This recipe assumes that you've made the main filling already: Have everything prepped and your sandwich will come together in a snap.

Serves 1


Vegetable add-ons (choose all, some or none):
  • A small handful (1/4 cup) pickled vegetables, drained of brine
  • 3 or 4 thin slices medium-hot chili, such as jalapeƱo or Fresno (retain the seeds for fire)
  • 4 to 6 cucumber strips, rounds or ovals, cut 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped cilantro sprigs, or 1 to 2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh herb leaves
  • About 3 ounces of Hanoi Grilled Chicken (see separate recipe)

    Bread (choose one):
  • 1 banh mi roll
  • Petite baguette
  • Section of French baguette
  • Other suitable bread

    Fat (choose one or more):
  • Mayonnaise (regular or flavored)
  • Salted butter
  • Avocado slices

    Seasoning (choose one or more):
  • Maggi Seasoning sauce
  • Spicy hoisin sauce
  • Soy sauce or tamari
  • Salt and pepper


    Before assembling the sandwich, prep the vegetable add-ons and set aside. Slice, reheat, sear or return the chicken to room temperature.

    If needed, recrisp the bread in a toaster oven preheated to 325° F for 3 to 6 minutes. Cool for a few minutes or the mayo or butter will melt into a yucky oiliness.

    Use a serrated bread knife to slit the bread lengthwise, leaving it attached on the back side to hold the sandwich together; it's okay if you accidentally cut all the way through. Use your fingers to remove some of the insides from one or both halves, depending on how much doughiness you want. (If you like, cut and hollow out the bread before recrisping.)

    Spread your chosen fat on the two cut sides of bread, covering all the way to the edge. (If using avocado, lay down thin slices and mash them slightly so they stick to the bread.) Season by drizzling in Maggi or other liquid condiment, or by sprinkling salt and pepper. Working from the bottom up, layer the filling and the pickle, chili, cucumber and/or herb. Close the sandwich and use the bread knife to cut in half crosswise. Enjoy.

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

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