Vietnamese bánh mì sandwiches have become so trendy over the past five years that it's almost painful. It's gotten to the point when you see one on a menu that you know before ordering that it's best to stray far, far away from that portion of it. Besides, why order something out that you can make just as well if not better at home. There, I said it. You don't have to be Vietnamese to make a good bánh mì, and it's easy. The basic ingredients for a bánh mì sandwich? Steamed, pan-roasted, or oven-roasted meat and soy fillings like Vietnamese sausage, pork patties, pork liver pâté, and grilled chicken, topped with cucumber slices, cilantro, shredded pickled carrots and daikon, mayonnaise, sliced chiles, and chile sauce.
This simple recipe (really simple, I swear) combines two of the above ingredients — chicken (thigh meat) and chile sauce (Sriracha) — for a moist, flavorful effect. The key to great bánh mì? Moist meat. Adequate distribution. Overall moisture. And is just good bread with a thin crust and strategic layering technique for maximum ingredients and efficient distribution. This recipe was carried out using some really terrific bread baked by Leske's Bakery, a Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, original since 1961, and bought at Chubby Mary's, a new favorite sandwich shop by the Artichoke Basille crew in New York's East Village. What's the big deal about the bread? You don't need to go to Leske's or Chubby Mary's (though you could do much worse), but a really light and airy bread that's crusty outside and still moist and airy inside will be key. (Leske's would be great for a po'boy, too, by the way.)
Click here to see 7 Easy Sriracha Recipes.