This easy-to-make, light and crunchy Vietnamese lemongrass chicken banh mi sandwich is packed with tender chicken, pickled vegetables and fresh herbs.
- 2 large chicken breasts, skinless and boneless (about 1 lb.)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemongrass, finely chopped (or dried lemongrass)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (only if pan-frying the chicken)
- 2 large carrots, julienned
- 1 cup daikon radish, julienned
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 red chilli pepper, chopped (optional)
Spicy Mayo Sauce:
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
Banh Mi Sandwiches:
- 3 medium (6-inch) baguettes (or a large baguette cut into 3 equal pieces)
- 1/2 cup cucumber, sliced
- 1 cup fresh cilantro
- 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.
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 sandwiches wrapped with parchment paper. Keep it on with an elastic band and twist the bottom together so that sauce doesn't drip out.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes (+1 hour wait time)
- Cook Time: 14 minutes
- Category: Sandwich
- Method: Pan Fry
- Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keywords: lemongrass chicken bahn mi sandwich, lemongrass chicken, bahn mi, Vietnamese bahn mi sandwich, Vietnamese baguette