Went out to lunch, had a Banh Mi sandwich. Best sandwich ever and had to be recreated.
A billion banh mi sandwiches on google, damn! Have to come up with something else. Chicken Rice Bowl disguised as a banh mi sandwich?
That was my inspiration for this recipe. The sandwich was off the charts and the only thing I’m missing on mine is the crusty baguette. The chicken is marinated with Chinese five spice which might just be my favorite spice ever. It should be called sensational spice, or crack spice.
I’ve always been a strict white chicken meat eater, but that sandwich made me realize just how flavorful the thigh meat is. How come nobody in my family told me this? Now I’ll have to fight my kids for it when I roast a chicken.
A key ingredient in a simple banh mi sandwich are the daikon carrots and cucumber. These are pickled and although I took a pickle shortcut, they still worked like a dream. Instead of shredding the veggies I diced them and quickly pickled them in a rice wine vinegar and sugar solution.
Save yourself some time and buy frozen brown rice. There’re so many great brands, some organic on the market now, I rarely boil rice anymore. I always screwed it up anyway.
Add bunches of fresh cilantro and some sliced red chili for maximum heat.
Put your phone down, ain’t no need for takeout now.
Banh Mi Chicken Rice Bowl
For The Pickled Veggies
- 1 cup diced daikon radish
- 1 cup diced carrot
- 1 cup seeded and diced peeled cucumber
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro plus extra for garnish
- 1 small red chili sliced thinly plus extra for garnish
- 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 pound boneless chicken thighs
- 3 teaspoons Chinese five spice powder
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- 5-6 cups cooked brown rice
- Soy sauce
- Sriracha hot sauce if desired
In a bowl combine the daikon, carrot, cucumber, cilantro, red chili, vinegar, sugar, and salt.
Mix well and let sit for 30 minutes.
Sprinkle the five-spice all over the chicken and season with salt and black pepper. Let rest for 10-15 minutes (or overnight for maximum flavor)
Preheat the grill to high and cook the chicken until no longer pink in the middle. Cover with foil and let rest for 3-4 minutes.
Warm the rice and divide between two bowls.
Using a slotted spoon scoop out some of the pickled veggie mix and place on top of the each rice bowl.
Roughly slice the chicken and divide between both bowls next to the pickled veggies.
Drizzle a small amount of soy sauce over the top of each dish.
Garnish with extra chopped cilantro and finely chopped red chili.
Serve with Sriracha sauce on the side.
Pickled veggies recipe adapted from New York Times Food.