This Chicken Banh Mi Salad Recipe Is Perfect for Summer

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  • Forget the Bread! This Banh Mi Inspired Salad Recipe if Perfect for Spring

    I’m kind of on a Banh Mi kick right now. If you’re unfamiliar with Banh Mì, it’s simply a Vietnamese term for all kinds of bread. Yup – a Banh Mi is basically a big sandwich comprised of a baguette filled with flavorful meat, tangy fresh and pickled veggies, cilantro, and a spicy sauce. You’ll find Banh Mi sandwiches made many, many different ways, with a wide ranging list of ingredients, and as different as they are, I’ve never eaten a Banh Mi I didn’t like. Believe me, I have eaten plenty.

    Don’t let the lengthy ingredient list fool you – the basic Banh Mi recipe is super simple to prepare. And if your’e looking for lighter meals for the warmer months ahead, my favorite deconstructed Banh Mi salad has the same great flavors as the classic Vietnamese sandwich, minus the carbs! It’s light, healthy, and has all the bright flavors of a classic Banh Mi sandwich, stacked on a bed of crispy greens. It’s in big-salad-on-a-platter form, perfect for busy days and nights.

    Give this Banh Mi salad recipe a try – I guarantee you’ll become a convert after one bite!

    Forget the Bread! This Banh Mi Inspired Salad Recipe if Perfect for Spring

    Chicken Banh Mi Salad Recipe

    I’m kind of on a Banh Mi kick right now. If you’re unfamiliar with Banh Mì, it’s simply a Vietnamese term for all kinds of bread. Yup – a Banh Mi is basically a big…

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    Published:
    Prep Time:
    Cook time:
    Servings: 4

    Ingredients:

    • For the quick pickled veggies:
    • rice vinegar: 1/4 cup
    • brown sugar: 1 Tablespoon
    • salt: 1 teaspoon
    • sesame oil: 1 teaspoon
    • carrots: 2 large, peeled and shaved into ribbons
    • cucumber: 1/2 cup, thinly sliced
    • daikon radish: 1, peeled and thinly sliced
    • chili pepper: 1, thinly sliced (omit if you don't want the heat)
    • For the chicken:
    • neutral oil, like grape seed: 1/4 cup
    • soy sauce: 2 Tablespoons
    • lime zest: from 1 lime
    • garlic: 1, finely grated
    • lemongrass: 1 stalk, thinly sliced
    • ground ginger: 1 teaspoon
    • boneless skinless chicken thighs: 4
    • sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
    • For the salad dressing:
    • neutral oil, like grape seed: 1/2 cup
    • lime juice: from 1 lime
    • rice vinegar: 1/4 cup
    • brown sugar: 2 Tablespoons
    • salt: 1 teaspoon
    • sesame oil: 2 teaspoons
    • For the salad:
    • spring mix: about 6 cups, tightly packed
    • cilantro leaves: 1 cup, roughly chopped
    • basil leaves: 1 cup, roughly chopped
    • scallions: 1/2 cup, thinly sliced

    Directions:

    For the quick picked veggies: 

    Step 1: In a shallow bowl whisk together the vinegar, sugar, salt, and sesame oil.

    Step 2: Submerge the carrots ribbons, cucumber slices, radish slices, and chili slices (if using) into the vinegar mixture.

    Step 3: Set aside at room temp until ready to assemble the salad. 

    For the chicken: 

    Step 1: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

    Step 2: In the bottom of a 7x7 casserole dish, whisk the oil, soy sauce, lime zest, garlic, ground ginger, and lemon grass together. Add the chicken thighs to the dish and coat evenly with the soy sauce mixture. (This step can be done the night before if you choose to let the chicken marinate for a couple of hours.)

    Step 3: Bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes, or until deeply golden, and edges are slightly crispy. When the chicken is done cooking, let it rest for a few minutes before slicing into thin strips.  

    For the salad dressing:

    While the chicken is baking, combine the oil, lime juice, rice vinegar, brown sugar, salt and sesame oil in a glass jar. Cover with it's matching lid and shake until the dressing is combined. Set aside. 

    For the salad and assembly: 

    Step 1: In a large bowl, combine the spring mix leaves (or salad greens of choice), chopped cilantro, chopped basil, and sliced scallions. Give the salad dressing a good shake before adding to the bowl. Toss to coat. 

    Step 2: Divide the dressed salad among 4 bowls and top with sliced chicken thighs and the quick pickled veggies. For a garnish, sprinkle sesame seeds over the chicken (optional).  

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