Chicken Banh Mi

I do not even know where to start with this recipe.

Amazing? That's a total understatment.

Totes Amaze? Not even close.

Amazeballs? Possibly.

Best thing I have ever eaten in my whole life? FOR SURE!

Here's a little history...

Way back in Feb, the mister went on a little jolly holiday to Hawaii. Yes, you did read that right, i did say Hawaii.

Yes, yes, whilst I was here freezing my ass off juggling 3 kiddos for 12 days, he was drinking cocktails in a grass skirt, hula dancing under coconut trees slurring the word Aloha occasionally...

It's ok, i'm over it. No, I really am. *ahem*

So, whilst he was in the obligatory 3-day-each-way L.A limbo, staying with his bro at Venice Beach (Hi Dave! Hi Shan!) he was introduced to a little Vietnamese sandwich called a Banh Mi and he fell in love - BIG time!

To be fair, this thing did sound too good to be true; marinated & perfectly cooked pork, crunchy carrots & radishes, coriander, spicy mayonnaise, soft french baguette, sweet, hot - I could go on...

So, obviously when he got home & showed me the pic he'd taken (yes i do make him take photos of food for me if i'm not there, don't judge) I just had to make it for myself.

After what felt like 400 years of trying to find some sriracha hot sauce and some daikon (that's mooli for us UK peeps) i finally made (& slightly adapted) this chicken version last night and WOW WOW WOW it completley blew my mind. I've never been hit by a food buzz like this before - this sandwich is a legal high!

You simply must make this. Even if the recipe first looks a bit faffy at first, it really isn't & the end result is totally worth it. Go on, pour yourself a glass of something nice & go have some fun in your kitchen.

You can thank me later...

CHICKEN BANH MI

For 4 people you will need:

For the carrots & mooli mix:

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup distilled white vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 cups carrot - cut into matchstick shaped pieces

3 cups mooli (daikon/white radish) - cut into matchstick shaped pieces

For the marinated chicken:

6 garlic cloves - minced

4 shallots - chopped

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp sugar

2 tsp chinese five spice

4 large chicken breasts

For the sriracha lime mayonnaise:

1/4 cup of your fave mayo (I used Heinz light mayo)

juice of one lime

2 tsps sriracha hot sauce

For the sandwich:

1 freshly baked french baguette- try to get it from a good bakers. It REALLY does make a difference

1 cucumber - thinly sliced

1/2 red onion - thinly sliced

12 fresh coriander sprigs

2 red (jalapeno) chilli's finely sliced (seeds in or out, it's your call)

And, you will need to do this:

First up your mooli & cucumber mix (this needs to marinate at room temp for about 2 hrs)

1. In a large bowl combine your vinegar, sugar & salt & whisk until the sugar & salt has dissolved.

2. Add your mooli & carrot matchsticks & mix well to cover.

3. Leave to marinate for 2 hrs.

Next, marinate that chicken (do this approx 1/2 hr after you've done your mooli mix as this needs to sit tight for about an hour)

1. In a large oven proof dish, mix together your garlic, shallots, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar & Chinese five spice until the sugar is dissolved.

2. Add your chicken breasts to the mix & turn to coat.

3. Leave to marinate for an hour, turning a couple of times.

And now it's spicy mayo time!

1. combine your mayo, sriracha & lime juice in a bowl. Mix well & refrigerate until needed.

2. That's it. Easy Peasy. Go have a sit down!

BAKE!

1. After your chicken has been sitting for about 30 mins, pre-heat your oven to 190c / 375f / gm5

2. 30 minutes later, put your chicken in. Bake for 25 mins, checking it's cooked through when the time is up.

3. Remove from oven & leave to stand in the dish.

Make your Banh Mi's!

1. Carve your baguettes down into individual size sandwiches (6inch should work)

2. Split each in half

3. Toast the inside only until *just* browned - don't over toast. You are now ready to build this baby up!

4. Spread the bottom half of the baguette with a dolllop of the sriracha lime mayonnaise. Cover end to end.

5. Lay your cucumber slices on top of the mayo.

6. Slice your chicken (1 x breast per 6inch) and lay on top of the cucumber.

7. Top with your (well drained) mooli & carrot mix, red jalapenos, coriander sprigs & red onion. Season with black pepper, and an extra drizzle of sriracha hot sauce.

8. Put the baguette lid on!

9. You're done!

10. Go sit somewhere lovely & marvel in what you have just done....

11. // Ok. i'm going to leave you alone now to have some time with your Banh Mi.

Enjoy x