This light and crunchy, classic Vietnamese lemongrass chicken banh mi sandwich is packed with slices of juicy and tender lemongrass chicken, crunchy pickled carrots and daikon, fresh cilantro and cucumbers, all stuffed into a crispy French baguette with a drizzle of Sriracha mayo. It's light and bright flavours have summer written all over them. It's the perfect little meal to have on a summer day, and it is SO easy to make at home.
What is a Banh Mi Sandwich?
A banh mi is a Vietnamese-style baguette sandwich, and a very common street food in Vietnam, made with grilled protein, pickled vegetables, cucumber and cilantro. Here is what you will need to make these lemongrass chicken banh mi sandwiches:
- French baguettes - 3 (6-inch) baguettes or a large baguette cut into 3 equal 6-inch pieces. Try making your own easy homemade no knead French baguettes.
- chicken breasts - 2 large skinless and boneless chicken breasts (about 1 lb.). You can also use chicken thighs.
- chicken marinade - lemongrass (fresh or dried), sesame oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, brown sugar, lime juice, ground black pepper.
- vegetable oil (only if pan-frying the chicken).
- pickled vegetables - julienned carrots and daikon radish, water, rice vinegar, sugar, salt, red chilli pepper (optional).
- fresh cilantro
- spicy mayo - mayonnaise, Sriracha hot sauce, lime juice.
How to Make the Best Lemongrass Chicken Banh Mi Sandwich
- Marinate the lemongrass chicken: In a Ziploc bag, combine chicken, lemongrass, sesame oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, sugar, lime juice, and black pepper. Seal and shake the Ziploc bag to evenly disperse marinade with the chicken. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, but preferably for 2 hours.
- Prepare the pickled vegetables: Pat dry the julienned carrots and daikon with a paper towel and add them into a large Mason jar. Add water, vinegar, sugar, salt, and red chili pepper (optional). Stir well or shake the jar to dissolve the sugar and salt. Transfer the jar to the refrigerator and leave it for at least 1 hour, or overnight for the best flavour.
- Cook the lemongrass chicken: You can either pan fry or air fry the lemongrass chicken.
- To pan fry the chicken breasts: Heat vegetable oil over medium heat for 2 minutes. Place chicken on the pan and cook for 7 minutes per side, or until each side is nicely browned and the internal temperature reaches 165˚F (75˚C).
- To air fry lemongrass chicken: Place the marinated chicken breasts in the air fryer basket and cook for 25 minutes at 350 F. Turn the chicken breasts over halfway through cooking.
- Make the spicy mayo: In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, Sriracha, and lime juice. Stir well until you get a smooth consistency. Set aside.
- Slice the chicken breasts: Slice the cooked chicken breasts into 1-inch wide strips on a parchment-lined cutting board.
- Assemble the banh mi sandwiches: Slice each baguette open horizontally across the centre using a sharp bread knife. Open up the baguette and spread spicy mayo sauce on each half evenly. Add 3 to 4 slices of cucumber on one side. Top it with 3 or 4 lemongrass chicken strips. Add some pickled carrots and daikon on top along with 2-3 pieces of fresh cilantro. Put the top half back on and wrap the Banh Mi sandwich with a piece of parchment paper to prevent ingredients from falling out.
Tips for Making Banh Mi
- Make your own French baguettes. Try making your own easy homemade no knead French baguettes. It takes about 10 minutes of actual prep work, and no kneading! These baguettes are light, tender and airy inside, with a crispy, crunchy crust outside. So perfect.
- How to prepare fresh lemongrass. When preparing lemongrass, only use the middle part of the stalk where the flavour is (the green part). Discard about 1 inch from the bottom and two inches from the top (there's no flavour in these parts).
- How to serve the chicken. The lemongrass chicken can be served and assembled either warm or cold. It is quite common either way. I find that when it is slightly cooler, the lemongrass flavour actually goes into the chicken more, making it more flavourful. You can let just set it aside after cooking for about 10-20 minutes if you want it to cool down.
- How to use easy pickled vegetables. These pickled vegetables are super easy to make (just mix together and let it rest for an hour). They are also very versatile and you can use it in sandwiches, salads, rice paper salad rolls, or a side dish complimenting a grilled salmon rice bowl or beef rice bowl.
- How to serve banh mi sandwiches. To keep the filling inside, I normally serve these lemongrass chicken bahn mi sandwiches wrapped with parchment paper. Keep it on with an elastic band and twist the bottom together so that sauce doesn't drip out.
More Sandwich Recipes
- Tuna Melt Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Roasted Broccoli Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- 15-Minute Fish Burgers with Creamy Slaw
- Avocado Bagel with Microgreens
- Vegan Hummus Wrap
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.