It's a classic Vietnamese sandwich but made at home with a homemade baguette, from scratch sriracha mayo, homemade pickled veggies, and an incredibly flavorful marinade! This Grilled Chicken Banh Mi recipe is one of our favorite sandwiches full of from scratch flair!
We love this sandwich. This Grilled Chicken Banh Mi has been a part of our lives for many years and I had posted it back in 2014, and then accidentally deleted it. Oops. But finally, it's back! And trust me, this is a sandwich you want in your repertoire!
While this Vietnamese sandwich itself is pretty simple, some pickled veggies, grilled chicken, and spicy mayo, on a baguette, what makes this banh mi recipe so special (and stinkin' delicious) is that all of these components can be made from scratch - but of course, as with all of our recipes, you can choose to make as much from scratch as you'd like, but the options are all there for you.
What is a Banh Mi?
Bánh Mì actually translates to "bread" in Vietnamese, but it is also a term for (in my opinion) one of the most delicious sandwiches in the world! It is made up of pork/chicken (or a pate of either), mayo, pickled veggies, and fresh herbs, like coriander or cilantro, served on a short baguette.
What makes it so delicious? Between the crusty soft chewy centered baguette, to the spicy kick of the mayo, salty Asian flavored meat, pickled crunchy veggies, and fresh herbs, it's a sandwich that hits all the right flavor and textures.
Components of a Banh Mi
We'll break this banh mi sandwich into each of their components that you can make it from scratch. Again, you can of course choose how much from scratch flair to add or not!
- Vietnamese Baguette - Find the recipe here!
- Grilled Chicken - With one of our absolute favorite chicken marinades!
- Sriracha Mayo - With homemade mayonnaise!
- Pickled Veggies - SO fast and easy to make!
- Garnishes - Fresh cilantro and sliced jalapenos.
Once you have all of these in place, then you're ready to assemble!
The key to this grilled chicken banh mi recipe is, well, the grilled chicken! The star of the sandwich, all thanks to this star of a marinade.
- Chicken Breasts - Boneless are best, but you could also use a boneless chicken thigh, or even a pork tenderloin.
- Fish Sauce - This adds the salty umami flavor that really makes this marinade.
- Lime Juice - Key acidity to the cutting into the chicken to let the marinade really impart some flavor.
- Garlic - Fresh is our preferred, but a jarred minced or powder would also work.
- Sugar - Just a touch to balance all of the flavors out.
- Red Pepper Flakes - Optional, to add a little heat.
For real, this marinade is so so SO flavorful! The combination of the acidic lime juice and the salty fish sauce is just downright delightful. Mix it all together, and let the chicken marinate. As with most marinades, the longer the better. We find that after 2 hrs it's delicious, but overnight in the fridge is the best!
Pickled Carrots and Daikon
The pickled carrots and daikon add a wonderful acidic crunch to this Vietnamese sandwich. And you can make them in a snap and way ahead to keep stored in your fridge for whenever you need them.
- Carrots - Some nice large orange carrots
- Daikon - This large white radish you should be able to find in your local grocery store, but if for some reason you can't find it there, you should be able to find it in your local Asian market.
- Vinegars - I like to use a combination of white vinegar and seasoned rice vinegar. But you could also use just white vinegar, although then I would suggest increasing the sugar a little. See recipe notes.
- Sugar - Just a little. More if you use all white vinegar.
- Salt and Water - To complete the brine!
Easy to make
Slice your daikon and your carrots into sticks or julienne them. We prefer a thicker stick that's about as long as the height of a standard 12 oz mason jar.
Pickle by massaging in the salt and sugar to the veggies, pack them in jars and then add the water and vinegar.
Store in the fridge until you're ready to use. It's best if they're stored at least overnight but then they will last up to 4 weeks in the fridge.
Every good sandwich needs a little mayo, but you know it's a delicious banh mi when you kick that mayo up with some sriracha!
- Mayonnaise - For full from scratch by making your own!
- Sriracha - If this classic hot sauce isn't already in your pantry, it should be!
Add both to a bowl and mix. Done! This will keep in your fridge for a long time - if using homemade mayo then about 2 weeks. If using store-bought, then much much longer.
Now that you have everything you need for this Grilled Chicken Banh Mi recipe, it's time to assemble!
