It can’t be denied: we’re knee deep in chillier, windier seasons. ❄️🥶 Personally, I love “sweatah weathah” and all of the cozy, heartier meals that come along with the season. Since a part of me is itchin’ to get back to enjoying the great outdoors, I put together something savory, healthy and delicious, that subtly harks back to brightness and warmth of sweet, sweet summaaa. Meet Mi Bánh Mì.
I love to cook in bulk when possible. Time is money, people. I also happen to love playing around with Vietnamese cuisine (thinkin’ homemade Pho is on the table for the near future). One of my favorite bulk go-tos is bulk-bake chicken. Line up a lotta chicken thighs on a baking sheet and mix up your seasonings to repurpose for creative leftover meals later. And, of course, this very delicious bánh mì.
You can mix up the “protein” in this bánh mì, so don’t just limit yourself to poultry if you prefer saucy veggies, funky shrooms, beef or pork. Plus, since you’re basically baking for the week, double the ingredients below to pull together a week’s supply of mean, get-the-day-going, kind of breakfast tack-os. 🌮
All right, let’s be serious—any meal of the day, really.
What I love the most about Vietnamese cooking is the variety of ingredients—they pack a serious punch and mouthfeel like no other! The baking time in this recipe lines up the perfect amount of time to prep your sammy ingredients. I shortcutted the prep time even more by simply marinating my veggies in straight rice vinegar (without the water + sugar boil). I LOVE vinegar, and this “quick pickle” method gives them such an intensely good tanginess, all the while maintaining a good crunch, too.
Mi Bánh Mì Recipe
Makes six to eight servings
2 large chicken thighs, bone-in 🍗
6–8 mini baguette buns
¾ cup carrots, julienned
2 radishes, mandolined
1 small cucumber, mandolined
1 medium shallot, thinly-sliced
1 cup cilantro, coarsely-ripped
½ cup rice vinegar
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp sriracha
2 tbsp red chili paste
2 limes, juiced and quartered
Salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 425℉. Baste bone-in chicken thighs in red chili paste, olive oil and a generous amount of salt. Let spices sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then bake for 25 to 35 minutes. For a more intense flavor, increase heat to 500℉ and brown skins for 8 to 10 minutes.
Whilst roasting, prep your ingredients. In a small bowl, combine shallots and carrots. Add rice vinegar and let “quick pickle” for at least 15 minutes. In another bowl, add a pinch of salt and fresh lime juice to cucumber slices. Coarsely tear cilantro from stems. Combine and stir mayonnaise and sriracha together. Add some fresh red chili paste for an extra kick.
Cut baguette buns lengthwise, but not all the way through. Brown your baguette buns over a hot flame or in the oven along the grates. Slather a generous helping of sriracha mayonnaise and start to pile it on … chicken thighs, quick-pickled shallots and carrots, punchy cukes and cilantro. Serve with lime quarters for extra spritzing.