Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Meatloaf Banh Mi

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Meatloaf Banh Mi

That title is a mouthful. Literally! I’m that person that thinks about a Vietnamese banh mi probably once a week. I’m not the guy that is thinking of that (IMHO) six inch sub that lacks all sorts of every taste just so I can make sure I am consuming food (you know the ones I am referring to), but I am that guy who is thinking about that delicious Vietnamese sandwich.  It’s everything I love about a great sandwich, especially when you can find the right bread which is difficult I think in my area of town, and when loaded with great, fresh products it just becomes somewhat of a masterpiece in not only the looks but as importantly the flavors.

Recently I loaded up on a lot of lemongrass. I typically do this when I frequent an Asian market and batch it out when I get back home. I typically trim the lemongrass and put it in freezer safe containers to be used later. This time around though I saved about four stalks and decided to come up with a Vietnamese style chicken meatloaf to be used in a banh mi that I was craving.

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Meatloaf Banh Mi Recipe
Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Meatloaf Banh Mi Recipe

This meatloaf in its own right is awesome, but when you combine it with traditional banh mi toppings then you will suddenly have an explosion of flavor in your mouth! Prepare yourself.

Ingredients for the Pickled Carrots and Daikon:

  • 2 whole carrots, shredded
  • 1 daikon, shredded
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tbsp salt

Ingredients for the Vietnamese Chicken Meatloaf:

  • 2 lbs chicken, boneless and skinless (or buy ground)
  • 3 slices white bread, crusts removed, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 whole onion, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 stalks lemongrass, minced
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper

Ingredients for the Banh Mi:

  • Soft but crusty French bread, cut to your liking
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 1 English cucumber, cut thinly lengthwise
  • Mayonnaise, optional but recommended
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped

I know it seems like a lot, but trust me, it’s not. The meatloaf, as I have used it here in sandwiches, was also used as a riff on Dan Dan noodles for leftovers a couple of days later, and trust me that one was a hit as well. Sometimes I just love the leftovers, and other times not so much. Anyway…

I make this a day ahead of time as I like to let the pickling work the carrots and daikon overnight, as well as letting the chicken take on all of those awesome flavors from the marinade. Your call, but overnight works really well.

Start by making the pickled carrots and daikon. Set the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar in a pot and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat and let the salt and sugar dissolve. Once cooled add the shredded carrots and daikon to a mason jar or sealable bowl, and pour in the liquid. Cover, shake, and place in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Next, you can either grind your own chicken, which I did, or use ground chicken. Whatever you chose, add the mixture to a large bowl. To a separate bowl add the bread and top with milk. This is your panade, the secret to moist loaves of meat. Thank me later.

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Meatloaf Banh Mi
Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Meatloaf Banh Mi

To a blender or food processor, you are now going to breakdown that lemongrass. It’s fibrous so you want to break it down into as much of a paste as you can. This may take a few minutes. Add the lemongrass, garlic, sugar, shallot, ginger, and onion to a food processor. Pulse and continue to pulse/blend until you have a smoother paste. Nothing too chunky. Scrape the mixture into the bowl of chicken, then add the fish sauce, soy sauce, eggs, and bread and milk mixture. Season with pepper. Get your hands in there and get mixing, much like you would do for meatballs or meatloaf.

Form this into a bread pan. Let marinate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meatloaf reaches 165.

Remove from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes.

Get your banh mi ingredients ready.

Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of canola oil and swirl it around.

Cut one slice of the meatloaf and place it into the hot skillet. The goal is to get a nice sear on the loaf.

During this time, lightly toast your bread.

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Meatloaf Banh Mi Recipe

Lather mayonnaise on both top and bottom. Lay on the meatloaf. If it crumbles, which it may, it’s OK.

Add the jalapenos to your liking, the cucumber, pickled carrots and daikon, and the cucumbers. Fold everything in, tuck it in like a baby, open wide, and get to town.

Where do I begin to describe the experience? Yes, it is an experience. It’s everything and more. It’s fresh, crunchy, powerful, funky, and just one hell of a great sandwich! I hope you enjoy, especially if you are not only looking for a new take on a ‘meatloaf’ but also a great sandwich. Have a great week everyone!

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Meatloaf Banh Mi
Author: 
Recipe type: Sandwiches
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • Ingredients for the Pickled Carrots and Daikon:
  • 2 whole carrots, shredded
  • 1 daikon, shredded
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • Ingredients for the Vietnamese Chicken Meatloaf:
  • 2 lbs chicken, boneless and skinless (or buy ground)
  • 3 slices white bread, crusts removed, cut into small cubes
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 whole onion, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 stalks lemongrass, minced
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger, roughly chopped
  • ½ tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 whole eggs
  • ½ tbsp cracked black pepper
  • Ingredients for the Banh Mi:
  • Soft but crusty French bread, cut to your liking
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 1 English cucumber, cut thinly lengthwise
  • Mayonnaise, optional but recommended
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
Instructions
  1. make this a day ahead of time as I like to let the pickling work the carrots and daikon overnight, as well as letting the chicken take on all of those awesome flavors from the marinade. Your call, but overnight works really well.
  2. Start by making the pickled carrots and daikon. Set the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar in a pot and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat and let the salt and sugar dissolve. Once cooled add the shredded carrots and daikon to a mason jar or sealable bowl, and pour in the liquid. Cover, shake, and place in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  3. Next, you can either grind your own chicken, which I did, or use ground chicken. Whatever you chose, add the mixture to a large bowl. To a separate bowl add the bread and top with milk. This is your panade, the secret to moist loaves of meat. Thank me later.
  4. To a blender or food processor, you are now going to breakdown that lemongrass. It’s fibrous so you want to break it down into as much of a paste as you can. This may take a few minutes. Add the lemongrass, garlic, sugar, shallot, ginger, and onion to a food processor. Pulse and continue to pulse/blend until you have a smoother paste. Nothing too chunky. Scrape the mixture into the bowl of chicken, then add the fish sauce, soy sauce, eggs, and bread and milk mixture. Season with pepper. Get your hands in there and get mixing, much like you would do for meatballs or meatloaf.
  5. Form this into a bread pan. Let marinate overnight.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meatloaf reaches 165.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes.
  8. Get your banh mi ingredients ready.
  9. Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of canola oil and swirl it around.
  10. Cut one slice of the meatloaf and place it into the hot skillet. The goal is to get a nice sear on the loaf.
  11. During this time, lightly toast your bread.
  12. Lather mayonnaise on both top and bottom. Lay on the meatloaf. If it crumbles, which it may, it’s OK.
  13. Add the jalapenos to your liking, the cucumber, pickled carrots and daikon, and the cucumbers. Fold everything in, tuck it in like a baby, open wide, and get to town.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *