The classic Vietnamese sandwich has lots of variations, but our favorites, like this one inspired by the bánh mì at Lynda Sandwich in Westminster, California, combine a generous pile of fresh herbs and vegetables with a sauce that has plenty of personality.
2 boned, skinned chicken breast halves (1 1/2 lbs. total)
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce, divided
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce
4 sandwich rolls or 1 sweet baguette, cut into 4 equal lengths and split lengthwise
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 English cucumber, cut into 2-in. matchsticks
1 medium carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
4 ounces jicama, cut into matchsticks
1 red Fresno or red jalapeño chile, halved lengthwise and sliced
Cilantro, Thai basil, and mint leaves
How to Make It
Heat a grill to medium (350° to 450°). With a sharp knife, halve chicken pieces horizontally almost all the way through, then open up like a book. Put chicken in a bowl and add 2 tbsp. hoisin, the five-spice, soy sauce, and 1 tbsp. oil, tossing to coat.
Grill chicken, turning once, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes, then slice diagonally into wide chunks.
Mix remaining 2 tbsp. hoisin and 1 tbsp. oil, the lime juice, and fish sauce in a small bowl; set aside.
Spread the bottom of the cut side of each roll with 1 tbsp. mayo. Fill sandwiches with chicken. Top each with cucumber, carrot, jicama, chile slices, and herbs. Drizzle each sandwich with some of the reserved lime dressing (you may have some left over).
Soooo yummy! No radishes to be had at TJ, so I used broccoli slaw and shredded carrots, substituted slivered sweet pepers for jicama. Like another poster, I pickled the veggies. This was a delicious, quick meal on a warm evening after work. DEFINITELY will make again!
So Yummy! We "pickled" the carrots and jicama for a more authentic version. Just boiled them for a few minutes in rice wine vinegar a little sugar and salt. Definite improvement. Can't wait to make these again.
This was easy to throw together for a weeknight meal. Everyone got to pick and choose what they added, or didn't, to their sandwich - so it wasn't exactly as described, but everyone agreed it was a keeper. We will make this again.