Main menu


Chicken Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich)

Chicken Banh Mi is the much-loved chicken variety of the classic Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich. It has all the familiar flavours of Banh Mi – pate, mayo, fresh herbs and pickled vegetables – but instead of mystery pink meat slices, it’s made with chicken! Fabulously effortless.

Chicken banh mi ready to eat

Chicken Banh Mi

Banh Mi is a meat filled French baguette sandwich stuffed with Asian flavours. Born from the time of France’s occupation of Vietnam, I imagine the French just couldn’t cope without crusty bread so they introduced baguettes to the Vietnamese and the Vietnamese filled it with their meats and herbs and voila! The now-world-famous Banh Mi was born.

While Vietnamese locals love the classic mystery-meat-pork-cold-cuts version, there are all sorts of other varieties across Vietnam and around the world these days. Grilled meats, beef, chicken, meatballs, egg, sausage, BBQ pork, fish, egg, to name a few.

Today, I’m sharing a shredded chicken version which is very popular among Sydney locals who remain suspicious of the mystery pink cold-cut slices!!

Hand holding cut open Chicken banh mi

One tip: Stuff generously. The photo is above is how it looks when squished. Look how full it is before I picked it up. ⬇️ The motto here – don’t skimp on fillings!!!

Tray full of Chicken banh mi

Ingredients in chicken banh mi

Any sandwich is the sum of its parts, and it holds extra true for Banh Mi. Each ingredient in isolation is not extraordinary. The combination sounds odd, for for Banh Mi first timers. But one bite is all it will take to get you jumping onto the Banh Mi train!

The baguette

Use a standard crusty white baguette, not a fancy artisan one like sourdough as they are too chewy. The best baguettes used by the most popular Banh Mi vendors in Vietnam have delicate crispy crusts and fluffy soft insides.

Crust bread roll for Chicken banh mi

If your baguette is not as crusty as you’d like, just pop it in the oven for a few minutes to crisp up. (I do this because it’s just not a proper Banh Mi unless the crust is crispy!)

Stuff inside

Chicken Banh Mi ingredients
  • Chicken – I just use a store bought roast chicken for convenience. You could also make your own. Either use a plain brined roast chicken (so the flesh will be seasoned) or poach chicken breast then use a bit of extra Maggi Seasoning.

    The amount of chicken you use will depend on the size of your baguette. You can really be as generous as you want. I’m pretty generous!

    Grilled lemongrass chicken – There’s also varieties of chicken Banh Mi made with grilled marinated chicken. If that’s what you’re after, use the chicken in this Lemongrass chicken recipe, cut it into slices and use in place of the shredded chicken. Skip the Maggi seasoning, you won’t need it.

  • Green onion – You need 2 to 3 pieces that are about as long as your bread roll for each Banh Mi.

  • Cucumber – You will need 2 thin slices (cut lengthwise) for each Banh Mi. 1 cucumber should be enough.

  • Fresh chilli – Either birds eye chilli (popular ones here in Australia) or Thai red chilli. Anything red and fiery. It’s all part of a great Banh Mi!

Quick pickled vegetables

This is one of the things that makes Banh Mi so special – the crunch of pickled carrot and daikon. It’s so good!! Don’t even think about skipping this. If you can’t find daikon (white radish), just double up on carrot.

Chicken Banh Mi ingredients
  • Carrot and daikon (white radish) – These are the two pickled vegetables most commonly used in Banh Mi. They are cut into thin batons so you get a terrific crunch (albeit pickled-softened-crunch!) when you bite in them.

    Don’t be tempted to shortcut cutting the vegetables by using a box grater. I tried (the lazy cook in me couldn’t resist) – and it just wasn’t the same. A big vinegary pile of coleslaw-like mush. I missed the crunch!

  • Rice wine vinegar – This is the vinegar used for the pickled vegetables, an Asian vinegar made from rice. Substitute with apple cider vinegar.

  • Salt and sugar – For pickling. These pickled vegetables are a bit sweet and bit salty, nice balance between the two.

Pickled vegetables for banh mi

Spreads and sauces

“It’s not a Banh Mi without pate!” she declares vehemently.

Chicken Banh Mi ingredients
  • Maggi Seasoning – This is basically like a soy sauce but with more flavour. No, not MSG! 🙂

    While some Banh Mi vendors make their own secret sauce, this is the most common sauce used straight out of the bottle. Find it in the Asian or sauce aisle at large grocery stores here in Australia.

  • Pate – Chicken pate is on theme here though you can use any pate you want. While you’re most welcome to go ahead and indulge in expensive pate, there’s actually no need. With so much other stuff going on in this sandwich, no one’s going to know if you used a budget pate or a premium one!

