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Ping Gai Chicken Banh Mi recipe (with Veg option)

This Ping Gai Chicken Banh Mi recipe (with Veg option), is a fusion between a Laotian and Vietnamese dish. It was inspired by my time in Toronto. Buying Banh Mi from one of the Vietnamese bakeries in Chinatown, full of different types of Asian cuisines from all over the world. For this Chinese New Year 2021 we wanted to put forward Chinese cuisine as well as other Asian cuisines and celebrate the diversity present in Asia.

Ping Gai Banh Mi fusion recipe

The Banh Mi originates from Vietnam, traditionally a baguette with paté and coldcuts, pickled vegetables and fresh Cilantro. It is a mouthful of delicious textures and flavours. From the crunchy & airy baguette to the layers of cold-cuts and the slight sour yet sweet pickled veggies. 

In this recipe we’ve taken a fusion route inspired by the Banh Mi boys franchise in Toronto and the Pin Gai chicken which is a Laotian dish. I discovered this dish in the Queen Mother Café restaurant thanks to my friend Alexia. This chicken is so delicious, char-grilled or bbq-ed, the smokiness with the pickled veggies are the perfect combo! 

The Pickled Vegetables

Like anything pickled, the longer you pickle it the better! We’d recommend you try to make your turnip, carrot and cucumber pickle atleast 2 days before using it upto 1week before. The longer you pickled it the more it has time to absorb the vinegar, sugar and salt so the veggies are packed with flavour.

You’ll see that we also have a vegetarian option, with the crunchy tofu to replace the chicken. The Banh Mi is so versatile you can definitely make it your own! From the traditional cold cuts to fried chicken, pork belly, grilled shrimp and any filling you can think about it will be delicious! As long as you have the base, mayonnaise, pickled veggies, fresh Cilantro and a good airy and crunchy baguette.

This Ping Gai Chicken Banh Mi recipe (with Veg option) is perfect for weekend lunch, preparing weekly lunches for the family, picnics at the park or beach, snack for road trips and hikes (just cut the bread into shorter pieces). 

Click here to check out our Chinese New Year inspired recipes full of Asian cuisine from all over the world for even more inspiration!

Ping Gai Chicken Banh Mi recipe (with Veg option)

Course: main course, lunchDifficulty: Easy
Servings

5

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Total time

1

hour 

Ingredients

  • 4 half Baguettes

  • Mayonnaise

  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro

  • The Pickled Veggies
  • 2 medium sized carrots julienned (cut into matchsticks style)

  • 1/2 an english cucumber julienned

  • 1/2 a white turnip julienned

  • 1 1/2 cup warm water

  • 3/4 cup rice wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon salt 

  • 1 tablespoon sugar 

  • Ping Gai Chicken
  • 3 chicken breasts

  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped

  • 1 large bunch of fresh Cilantro roughly chopped

  • 2 tablespoons Fish sauce

  • 3 tablespoons Oyster sauce

  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 pinch pepper

  • Fried Panko Tofu (Veg option)
  • 2 packs firm Tofu

  • 1 cup Panko crumbs or bread crumbs

  • 2 teaspoons onion powder

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

  • 1 pinch pepper

  • 1 egg

  • 3/4 cup flour or cornstarch

Directions

  • The Pickled Veggies
  • Julienne Cucumber, Carrots and Turnip
  • Place in a jar with a lid big enough for all the cut veggies
  • In a cup dissolve the sugar & salt in the rice wine vinegar and water
  • Let pickle for 2 days unto 1 week before use
  • Ping Gai Chicken
  • Cut the chicken breasts into thin and smaller slices between 1-2 inches so they can easily be stuffed into your baguettes
  • Marinate the chicken in a bowl with finely chopped garlic, fish sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, roughly chopped cilantro and pepper
  • Marinate 1 day before for more flavour
  • Using some cooking oil, cook the chicken on a grill plancha or on the bbq grill (you can also use a normal pan) until cooked through, shouldn’t take too long as your chicken pieces will be quite thin
  • Fried Panko Tofu
  • Drain the tofu and pat dry, lightly pressing on the tofu squares
  • Cut the tofu in two squares, then into thinner slices across the thicker area so they are large thin squares, place them on a large pan with paper towels for the remaining water to dry out
  • Sprinkle some salt on the tofu pieces on both sides
  • Prepare the breading station, in 1 bowl add flour, onion powder, garlic powder, pinch of salt and pepper mix until well combined. In another bowl beat the egg. In the third bowl add the Panko or Bread crumbs
  • First cover the Tofu pieces in the flour mixture, then the egg wash, then the Panko or bread crumbs until all of them are well coated on all sides
  • In a Pan add oil enough to shallow fry the tofu on one side and then flip on the other side
  • Fry until all sides are golden browns
  • Sprinkle a little sea salt over all of them when done and stuff into your baguette, adding the pickled veggies and cilantr
  • Preparing the Baguettes
  • Cut open your baguettes and spread a thin layer of mayonnaise throughout
  • Then add your Ping Gai chicken or Fried Panko Tofu
  • Add a generous layer of the pickled veggies and a few individual whole Cilantro branches
  • You can also add Sriracha, or fresh chopped chilled or Jalapeños
Recipe inspired by All Recipes and Karlys Culinary Crusade

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