There is one essential sandwich in Vietnamese cooking, its the Bahn Mi, it’s was notably a humble sandwich back in Vietnam in the early days which consisted of a baguette with chicken liver pate, in the early 1980s, these sandwiches occupied the food craze spotlight in the Vietnamese-American community.
A sandwich war of sorts ensued in Little Saigon, California, where entrepreneurial deli owners adapted and improved the quality, varied the fillings and drove down the prices, in the face of tough competition they added, mayo, corriander, pickles, chillis, chicken & pork, beef and all manor of combinations
That’s how the Bahn mi as we know it today, came to existence and became loved across the world.
My version incorporates all of the above, it has a great texture and taste, loads of fresh veggies and chicken, fresh herbs and spices, simple to execute and well worth the effort, plan ahead and marinade the chicken and veggies and this takes twenty minutes to execute, its a no brainier for BBQ’s and lunches.
If you have any comments or questions, please don’t hesitate to leave them below.
Photography by Frank Verbruggen
- 1 Cucumber
- 250ml Rice vinegar
- 110g Caster sugar
- 1 Carrot
- 2 Tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 500g Organic Chicken thigh fillets, trimmed
- 1 Baguette, cut into 4
- 1 Tablespoon of mayonnaise
- 4 lettuce leaves, torn
- 1 Tablespoon pickled jalapeño peppers (optional)
- 1 Tablespoon hot chilli sauce (Sriracha)
- Few sprigs of fresh coriander
Use a peeler to shave the cucumber into ribbons, then toss in a bowl with 1 teaspoon salt and stand for 1 hour.
Heat the rice vinegar and sugar in a small pan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then cool.
Shave carrot lengthways into ribbons with a vegetable peeler, then cut into fine matchsticks. Add carrot, cucumber and their juices to the vinegar mixture and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Mix the soy sauce, peanut oil, honey and garlic together, then coat the chicken in the soy marinade and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
Heat a lightly oiled skillet or barbecue to medium heat and cook the chicken for 5 minutes each side or until caramel brown and cooked through. Roughly slice.
Split rolls, then lightly grill the cut side for 20 seconds to warm them.
Drain the pickled carrot and cucumber.
To serve, lightly spread rolls with mayonnaise, then fill with lettuce, chicken, cucumber, jalapenos (if using), carrot, chilli sauce and coriander.
Equiptment: oven, chopping board, oven tray, serrated knife, small pan, measuring jug, grater, mixing bowl. Skillet pan, tongs.