Banh Mi with Lemongrass Chicken is another one of those highlights from Vietnam. The sandwich got created back in Indochine, when the French were occupying Vietnam. That’s why it’s a baguette bread, although all the rest is Vietnamese flavors. I remember my first bite into a Banh Mi, it was in my college years back in Montreal, a sweet and sour, fresh crunchy cilantro and little touch of heat, the perfect bite for lunch. I would go for almost every lunch in this Vietnamese family owned restaurant.
Then many years later, I’ve got the chance to visit beautiful Vietnam, a country hit by many wars, but the people’s attitude about it is so peaceful and forgiving, there are extremely resilient. Plus, this country is such a culinary paradise, they make an art out of noodles of all kinds, and their flavours are always done to perfection. There is many of those little food carts in the busy cities streets where they make street food like crepe or else and Banh Mi is part of one of those popular delicacy on wheels. So in other words, Banh Mi is a delicious street food dish!
The Banh Mi filling can be pork, beef, tofu, chicken, even shrimps. The preparation is a bit more elaborated than a simple hot dog, you’ll need some marination time for the chicken and also time to pickle the carrots and daikon. But the time spend will be well worth it, you’ll see. Banh Mi on the BBQ would we a great alternative to traditional hot dogs, imagine; a nice Vietnamese BBQ party! I don’t own a BBQ but for those who may have one, I think it would be a great idea.
So let’s do this flavored filled sandwich of Vietnam!
Banh Mi with Lemongrass Chicken
Makes 4 portions
Pickled daikon and carrots
- 3 carrots in fine sticks (julienne)
- 1 daikon in fine sticks (julienne)
- 100ml of white rice vinegar
- 100ml of water
- 60g of sugar, or honey
The chicken lemongrass marinade
- 2 chicken breast cut into fillets
- 2 tbsp of fish sauce (or soy sauce)
- 2 tbsp of rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp of honey
- 1 stalk of lemongrass (the tender part, take off the first leaves and the top and bottom of the stalk) chopped finely
- 1 thai pepper chopped finely
- coconut oil to cook *optional
The spicy mayonnaise
- 3 tbsp of mayonnaise
- 1 tsp of chilli in oil sauce
The Banh Mi
- 1-1/2 french baguette
- cilantro leaves (a lot)
- the pickled carrots and daikon
- the lemongrass chicken
- the spicy mayonnaise
- 1 cucumber cut into long slices (asian if possible)
- Assemble all the ingredients for the pickled carrots and daikon, marinate for minimum 1 hour (up to 24 hours)
- Assemble all the ingredients for the chicken marinade, let marinate for a minimum of 1 hour (up to 24 hours)
- Cook the chicken in a pan, high heat for 4-5 minutes, or on the BBQ, reserve
- Assemble the mayonnaise
- Cut the chicken fillet into stripes
- Assemble the sandwich with all the Banh Mi ingredients
Serve with a tamarind iced tea. Enjoy!