Sandwiches are a common meal found all over the world. This Chicken Banh Mi is inspired from the Vietnam, stuffed with fresh vegetables and avocados.
Before Subway sandwiches hit it big, I was the sandwich queen. When I was a kid, I added oil and vinegar to sandwiches way before I ever walked into a real deli. My brother was my number one fan and always asked me to make him a sandwich when he saw I was making one for myself.
Nowadays, I’ve turned my back on my bread love affair and stick with boring high fiber or low-carb bread concoctions. But, I always have a secret desire for a big, cold sandy for lunch – especially during the hot summer months.
Sandwiches come in all shapes and sizes, all over the world. In Iran, we love our flat breads and roll up our sandwiches in lavash, sangak or barbari. All flat breads, but of different thicknesses.
In New Orleans we have the Po Boy. In France there’s the Croque Monsieur. Cubans have their pressed sandwiches. Italians have their torpedoes. The British have their tea sandwiches. And the Vietnamese have the Banh Mi.
I first had a banh mi last week, when I took my boys out to lunch. We went to a relatively nice place for lunch, nicer than I would usually go to with kids considering they charged $16 for a hamburger. But, I digress.
Everyone was hungry and the menu was appetizing, so we went in. I chose to try their Chicken Banh Mi, excited to sample something new and exotic. Overall, the flavor was good, but the sandwich was lacking, in my opinion. I like to stuff my sandwiches with plenty of veggies and flavor. So I knew I had to go recreate my own at home.
The traditional banh mi is served on a baguette, similar to the French version, with pâté, mayonnaise, cilantro and hot peppers. I don’t claim to be a Banh Mi expert. I had to do my research.
I am not a pâté fan, so I stuck with chicken and stuffed my Chicken Banh Mi with cabbage, radishes, jalapeños and avocados. A squeeze of lime and a side of some spicy garlic mayonnaise and I was one happy camper.
Whether you grill up some chicken breast or use leftover chicken, you will have a lunch to make everyone jealous!
Feel free to learn more about this delicious sandwich from Vietnam here at Viet World Kitchen, and meet Andrea Nguyen, who wrote a cookbook called, what else, The Banh Mi Handbook. And see what inspires you in the kitchen.
And, quite frankly, peace would reign all over the world because we would find common ground in the fact that everyone loves a good sandwich.
- 2 chicken breast, boneless skinless
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper, ground
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp hot sauce
- 2 small baguettes
- 1/2 cup cabbage, green, shredded
- 2 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup cilantro, fresh, coarsely chopped
- 1 green onion, sliced
- 2 Mexican limes, halved
- Wash chicken breasts and pat dry with paper towels.
- Season both sides of chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
- Heat a grill pan or nonstick pan over medium-high heat and add olive oil. When oil is hot, add chicken breast and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
- Flip chicken breasts over and brown other side. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking until done, about 10 more minutes.
- While chicken is cooking, prepare the mayonnaise by whipping together mayonnaise, garlic powder and hot sauce. Set aside.
- When chicken breasts are done cooking, remove from heat and let rest.
- Cut baguettes in half length-wise. Smear both sides of bread with 1 TBLS prepared mayonnaise. Serve the remaining mayonnaise on the side.
- Divide vegetables and start layering them inside the sandwiches in this order: cabbage, radishes, jalapeño.
- Cut chicken breasts into strips and place into the sandwiches.
- Top sandwiches with avocado, cilantro and green onion.
- Serve sandwiches with reserved mayonnaise and limes.
Cooking Tips: Toast your bread before preparing sandwiches, if you prefer.
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