Five-Spice Chicken Banh Mi Sandwiches

Serving Size: 4
Total Time:

Lemongrass is the classic seasoning for Vietnamese-style grilled pork or chicken, but this recipe calls for a fragrant Chinese five-spice powder instead. If you have fermented red bean curd, use it instead of miso for a funkier flavor.


  • 0.5 cup Asian fish sauce
  • 12 cilantro sprigs
  • 0.5 English cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 0.25 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 6-inch-long soft sandwich rolls, split lengthwise
  • Canola oil, for greasing
  • 1 small carrot, julienned
  • 0.25 tsp kosher salt
  • 0.25 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 0.25 cup sugar
  • 4 5-ounce, skin-on, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 Thai bird chile, minced
  • 0.5 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1.5 tsp red miso
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 0.25 cup light soy sauce
  • 3 small shallots, minced
  • 2 jalapeños, thinly sliced


  1. In a large bowl, whisk the fish sauce, shallots, soy sauce, garlic, miso, five-spice powder and chile. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the sugar with the vinegar and salt until dissolved. Stir in the carrot and let stand at room temperature until lightly pickled, about 30 minutes.
  3. Light a grill and oil the grate, or preheat a grill pan. Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and cooked through, 14 to 16 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400°. Using your fingers, scoop out some of the bread from the insides of the rolls. Toast the rolls in the oven for 6 minutes, until golden. Let cool slightly. Thinly slice the chicken. Divide 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise between the top and bottom of each roll and arrange the cucumber slices and chicken on the bottoms. Top with the cilantro sprigs, jalapeños and pickled carrot. Close the sandwiches and serve.

Make Ahead: Refrigerate the grilled chicken for up to 1 day; bring it to room temperature before making the sandwiches.

America's Best Brunch Spots
Best Chicken Dishes in the U.S.
Best Ethnic Food in the U.S.
Best Burgers in the U.S.
America's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe Credit: Charles Phan
Image Credit: Christina Holmes