Rice Paper Banh Mi with Five-Spice Chicken

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2 servings Medium
4.0 4
(4)
Total:
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Ingredients (19)

For the dipping sauce (optional):

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 fresh red chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2 carrot, peeled and cut into small, thin matchsticks

For the pickled veggies:

  • 1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (3-ounce) carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 (3-ounce) daikon radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks

For the sandwich rolls:

  • 8 to 10 rice paper wrappers
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/2 English cucumber, very thinly sliced
  • 1 or 2 jalapeños, very thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, basil, and/or mint leaves (small leaves)

Summary

Lighter than a burrito, healthier than a sandwich, this Vietnamese-inspired roll combines elements of both a banh mi sandwich and a fresh spring roll. Since you start with cooked chicken (leftovers from last night’s roasted bird, or a rotisserie chicken from your local market), it’s a pretty quick lunch recipe to make and pack for a picnic, or serve for a light supper.

Instructions

For the dipping sauce:
  1. 1In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, rice vinegar, and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. 2Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, then stir in the fish sauce, lime juice, chile, garlic, and carrots.
  3. 3Refrigerate until ready to use, at least 30 minutes, and up to 3 days.

For the pickled veggies:

  1. 1In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the carrot and daikon and let cook for 1 minute, then remove from the heat. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
  2. 2Place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. The pickled vegetables will keep for up to 3 days.

For the sandwich rolls:

  1. 1Fill a round cake pan with warm water. Place 1 rice paper round into the water, turning it gently with your fingertips until softened. Carefully remove the sheet from the water and lay it flat on a plate.
  2. 2Toss the chicken with the five-spice powder. Arrange some of the seasoned chicken in a horizontal line on the wrapper, positioning it about 1 inch or so from the edge nearest you and about 1⁄2 inch from each side.
  3. 3Top with some of the drained pickled veggies, cucumber and jalapeño slices (if using), and a sprinkle of herb leaves.
  4. 4Lift the edge of the rice paper nearest you and place it over the filling, then roll once to form a tight cylinder. Fold in the sides of the rice paper and continue to roll to form a tight cylinder (be careful not to rip the rice paper).
  5. 5Repeat with the remaining rice paper and filling. Cut each roll in half crosswise at a diagonal and serve with the dipping sauce, if you like. To store, wrap each roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
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