Bánh mì is a tasty Vietnamese sandwich.

Today I'm going to save you time and take out expense by sharing a 30 minute Bánh mì recipe.

It's easy to make with simple, fresh ingredients any grocery store will have.

Note that Bánh mì may not sound like flavor combination matches made in heaven…

Mayonnaise with pickled veggies, spicy chilis, sweet sauce all together on a crusty roll with various meats? ????

Yet they just work. Trust me – it's De.Damn.Lish!

I first had a Bánh mì sandwich after moving to Seattle around 14 years ago. The marinated pork and pickled veggies were amazing, and my taste buds haven't been the same since.

Before Bánh mì, I was a lukewarm sandwich fan. But now? Holy cow!?! 2 BIG thumbs up!

Elizabeth Curtiss, Founder Happy Mom Life Lab

Crusty rolls to soft, traditionally filled with everything from pickled veggies to mayo, from chilis, onions, anchovy paste to sweet sauce with meats from pork to pâté to chicken (plus a ‘ham' which tastes better than its less than appetizing appearance). ????

When Contributor Marla Smith asked if a quick to make, rotisserie chicken version was a good fit for the website, my answer was: ‘Yes, PLEASE!'

I got curious about Bánh mì's history.

Wikipedia says: “In Vietnamese cuisine, Bánh mì or banh mi is a short baguette with thin, crisp crust and soft, airy texture.

It is often split lengthwise and filled with savory ingredients like a submarine sandwich and served as a meal . . . alternately called a Vietnamese roll or sandwich or Saigon roll.” This didn't give me how this unusual mix of food got paired, so…

I had to do more digging to make sense of this culinary cacophony.

Et voilà! Deeper into my google search I found that Bánh mì dates back to ~1850 when France colonized Vietnam.

Mystery solved: the French introduced baguette, pâté, butter and charcuterie as a mainstays in Vietnam.

Then when Vietnam broke away from French rule in 1954, the Bánh mì changed to better reflect Vietnamese tastes.

Savory sauces, mayonnaise, meats like pork, duck and chicken, pickled delicacies and chilis were added.

Fun fact: this simple sandwich is an early Asian Fusion dish (which leans to $$$ haute cuisine).

Bánh mì's next evolution came after Saigon fell in the 70's, and it was brought with refugees to the U.S. and other countries.

So lucky folks living in cities with larger Vietnamese-American populations have been enjoying this delight for decades.

Now, you can add the 30 minute flavorful sandwich to your dinner rotation!

Prep time: about 30 minutes
Serves: 4 people, per dinner
Pairs well with: light crisp beer, or a tall glass of cold Perrier with a lime

Sandwich Ingredients:

  • 4 sandwich sized French bread rolls
  • ½ of a rotisserie chicken, shredded into mid sized chunks

Sauté Sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. sweet chili sauce

Quick Pickle Ingredients:

  • 1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
  • 1 cup julienned carrot (or just use a regular peeler to shred thinly)
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • fresh cilantro, as garnish

Bahn Mi Sauce:

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sweet chili sauce
  • * ½ tsp. curry powder
  • * ¼ tsp. sriracha sauce * dial down or up these two ingredients depending on your tastes


  1. Start by quick pickling your vegetables. In a small bowl, mix together the vinegars, water, sugar, salt, and give it a good stir.
  2. Add in your carrots and cucumber, making sure they are covered by the liquid and let sit while you make the rest of the dinner. Keep marinating, and then drain off the liquid right before building your sandwich.
  3. In a separate small bowl, make your bahn mi sauce by stirring together the mayo, rice vinegar, sweet chili sauce, and curry powder. Set aside.
  4. In another small bowl, make your sauté sauce by mixing together the fish sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, maple syrup, and sweet chili sauce.
  5. In a medium nonstick or cast iron skillet, sauté your prepared chicken with the sauté sauce over low-medium heat until heated through and fragrant.
  6. To build your sandwich, spread the bahn mi sauce on your rolls, divide the sautéed chicken between the four rolls, and top with your pickled vegetable and cilantro.
  7. Dig in!


  • Costco has the best rotisserie chicken for this recipe due to their robust size.
  • The sauté sauce, as well as the quick pickled veggies, can be made up to a day in advance and kept in the refrigerator (just keep it on the liquid).
  • This recipe can be easily doubled.
  • Rotisserie chickens freeze very well! Buy 1-2 chickens at a time, divide and prep them into dinner sized portions and freeze them in zip lock bags until ready to use.

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vietnamese bahn mi sandwich

Give this recipe a try and let us know what you think! Message us on Instagram, comment below or email hello@happymomlifelab.com.

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