- 2–4 radishes, sliced thin
- 1–2 Tbs. Vietnamese quick-pickle brine*
- 1/2 cup carrot, shredded
- 2 large cucumbers
- 2–4 cloves garlic
- 1 lime
- 4 organic boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1–2 Tbs. Chinese Five Spice Powder
- 4 Ciabatta rolls
- 7–8 sprigs cilantro
- 1 jalapeno, optional
- 4 Tbs. mayonnaise (homemade recipe)
- 1–2 tsp. Sambal Oelek, optional
- Pickle the radishes and carrots. Peel carrots and cut into matchsticks. Trim ends off radishes, cut them in half, then cut the halves into thin half-moons. In a small sauce pot, bring the quick-pickle brine (see recipe below) to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the radishes and carrots and season with sea salt. Cover and let stand, stirring occasionally, while you prepare the rest of the meal.
- Smash the cucumbers. Trim the ends from the cucumbers, cut the cucumbers lengthwise into quarters, then crosswise into 2-inch lengths. Finely chop, press or grate enough garlic to measure 1/2 tsp. Juice the lime. In a zip-top bag, combine the cucumbers, garlic and lime juice and season generously with sea salt. Using a wooden spoon, lightly smash the cucumbers. Let stand while you prepare the rest of the meal.
- Cook the chicken and toast the rolls. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, season generously with sea salt, pepper and the Chinese five-spice powder. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. avocado oil until hot, but not smoking. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until lightly browned and cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes per side. While chicken is cooking, cut the ciabatta rolls in half, lengthwise and set aside. Once chicken is cooked through, transfer to a cutting board to cool slightly, then cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Return the pan to medium-high heat and warm the residual fat until hot, but not smoking. Working in batches, add the rolls, cut sides down, and cook until lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Prep the garnishes and sambal mayo. Strip the cilantro leaves from the stems. If using the jalapeno, remove the stem, ribs and seeds, then cut the jalapeno crosswise into thin half-moons. (And be sure to wash your hands after handling!) In a small bowl, stir together the mayo and as much sambal oelek as you like. Season to taste with salt.
- Assemble the banh mi. Place the roll bottoms, cut sides up, on a work surface and slather with as much sambal mayo as you like. Top each with the chicken, pickled radishes and carrots, cilantro, and as much jalapeno as you like. Close with the roll tops.
- Serve. Transfer the banh mi to individual plates and serve with the smashed cucumbers. ENJOY!
- To make Vietnamese quick-pickle brine, mix together 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar + 2 tsp. honey + 1 tsp. fish sauce, adjust according to taste.
- Serving Size: 1 sandwich
- Calories: 261
- Sugar: 4.9g
- Sodium: 903mg
- Fat: 9.7g
- Saturated Fat: 1.5g
- Carbohydrates: 27.9g
- Fiber: 2.4g
- Protein: 15.8g
- Cholesterol: 36mg