  • Mayonnaise – Whole egg mayonnaise or Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise please. I don’t use other types of mayonnaise (too vinegary or too sweet).

How to make a chicken banh mi

Making any type of Banh Mi is just about the order in which you layer. Rich and creamy on the bottom, topped with meaty then finished with fresh.

How to make Chicken banh mi
  1. Split the baguette in half but don’t cut it all the way through.

  2. Butter – Spread butter on the lid of the baguette.

  3. Pate and mayo – Spread pate then mayonnaise on the base of the baguette. Don’t skimp – the most popular Banh Mi joints in Vietnam are always the ones that are most generous with the pate!!

  4. Chicken and sauce – Top with shredded chicken then drizzle with Maggi Seasoning, the secret Banh Mi sauce!

  5. Vegetables & herbs – Stuff in a generous amount of pickled carrot and daikon, layer 2 slices of cucumber then stuff with 2 to 3 green onion stems and a few sprigs of coriander.

  6. Chilli – Lastly, sprinkle with as much fresh chilli as you dare, then devour!

    Go hard with the chilli! Little pops of fresh chilli buried amongst the freshness of pickled vegetables is a signature characteristic of Banh Mi so don’t be shy with the chilli! In fact, try it the other way. Be brave, go hard, then if it’s too much for you, just pick ’em out!!

Hand picking up Chicken banh mi

And there you have it. The chicken version of the infamous Banh Mi, filled with flavours like you’ll never experience in a Western sandwich! That combination of the fresh herbs and pickled vegetables with the smear of rich creamy pate and mayonnaise is stellar. It works with many proteins, but using chicken is an easy option if you just use a store bought roast chicken like I do.

If you’re new the world of Banh Mi, this is a good one to start with. Hope you give it a go! – Nagi x

Watch how to make it

Hungry for more? Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.

Hand picking up Chicken banh mi

Chicken banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich)


Tap or hover to scale

Recipe video above. This is the chicken version of Vietnamese Banh Mi that’s so popular in Australia! Love how quick it is. Don’t skip the pickled vegetables. They totally make it.The exact amount of spreads and stuffings you will need will depend on the size of your bread roll. Just eyeball it, using the video and photos as a guide. For lemongrass grilled chicken, use the chicken in this recipe in place of the shredded chicken, and skip the Maggi seasoning.


Pickled vegetables:

  • Pickle – In a large bowl, dissolve the salt and sugar in the hot water. Stir in vinegar. Add carrots and daikon – they should just about be covered.

  • 2 hours – Leave for 2 hours until slightly floppy. Drain well then use per recipe.

Banh Mi:

  • Split the bread roll in half but don’t cut all the way through.

  • Butter – Spread the lid with butter.

  • Pate then mayo – Spread the base with 1 to 2 tablespoons pate (be generous!), then 1 1/2 tbsp mayonnaise.

  • Chicken & Maggi – Pile on shredded chicken, drizzle with 1/4 tsp Maggi seasoning (you can always add more later).

  • Fresh stuff! Stuff with pickled vegetables, 2 slices of cucumber, 3 slices of green onion and coriander. Finally, sprinkle with as much chilli as you dare. Jam the lid down and devour!

Recipe Notes:

1. Carrot and daikon – it’s hard to quantity the amounts but basically you want the same quantity of each, and enough so it is just covered by the pickling liquid. Can’t find white radish? Double up on carrot!
2. Rolls not crusty? Pop them in the oven to crisp up. It’s not Banh Mi if the rolls aren’t crusty!
3. Maggi seasoning – Like soy sauce but with more flavour. No MSG! It’s the classic Banh Mi sauce, though some vendors create their own special sauces. Find it in the Asian aisle or sauce aisle of large grocery stores.
Substitute with a 50/50 combo of soy sauce + Worcestershire sauce.
4. STORAGE: Best assembled and eaten fresh. If you want to take it for lunch, assemble but leave out the Maggi Seasoning and add that just before eating.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 624cal (31%)Carbohydrates: 46g (15%)Protein: 38g (76%)Fat: 31g (48%)Saturated Fat: 10g (63%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 142mg (47%)Sodium: 1474mg (64%)Potassium: 905mg (26%)Fiber: 3g (13%)Sugar: 12g (13%)Vitamin A: 11640IU (233%)Vitamin C: 17mg (21%)Calcium: 155mg (16%)Iron: 5mg (28%)

I love a good sandwich.

And there’s more coming soon!

Life of Dozer

He was squinting in the sun….

Now I’m squinting in the sun….

table of contents title