Loaded up with Vietnamese flavored chicken, zucchini, pickled vegetables and rice – this Chicken Banh Mi Vegetable and Rice Bowl is a flavor packed dinner that’s calling your name tonight!
Have you met my new food obsession the banh mi sandwich?
If a week goes by without a banh mi fix, then there’s a problem happening in my life.
Without a doubt, the banh mi is the best example of a perfect sandwich. You’ve got flavorful meat, veggies (even better that they are pickled), sauce (mayo, hot and depending on which sandwich you get butter) and perfectly crusty bread. Tell me it is not possible to love this sandwich?
I don’t even have to walk that far before stumbling into one banh mi joint or another, so why do I even bother making it at home? It’s simple – 1) I can’t have it any time I want and 2) It’s the flavors in between the bread that I really love playing around with in new and interesting ways (case in point, these burgers here).
Enough rambling about my love of the sandwich, let’s talk about this banh mi bowls now okay?
Don’t you just want to take your fork and dive right in?
This right here is about easy, as an easy weeknight dinner can get. The chicken can go for a short or long bath in a marinade – that timing all depends if you’re an organized meal planner or not.
When it’s down to meal time – toss that chicken on the grill or in the stove to cook up in a matter of minutes and at the same time pickle up those cucumbers and carrots for a tart topping.
With the main banh mi flavors covered, I moved on to fill out of the rest of meal – you can never go wrong with rice and spiralized summer squash and zucchini not only looks pretty but tastes great too. Not to mention, it’s the heart of the summer, we all need something to do with that bumper crop of zucchini!
Everything is finished off with a fresh and tangy lime cilantro vinaigrette – sriracha sauce optional.
1 large carrot, thinly sliced or spiralized with the A or thin blade
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced or spiralized with the A or thin blade
1/2 cup white wine or rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cane sugar
For the cilantro vinaigrette
1 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
For the rice bowl
1 cup jasmine rice cooked according to the packages directions
1 summer squash and 1 zucchini, spiralized with the B or medium blade
fresh basil, fresh cilantro and lime wedges for garnish
In a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, sriracha, lime juice, minced garlic and chopped scallion. Place in a zip top bag with the chicken and marinade in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to an hour or overnight.
Remove from the marinade and bake in a 400 degree oven on a rimmed baking sheet for 10 minutes or grill the chicken 2-3 minutes per side. Set aside and slice when cool
While chicken is marinading and cooking, prepare the pickled vegetables: In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, salt and sugar until it dissolves and add the spiralized carrots and cucumbers. Let soak in the liquid for at least 20-30 minutes. Remove from the pickling liquid before serving.
To make the vinaigrette: Place the cilantro, lime juice, vinegar and oil in your blender. Puree until smooth. Transfer to bottle to serve and taste and season with salt and pepper.
To serve: Fill a bowl with about 1 cup of cooked rice, spiralized squash and zucchini, sliced chicken and top with pickled vegetables. Garnish with fresh basil, cilantro and a wedge of lime. Drizzle the cilantro vinaigrette on top.
Serves 2 very hungry people for dinner or 4 for lunch.