Bánh Mì – the Vietnamese adaption of a baguette sandwich – can be made in numerous variations. With or without pâté, with grilled pork, chicken or tofu, with different pickled vegetables.
The essential ingredients that make a Bánh Mì a Bánh Mì are: baguette (crunchy outside, soft inside), sweet and sour pickled radish, chili and coriander.
I know, coriander is a polarizing black-or-white topic. I am on the lover’s side and you should be, too, if you want to join the club of Bánh Mì addicts, cause one of the secrets is to top the sandwich with masses of coriander.
This is my preferred version, a simple everyday chicken Bánh Mì which leaves out pâté and classic pickled carrots. Instead these homemade pickled pink radishes come into operation here on a regular basis. This is my summer sandwich!
When I was making this sandwich this time, I didn’t use store bought baguette, but I wanted to make my own one. I followed the directions of Herr Grün’s recipe for french baguette (an adaption of Aurélies recipe), including façonnage, the folding of the dough. I am not completley satisfied with the result of my first attempt, but I guess I need some more practice in folding.
Easy Chicken Bánh Mì (1-2 eaters, depending on hungryness)
150 g pollo fino (boned chicken thighs), ½ tablespoon fish sauce, ½ tablespoon soy sauce, ½ tablespoon honey, ½ tablespoon oil, ¼ teaspoon dried lemongrass (or substitute with frsh lemongrass), 1 small clove garlic
for the sandwichs you’ll roughly need:
½ small cucumber, 1 handful coriander, 2 tablespoons pickled radishes, ½ sliced green chili (or to taste)
½ regular baguette or 1 small homemade one
mayonnaise, sirarcha sauce (optional as subsitute or addition to the chili)
First of all you want to marinate your chicken. In a small bowl therefore combine fish sauce, soy sauce, honey, oil, dried lemongrass. Chop garlic and add as well. Wash chicken, remove skin. Add chicken to the mixture and cover with marinade from all sides. Cover bowl and store in the fridge. You can do this a few hours or half a day in advance. It will also be ok, if you marinate the chicken only for 30 minutes or so.
Prepare your mise en place for assembling the sandwiches:
Wash and slice cucumber. Wash coriander, pluck leaves from the stems. You can roughly chop them, but I usually leave them as they are. Wash and slice chili.
Cut baguette into two pieces and then halfen them lengthwise, leaving the ends on one long side closed.
In a hot pan fry chicken for a 3-4 minutes from both sides. I also added the chicken skin to the pan to add some more chicken flavour (discard afterwards). Transfer chicken to a piece of aluminium foil, wrap and let rest for a few minutes. Then slice.
Assembling: Smear both halfes of the baguettes with mayonnaise. Add slices of chicken, then cucumber, pickled radishes, coriander leaves and finally chilies (see picture). Enjoy!