lemongrass chicken banh mi

This post is sponsored by Knorr, Best Foods, and Unilever, but the opinions and text are all mine. Mexican culture has always been a big part of my life because I grew up in a Mexican community. As a result, Mexican culture has influenced how I think about food and the recipes I create. So when Knorr asked me to create a recipe that would pair well with their Sopa Mexicana soup mixes, I was like yes! I love their soup mixes because they’re an easy way for me to get a hearty bowl of soup faster. I personally like their chicken with rice soup paired with my homemade lemongrass chicken banh mi. The Mexican flavors of the soup pair well with the Vietnamese flavors of my chicken banh mi.

What is banh mi?

Banh mi is the Vietnamese word for bread, and it is often used to refer to Vietnamese sandwiches. These sandwiches are a huge part of Vietnamese cuisine. They first originated when the French brought over baguettes during their colonization of Vietnam in the 19th century and evolved into a popular street food not only in Vietnam but around the world. Here in the US, it’s a staple in a lot of cities.

What is traditionally in banh mi?

Banh mi traditionally has some sort of protein, pickled carrots and daikon, sliced cucumbers, cilantro, jalapeno, pate, and mayonnaise. There is of course a lot of variation depending on a person’s preference. For example, my friend doesn’t like cilantro, so he never eats his banh mi with cilantro.

Some of the most popular proteins included in banh mi are lemongrass pork, cold cuts, and this one lemongrass chicken. Some lesser popular proteins are shrimp and even tofu for vegetarians.

Ingredients, Substitutions & Adjustments

Lemongrass Chicken Marinade

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs – I like to use chicken thighs because they’re a lot juicier and flavorful than other cuts of chicken. Chicken breast also works for this recipe.
  • Shallots and garlic – Both ingredients add more flavor to this lemongrass chicken banh mi. A good substitute for shallots is yellow onion.
  • Lemongrass – Lemongrass adds a slightly sour flavor to the chicken. I love using this ingredient to marinate the protein in my banh mi. I’ve used it in the past in my lemongrass pork banh mi. Good substitutes for lemongrass are lime zest, lemon zest, or Keffir lime leaves.
  • Fish sauce and soy sauce – Both ingredients add umami and salty flavors to the marinade. A good substitute for soy sauce is oyster sauce. To make this marinade gluten free, use tamari.
  • Vegetable oil – Good substitutes for vegetable oil are olive oil and grapeseed oil.
  • Honey – Adds some sweetness to the marinade.
  • Light brown sugar – Adds some sweetness to the marinade. You can use either light or dark brown sugar. Dark brown sugar will make the marinade sweeter.

Sandwich Ingredients

  • Baguettes – Use any baguettes you can find, but typically, I use banh mi baguettes.
  • Best Foods Real Mayonnaise – This mayonnaise is America’s #1 mayonnaise and is made with real eggs, oil, and sugar! Mayonnaise is a traditional condiment used in banh mi.
  • Pepper for seasoning
  • Cucumber, cilantro, pickled carrots, and pickled daikon – The freshness of these vegetables balance out the rich flavors of the lemongrass chicken. Make pickled carrots and daikon at home with my recipe.

How to make lemongrass chicken banh mi recipe

This lemongrass chicken banh mi is a simple weeknight recipe that comes together in less than 30 minutes. Combine all the ingredients for the chicken marinade in a bowl. Mix and coat the chicken. Let it marinate for 15 minutes. Heat a pan over high heat. Pour the chicken and marinade into the pan. Cook chicken over high heat until brown (3-5 minutes). Taste the chicken to make sure it’s done. Remove from the heat. Cut baguettes in half and toast. Smear some Best Foods Real Mayonnaise on one side. Top with a pinch of black pepper. Add a few pieces of chicken, cucumber, pickled carrots, pickled daikon, and cilantro. Enjoy with a bowl of Knorr Sopa Mexicana – Chicken flavor with rice soup.

chicken banh mi ingredients

Tips on how to make the perfect lemongrass chicken banh mi

Cook the chicken over high heat

Cooking the chicken over high heat ensures you cook the chicken without the juices running out and making the chicken mushy. If you can do this in a wok, even better!

For more flavor, grill the chicken instead

Traditionally, this chicken is made over a grill, but I decided to simplify it by making it in a fry pan. If you have a grill, definitely use it for this recipe because it gives the chicken so much extra flavor!

How do you store chicken banh mi?

The best way to store this sandwich is to store every component separately, and then assemble when you are ready to eat. The chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

lemongrass chicken banh mi
Knorr Sopa Mexicana soup mix

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Thank you to Knorr, Best Foods, and Unilever for sponsoring this post.

lemongrass chicken banh mi

Get the Recipe:
30-Minute Lemongrass Chicken Banh Mi

This easy homemade lemongrass chicken banh mi is made with marinated chicken thighs, fresh cucumbers, and pickled vegetables, all inside a pillowy baguette.
5 from 5 ratings

Ingredients
 
 

Chicken Marinade

Sandwich Ingredients

Instructions
 

  • Combine all the ingredients for the chicken marinade in a bowl. Mix and coat the chicken. Let it marinate for 15 minutes.
  • Heat a pan over high heat. Pour the chicken and marinade into the pan. Cook chicken over high heat until brown (3-5 minutes). Taste the chicken to make sure it’s done. Remove from the heat.
  • Cut baguettes in half and toast. Smear some Best Foods Real Mayonnaise on one side. Top with a pinch of black pepper. Add a few pieces of chicken, cucumber, pickled carrots, pickled daikon, and cilantro.
  • Enjoy with a bowl of Knorr Sopa Mexicana –  Chicken flavor with rice soup.

Notes

  1. Cook the chicken over high heat. Cooking the chicken over high heat ensures you cook the chicken without the juices running out and making the chicken mushy. If you can do this in a wok, even better!
  2. For more flavor, grill the chicken instead. Traditionally, this chicken is made over a grill, but I decided to simplify it by making it in a fry pan. If you have a grill, definitely use it for this recipe because it gives the chicken so much extra flavor!
  3. How do you store chicken banh mi? The best way to store this sandwich is to store every component separately, and then assemble when you are ready to eat. The chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Serving: 1sandwich, Calories: 767kcal, Carbohydrates: 77g, Protein: 57g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 221mg, Sodium: 2029mg, Potassium: 977mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 1526IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 156mg, Iron: 6mg
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