Ahhh it feels soooo good to cook again! After a long long hiatus as we moved from one house into another super adorable bungalow in the St. John’s neighborhood of Portland, I finally got back in the kitchen! Whooo! The past few weeks have been insanely busy between our move and just our regular super busy schedules on top of that, we’ve eaten out more than we ever have, and have been making some easy go-to meals: baked chicken, baked salmon, etc. Anything super quick and easy mainly because our new kitchen, although it’s a million times better than our last, has significantly less storage and so it’s taken me a long time to figure out how to unpack it. Whereas before we had tons of space and I could just put stuff anywhere I felt like it, this kitchen needed some strategy. Plus, we went from having a whole spice drawer, to no drawers, so here was my solution.What do you think? I’m still not totally sure if it’s going to be the best functionally, but this weekend I needed to stop unpacking / organizing and cook something. Something delicious. Something we’ve been having a craving for. The answer: Banh Mis.
We made chicken banh mis before, almost a year ago, but those were like banh mis 101. They were delicious, but pretty simple. We had just started making breads and cooking from scratch so I hadn’t pickled the veggies or really done anything special with the chicken. Even worse, I totally bought parsley instead of cilantro. I know. Have I mentioned that historically I’ve never been that great of a cook? When I was 20 I used to burn rice when I tried to make it in a microwave… as an Asian, that’s a fireable offense . And that’s why I identify more with being Polish.Anyway, I’ve come a long way in the past 10 years, even the past year. And so these banh mis, they totally kick our last banhi mis’ ass. Seriously. The chicken alone is soooo good and so ridiculously easy. The marinade is just fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, lime juice, salt, chilis, salt,and of course a TON of garlic.All whisked together
and then into a ziplock bag to marinade for a few hours.Meanwhile, I pickled some julianned carrots and daikon.The actual pickling process is super easy. It’s just mixing water, rice vinegar, sugar,salt, and some red pepper flakes, and bringing them to a boil.Then, once the liquid has cooled, I added the carrots and daikon and let it sit for awhile to do it’s pickling little thing.Then, we were nearly ready! I’d made a Vietnamese baguette the day before, some from scratch mayo in the am, so with just a slice of an English cucumber and a jalapeno, we were in business!My studly husband, because he’s the grill-master of this home, put the chicken on the grill.And oh my was it juicy and delicious!!So I whipped up a quick sriracha mayo with our homemade mayo from the morning,then spread that on our homemade baguette,which I then piled high with the sliced chicken, pickled carrots and daikon, sliced jalapenos, sliced cucumber, and cilantro.To make the most ultimate sandwich evverrrrrSeriously. This is our Chicken Banh Mi 2.0. Beyond good. And the perfect “First Meal” in our new beautiful home!!
- 1 cup Asian fish sauce
- 1 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 red Thai chiles, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (3 1/2 pounds)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pinch of crushed red pepper
- 3 large carrots, julienned
- 1/4 pound daikon radish, julienned
- Four 8-inch baguettes
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 10 large cilantro sprigs
- 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
- Sriracha to taste
- In a bowl, whisk the fish sauce with the lime juice, sugar, garlic, Thai chiles and salt. Put the chicken in a resealable plastic bag. Seal the bag and refrigerate the chicken for 3 hours.
- In a small saucepan, bring the water, vinegar, sugar, salt and crushed red pepper to a boil. Transfer the brine to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Add the carrots and daikon and cover to keep them submerged. Refrigerate the vegetables for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.
- Light a grill. Grill the chicken over moderate heat until just cooked through, about 14 minutes. Transfer to a work surface and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Mix 1/4 cup of mayonnaise with sriracha to taste.
- Spread the cut sides of the baguettes with the sriracha mayonnaise. Arrange the cucumber slices on the bottom halves. Top with the chicken and the pickled carrots and daikon. Garnish with the cilantro sprigs and jalapeño. Close the sandwiches and serve.