This tangy-salty grilled chicken is great with rice but is perfectly at home stuffed into a baguette. When possible, grill it over an open flame for a nice charred flavor. The heavy dose of black pepper lends an edge to this chicken.

Makes enough chicken for 6 banh mi


  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • Brimming 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • About 1 1/2 Tbsp. canola oil


    Trim and discard big fat pads from the chicken thighs. If the thighs are large and/or super uneven in thickness, butterfly them. Set aside.

    In a bowl, stir together the sugar, salt, pepper, fish sauce and lime juice. If needed, tweak the flavor to get a slightly tart-sweet, salty finish. Add the oil, then the chicken, coating the pieces well. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

    To grill the chicken, preheat a gas grill to medium or prepare a medium-hot fire or use a stove-top grill pan heated over medium-high heat with a little oil brushed on. Cook the chicken for 6 to 10 minutes, turning several times, until clear juices flow out when you pierce the flesh with the tip of a knife. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting across the grain. Tumble in the cooking juices to include extra flavor in the sandwich.

    From The Banh Mi Handbook (Ten Speed Press) by Andrea Nguyen.

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