This morning on KSEE Sunrise, Chef Roy Harland of the Elbow Room showed us how to make a Bay Area favorite: Banh Mi (Vietnamese Grilled Chicken Sandwich).
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
pinch crushed red pepper
3 large carrots, julienned
1 large red onion, sliced
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 T Asian fish sauce
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 T sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Serrano or jalapeno chile pepper, minced (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 pickling cucumbers, thinly sliced
2 French rolls
Pickle the vegetables: In a small saucepan, bring the water, vinegar, sugar, salt and crushed red pepper to a boil. Transfer the brine to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Add the carrots and onions. Cover to keep them submerged. Refrigerate the vegetables for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.
Prepare the chicken: In a bowl, large enough to accommodate the chicken, whisk the fish sauce with the lime juice, sugar, garlic, chiles and salt. Place the chicken in the bowl with the marinade. Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours.
Light a grill or grill pan. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry. Slice the chicken breast into 1/2" strips. Grill the chicken over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until cooked through, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.
Drain 1/2 cup of the pickled vegetables and set aside.
Make the Banh Mi: Spread the cut sides of the rolls with mayonnaise. Arrange the cucumber slices on bottom sides of rolls. Top with the chicken and pickled vegetables. Garnish with the cilantro sprigs. Close the sandwiches and serve.