You'll love this easy Chicken Banh Mi recipe, made with ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store! Nothing complicated, just a simple, delicious Vietnamese Sandwich with pickled carrots, beats Subway any day!
What is Banh Mi?
You'll love this Banh Mi recipe! It's like a Vietnamese Subway sandwich, that's a fusion of Vietnamese fresh ingredients with a nod to it's French colonial past. The crunchy baguette style bread that is stuffed with meats, pate, pickled carrots, cucumber, cilantro and a tasty mayo. A delicious Vietnamese street food that's enjoyed around the world. Tastes fresh, and tasty, perfect for lunch. A fresh Vietnamese submarine sandwich!
What Kind of Bread for Banh Mi Sandwich?
Here in Australia, our supermarkets sell Vietnamese Rolls (Vietnamese Baguettes), which are made for Banh Mi Sandwiches. They are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, much like a baguette. If you can find a Vietnamese grocery store or bakery, they will most likely sell these rolls. However, many people use a French Baguette which is easily found in supermarkets. If you can't find these, then any crunchy bread roll can work.
The Secret is in the Pickled Carrots!
Pickled Carrots are the hero of the Banh Mi recipe. They're usually made 50/50 with sliced carrots and sliced daikon radish, but I usually only make it with carrots. Click for the recipe, it's so easy to make! The sweet and tangy carrots cut through the meats with a hit of Asian freshness. The carrots are addictive and you will want to eat them again and again!
It only takes minutes to make, with white vinegar, rice vinegar, sugar, salt and fish sauce. The most exotic ingredient for this pickling recipe is fish sauce. However, if making Vietnamese food, you will need to buy fish sauce anyways. I always make it in advance and keep it in the fridge for when I'm ready. It can be made in 1 hour, and you're ready to go!
What Meats for Banh Mi?
Traditionally Banh Mi is made with several different Vietnamese meats, usually cold cuts of pork sausage, pork belly and head cheese (brawn). A Vietnamese grocer would have these to purchase, inlcuding pate. However, I like to make this with easily available meats in a Western mindset, so anyone can quickly throw it together. I skip the Pate, but most Pates will work. Here's the meats I usually use to make Banh Mi.
- Shredded Chicken from leftover Roast chicken
- Shredded Pork or leftover Roast pork (with crackling)
- Crispy Chicken Strips - you'll love the crunch!
- Sliced Ham
- Smoked Chicken
Favorite Sauces for Vietnamese Sandwich
There are many different ways that people flavor a Vietnamese sandwich. Nobody like a dry sandwich. It might surprise people that it's usually mayonnaise that's spread on the bread roll. That's it. Sometimes there are other sauces drizzled on like Maggi seasoning or Hoisin (not a fan of hoisin in Banh Mi). But my favorite is using Sriracha Mayo (homemade is so easy). Here are some other suggestions.
- Japanese Mayo - so creamy and delicious!
- Spicy Sriracha Sauce
- Maggi and Mayonnaise
- A few dashes of Fish Sauce
How to Make Chicken Banh Mi
In this Banh Mi recipe, I used leftover roast chicken and air fryer chicken strips. The kids love chicken strips, so were happy to try something new! To build your Banh Mi, start by slicing your baguette in half (without slicing all the way through) and spread mayo on both sides. Start by layering your ingredients in the order below;
- mayo with a sprinkle of sliced green onions (so it sticks to mayo and won't fall out)
- cucumber slices
- generous serving of meats
- pickled carrots
- fresh cilantro (coriander)
- sliced chili peppers
- add extra sauce of your choice (optional)
Banh Mi is a traditional Vietnamese baguette sandwich, that you can easily make for lunch or dinner. Baguette slathered sauce, a generous serve of meats, and topped with pickled carrots, cilantro and a few chili peppers. Crunchy, tangy and full of flavor, so many ways to make this recipe your own! Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- 4 Vietnamese rolls or 1 baguette
- Sriracha Mayo or regular mayo
- meat of your choice shredded chicken or roast pork
- 1 long english cucumber sliced
- 2 cups pickled carrots
- 1½ cups fresh cilantro with stems
- 2 green onion stems sliced
- 1 red chili thinly sliced (optional)
- Maggi optional
- Prepare the pickled carrots in advance. This should take about an hour to pickle if in a hurry.
- Slice the baguette in half, careful not to cut all way through. Spread mayo on both sides of the bread and sprinkle some green onions (so it sticks to the mayo).
- Layer sliced cucumber, meat over the mayo.
- Add generous amount of pickled carrots and cilantro (including the flavorful stems)
- Garnish with fresh chili and drizzle with a bit of Maggi seasoning. Enjoy!