- Vietnamese Baguette - If you don't make your own, you can use your favorite baguette. You also may find the perfect short soft baguette for banh mis in your local Asian market.
- Grilled Chicken
- Sriracha Mayo
- Pickled Carrot and Daikon
- Fresh jalapeno
- Fresh cilantro
Slice your Vietnamese Baguette in half.
Spread on your Sriracha mayo.
Add a layer of sliced jalapenos, sliced chicken, pickled carrot, and daikon.
Drizzle more Sriracha mayo (because why not?).
Top with fresh cilantro!
And Boom! Fresh, packed full of from scratch flair, Grilled Chicken Banh Mi!
Give this delightful banh mi a slice in half (or don't), and you're ready to go!
When I say this sandwich has it all, I mean it.
It has crunch - from the pickled veggies to the crispy baguette crust.
It has heat - from the Sriracha mayo to the sliced jalapenos.
It has umami - from the delicious grilled chicken marinade.
It has herbal freshness - from the fresh cilantro!
Grilled Chicken Banh Mi! Back after a very unfortunate "delete." Ha.
Some of our Other Favorite Sandwiches
- Spinach Tuna Melt
- Croque Monsieur
- Apple Fennel Chicken Salad
- Reuben Sandwiches From Scratch
- Avocado Tuna Salad Subs
Of course. However, for a more authentic tasting banh mi, you'll want a chicken cooked with Asian flavors. Would also be great with our Sweet and Spicy Sriracha Chicken Thighs, although it does make for a sweeter sandwich.
Absolutely! Prep your baguettes up to a couple of days in advance (although they are of course best with a fresh out of the oven baguette!), the veggies up to a few weeks in advance, the mayo a week in advance, and then the chicken is best if it's left to marinate overnight. So really, everything is prepped in advance and then just the chicken cooked and sandwiches assembled when you're ready to eat.
If you're not a fan of cilantro, you could use fresh coriander leaves or fresh parsley.
It can be, or it could not be - totally up to you! The Sriracha mayo you can adjust the heat by adding more mayo. For the fresh jalapenos, remove the seeds from the slices before adding to the sandwich, or only add a couple.
- 2 lbs boneless chicken breasts 3-4 breasts
- 1/2 cup fish sauce
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- 4-5 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- zest from lime about 1 teaspoon
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes optional
Pickled Daikon and Carrots
- 2 cups carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
- 2 cups daikon, peeled and cut into sticks
- 1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons granulated salt
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha
- 4 Vietnamese Baguettes
- Grilled Chicken sliced into long strips
- Pickled carrots and daikon
- jalapeno sliced
- Sriracha Mayo
- fresh cilantro
Make Grilled Chicken
- Make marinade by adding fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, rice wine vinegar, sugar, lime zest, and red pepper flakes to a pour spout measuring cup.
- Add chicken breasts to a ziplock bag, and pour in the marinade and seal the bag. Use your hands to mix chicken and marinade in the ziplock bag. Let marinate in fridge for at least 2 hrs and up to overnight.
- Grill by heating grill pan to high heat for 2-3 minutes. Bring down to medium and add some olive oil to pan - make sure that it's all well coated.
- Add chicken to grill pan and cook on each side for 5-6 minutes or until internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees.
- Remove from heat and let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
Make Pickled Daikon and Carrots
- Slice carrots and daikon into thin sticks about 3-4 inches and add to a medium sized bowl.
- Sprinkle with sugar and salt and use your hands to coat and gently rub it into the vegetables.
- In a 2 cup pour spout measuring cup or another small bowl, mix the vinegars.
- Add carrots and daikon to 12 oz mason jars, packing them in. Add the vinegars to each jar and seal. Store in fridge for at least 1 hr and up to 3 weeks.
- Add mayo and Sriracha to a small bowl and mix until well combined.
- Cover and store in fridge until ready to use, or add to a small food grade squeeze bottle.
- Slice each baguette lengthwise, but not all the way through.
- Open baguette and add Sriracha mayo to each side of bread. Add some fresh sliced jalapenos to one side, if desired.
- Add a layer of the sliced grilled chicken, daikon and the carrots.
- Top with loosely chopped/ripped cilantro and more drizzled Sriracha mayo if desired.
- Slice baguette in half (if desired) and enjoy!