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Tonight’s Dinner: Grilled chicken bahn mi recipe

This classic Vietnamese sandwich has become a popular dish at road houses and food trucks. But since it’s so simple to make, why not whip a few up for the family this weekend?

bahn mi

Being the huge food truck fan that I am, I’ve had the chance to sample new and interesting cuisine pretty frequently this summer. I’ve had truffle fries, waffle sandwiches and so many different kinds of Asian cuisine, I can’t keep track of them all. There is however one dish that I can’t get out of my mind and that’s the bahn mi. There are so many different varieties. If it’s listed on the truck’s menu, I have to give it a try. I don’t know what makes them so good, the way the meats are grilled, the vegetables that are laid on top or the mysterious sauce that’s drizzled over the whole thing. Whatever the reason, I can’t get enough.

So when Sunset magazine said they were easy to make in your own kitchen, I jumped at the opportunity. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. But the best news, no one will be able to tell if you slaved away in your kitchen or got them to go from your local food truck.

Grilled chicken bahn mi

Serves 4


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
  • 4 sandwich rolls
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Japanese cucumber, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • Cilantro


  1. Preheat a grill to 400 degrees F.
  2. Halve each breast with a sharp knife so it opens like a book. Place the chicken in a bowl and add two tablespoons hoisin sauce, the five-spice powder, soy sauce and one tablespoon oil. Toss the chicken to coat.
  3. Place the chicken on the grill and cook until no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Transfer grilled chicken to a plate and let rest.
  4. While the chicken rests, mix the remaining hoisin sauce, oil, lime juice and fish sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
  5. Slice the chicken into wide chunks.
  6. Spread the bottom of each roll with mayonnaise. Pile the sliced chicken onto each of the four rolls. Top each with cucumber, carrots and cilantro. Drizzle with the reserved lime dressing, place the top half of the roll on top and serve.

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