You prepare once, and end up with 4-5 meals to consume for the week. It’s also easily transformed into other meals such as fresh salad rolls, lettuce wraps or even completely off the map with a pasta sauce – it’s so delish and absolutely worth it, people… you gotta trust me on this one!
This recipe is best done over two stages.
First stage of prep (~Total 25 min):
This stage requires marinating the chicken and preparing the pickled vegetables. This stage is best done at least 3 hours to one day prior to serving the final product.
Lemongrass Chicken (~10 min)
- 9 chicken thighs or a combination of half chicken thighs and breasts
- 1 full stalk of lemon grass (roughly sliced)
- 8 cloves of garlic, 1 red chili pepper (dried or fresh)
- 1 stalk of green onion (roughly chopped)
- 1 inch of chopped ginger (roughly sliced)
- 1/4 cup of lime juice
- 1/3 cup of fish sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
- Place all marinade ingredients into a food processor and pulse until it is well combined and paste-like.
- Marinate chicken in the mixture for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days – the longer the better! I marinated it for about 24 hours, and it was addicting as is – so do what suits you. You can marinate in a sealed bag or covered dish to evenly coat the meat.
Pickled Vegetables (~15 min)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pinch of crushed red pepper
- 3 large carrots
- ¾ cup of daikon radish
- In a small saucepan, bring the water, vinegar, sugar, salt and crushed red pepper to a boil for about 5 minutes
- Meanwhile, I used a mandolin to thinly slice the carrots and daikon radish and place them in a large jar
- Transfer the brine to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature
- Add the brine to the carrots and daikon and cover to keep them submerged
- Refrigerate the vegetables once cooled for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.
Second stage of prep (Total ~25-30 min):
This stage requires cooking the chicken after being marinated and assembling your sandwich or noodle bowl
- Heat up a grill pan
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and gently remove any remaining fibrous parts of the lemongrass and ginger from the chicken
- Spray the grill with some vegetable oil to prevent the chicken from sticking and burning
- Grill the chicken for 7 minutes on each side (about 14 minutes total – chicken breasts may take longer depending on the size; check the middle prior to removing from heat)
- Once cooked, place the chicken on a plate and allow it to rest for about 5 minutes
- Slice the chicken in strips
Next is up to you – whether you want a banh mi sandwich or a salad bowl
Banh Mi (~10 min)
- Baguette of choice
- Light mayonnaise
- Lettuce leaves (washed and blotted dry)
- Cucumber (thinly sliced with a mandolin)
- Cilantro sprigs (washed, blotted dry and roughly chopped)
- Jalapeno (optional; sliced)
- Prepared pickled vegetables
- Spread 1-2 tsp of mayonnaise on one side of the cut up baguette
- Layer the lettuce and chicken on top
- Drain the pickled vegetables
- Place the sliced cucumber and pickled vegetables on the other side of baguette
- Sprinkle cilantro and jalapeño on top then assemble both sides together
- Done! Enjoy!
Rice Noodle Salad Bowl (~20 min)
- Rice noodles (soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes; strained)
- Lettuce leaves (thinly chopped/shredded)
- Cucumber (thinly sliced with a mandolin)
- Cilantro (roughly chopped)
- Green onions (chopped)
- Peanuts (lightly toasted and chopped)
- Prepared pickled vegetables (keep pickling juice)
- Cook rice noodles according to instructions
- Place a cup of shredded lettuce on the bottom of the bowl
- Place ½ cup of rice noodles in the middle, on top of the lettuce
- Layer the rest of the vegetables as you please and then dress the bowl to your taste
- Use the pickling juice from the vegetables as a dressing
- Finish off by garnishing with peanuts and cilantro
And Voila! Now you have flavourful chicken and pickled vegetables that can be used various ways and even saved for your own creations later! Let me know how it turns out! I would love to hear from you.
For more recipes about how to use up these leftovers, please send me an email or comment below.
Recipe adapted from: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/grilled-chicken-banh-mi