nod to so many cultural food influences?
Usually made with different cuts of meat and pate, this sandwich is the perfect hybrid of French and Vietnamese food coming together in harmony – which is made all the more interesting considering the long and complicated history of the French in Vietnam. While the specifics of the colonial occupation that resulted in this food hybrid are for a much longer conversation (preferably over a glass of Pastis), it resulted in bread being introduced to the Vietnamese food lexicon.
In fact some might argue that the only good things to come from that complicated period in Vietnam were coffee and French bread.
A couple of generations removed, and now most of the ingredients for this delicious chicken banh sandwich mi recipe can easily be obtained at your local grocery store!
What is Banh Mi?
Well, banh mi literally translates into ‘bread’ – but normally references a sandwich served on a flaky, fresh French style baguette. Instead of relying solely on wheat flour, the Vietnamese version of the baguette will usually use wheat and rice flour. This results in a lighter, crispier crust and an airier texture to the bread.
The fillings differ from preparation to preparation, however most classic banh mi sandwich recipes will have pate, a cold cut like thin sliced ham and maybe spiced ground meat or pork belly for good measure.
What is ubiquitous in a banh mi sandwich is the use of vinegary and sweet pickled carrots and daikon radish – along with fresh cilantro, cucumber and (optional) fresh jalapeños.
It is also quite common to use mayonnaise and a chili sauce like sriracha in your banh mi sandwich. It is truly a mash up of ingredients endemic to France and Vietnam, used in harmony to create something spectacular.
A Healthier Chicken Banh Mi Sandwich
My own take on the Vietnamese banh mi sandwich is super simple, delicious and something you can easily make at home.
The only protein is lean chicken breast – but, fear not, the chicken packs in plenty of assertive flavor from marinating it in fish sauce and other classic Vietnamese ingredients (similar to this pork chop recipe).
The long-dip in the marinade results in a hearty depth of flavor which is heightened when you sear the chicken breast in a grill pan or saute pan. It is then topped with pickled carrots, bright cilantro, cucumber, jalapeno, a squirt of sriracha and mayo – bringing the flavor profile you’d expect from the original.
This is an easy, healthier twist on the classic Vietnamese banh mi recipe.
A recipe needs to be simple and delicious to convince me to cook after a long day in the trenches. Luckily, this smoky, bright and spicy chicken banh mi sandwich ticks both of those boxes – and will keep you light on your toes this summer!
Did you like this Chicken Banh Mi Sandwich Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!Print
Make your own Vietnamese sandwiches at home! This is an Easy Chicken Banh Mi Sandwich Recipe your family will love!
- 1/2 pound boneless chicken breast, cut into thin slices
- 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
- 1 English cucumber, cut into strips
- 2 small shallots, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- juice of 1 lime
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 baguette
- Sriracha sauce
- Handful cilantro
For the pickled carrots and daikon:
- 1/2 cup carrots (cut into thin strips)
- 1/2 cup daikon (peeled and cut into thin strips)
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- Put carrots, daikon and ingredients for the pickling into a bowl. Stir well and set aside for 15-20 minutes.
- In a bowl, add lime juice, fish sauce, 1/2 tsp salt, fresh black pepper, 2 tbsp oil, shallots and garlic. Add chicken and mix well. Put the mixture and the chicken in a zip lock back, take out excess air and seal. Massage well and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Section the baguette into sandwich size portions, put in a cooking tray and toast for a few minutes (just so there is a bit of a crunchy texture). In a pan over medium/high heat, add chicken and shallots and cook until well done. Throw the pickling juice away and squeeze excess liquid from the carrots.
- Assemble banh mi and eat immediately.
These ingredients are just suggestions. Get creative and add your own spin to this Chicken Banh Mi Recipe! You can refrigerate the ingredients separately for 3-5 days.
* I use Red Boat fish sauce because it’s 100% pure and is Gluten Free
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 707
- Sugar: 6.6g
- Sodium: 2540mg
- Fat: 14g
- Saturated Fat: 3.9g
- Unsaturated Fat: 2g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 14g
- Fiber: 2.2g
- Protein: 27g
- Cholesterol: 90mg
Keywords: banh mi sandwich