Saturday, July 14, 2012

Grilled Chicken Banh Mi

Let me start off by saying that I hate pickles.  I'm repulsed by them - don't like the smell, or for the pickle juice to be anywhere near my food. Due to my distaste for pickles, I have not ventured into "pickling" anything, assuming I would not like it.  Boy was I wrong!  My husband suggested we make Banh Mi.  I was ignorant on what it was, but am always open to trying new things.  When I realized it involved pickling carrots and radishes, I wasn't excited at all.  After eating them however, you know what I don't like about pickles? The dill!  No dill = very good eats.  My grandmother has been making "marinated cucumbers" for my whole life, little did I know they were actually picked cucumbers (yes, which is a pickle, I know).  However there was no dill, just some Japanese ingredients, and I love them.

Back to the Banh Mi.  We actually made this last summer.  I have been craving it lately so was inspired to post our photos from last summer.  We used a recipe we found in our Food and Wine 2009 Annual Cookbook.  The recipe describes the dish as "a popular Vietnamese sandwich combining sweet, sour, crunchy, and soft in one delicious, and portable package."  Delicious is right!

The recipe consists of 4 main steps - 1) Marinade the chicken  2) Pickle the vegetables 3)Grill the chicken 4)Assemble the sandwich.  Can't forget the 5th step, Eat!

**The onion rings are Beer Battered Onion Rings, recipe by Hubert Keller, found in his cookbook Burger Bar Cookbook. Also found online here -

Grilled Chicken Banh Mi
Recipe, from Food and Wine Magazine



  1. 1 cup Asian fish sauce
  2. 1 cup fresh lime juice
  3. 1/2 cup sugar
  4. 8 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 4 red Thai chiles, thinly sliced
  6. 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  7. 8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (3 1/2 pounds)


  1. 1/2 cup water
  2. 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  5. Pinch of crushed red pepper
  6. 3 large carrots, julienned
  7. 1/4 pound daikon radish, julienned


  1. Four 8-inch baguettes, split and grilled
  2. 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  3. 1 cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise
  4. 10 large cilantro sprigs
  5. 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced

  6. Directions:
    1. In a bowl, whisk the fish sauce with the lime juice, sugar, garlic, Thai chiles and salt. Put the chicken in a resealable plastic bag with all but 1/4 cup of the marinade. Reserve the remaining marinade for the Vietnamese Chicken Salad. Seal the bag and refrigerate the chicken for 3 hours.
    2. In a small saucepan, bring the water, vinegar, sugar, salt and crushed red pepper to a boil. Transfer the brine to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Add the carrots and daikon and cover to keep them submerged. Refrigerate the vegetables for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.
    3. Light a grill. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry. Grill the chicken over moderate heat, turning once, until just cooked through, about 14 minutes. Transfer to a work surface and let rest for 5 minutes.
    4. Drain 1 cup of the pickled vegetables. Slice 6 of the chicken breasts. Reserve the remaining pickled vegetables and 2 breasts for the Vietnamese Chicken Salad.
    5. Spread the cut sides of the baguettes with mayonnaise. Arrange the cucumber slices on the bottom halves. Top with the chicken and the pickled carrots and daikon. Garnish with the cilantro sprigs and jalapeño. Close the sandwiches and serve.

No comments:

Post a Comment