Tag Archives: Hot Bread Kitchen

Spicy Chicken Salad Banh Mi Sandwich

Chicken Salad Banh MiSpicy Chicken Salad Banh Mi Sandwich

A couple of weeks ago when I was at the lunch with Kitchensurfing, I had an open-faced, spicy chicken salad sandwich as the main part of the meal.  I was so inspired by this dish that I decided to try to re-create it at home, adding a few extra things that bring it closer to what I really like in a classic Banh Mi.  This combination really grabbed my tastebuds for a few reasons.  One of them, I think, is I’ve been increasingly drawn to more Asian-influenced tangy-spicy-fresh flavors lately, especially with this summer’s lingering hot spells.  Another might have been that this was just a great way to bring together a bunch of different textures, ones that vary from what I usually fix for myself.

Ingredients for Sandwiches

Spicy Chicken Salad Banh Mi Sandwich

Prep Time: under 30 minutes if you use already-cooked chicken

Serving Size: 4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

1/3 c. Mayonnaise

1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp. Sriracha

2 c. shredded Chicken (if you poach it yourself, add 30 minutes to the prep time for this recipe)

1/2 Lime, juiced

1/4 tsp. Salt

1 Tbsp. Cilantro, finely chopped

4 Mini-Baguettes (I used the Pan Bagnat from Hot Bread Kitchen) or other Vietnamese bread

1/4 oz. Country Pâté cut into strips or slices (I used the one from Brooklyn Cured)

1/4 c. Pickled Carrots and Radishes (see below*)

1 Cucumber, peeled in long strips with no seeds

20-30 Cilantro leaves

Assembly:
If you decide to poach the chicken, rather than using leftovers or buying it ready made, you can follow the directions here, and start off by preparing the chicken, as it will need to cool while you prepare the other ingredients.  You’ll use 1/2 of the chicken for this recipe.  If you already have cooked, shredded chicken on hand, start off by making the spicy mayonnaise.

Sriracha Mayonnaise

Add 1 tsp. of the Sriracha to the mayonnaise and then mix them together.  Taste to see if it is your desired spiciness level, remembering that some of the heat will be diminished when it the mayonnaise is combined with the chicken.  Add each additional tsp. until the mayonnaise is as spicy as you’d like it to be.  Mine reached a sort of light pumpkin color, which was at about the 4 tsp. point.

Spicy Chicken Salad

For the Spicy Chicken Salad, place the chicken in a bowl.  Pour over the lime juice and add the salt and cilantro to the chicken.  Toss gently to combine the ingredients.  Then, add about 1/3 c. of the spicy mayonnaise, leaving some to spread on the sandwiches.  Fold the mayonnaise into the seasoned chicken.  Taste.  Add more salt and a touch more lime juice, if desired.  The flavors should be creamy, with a hint of heat, and a lift of freshness from the citrus and the cilantro.

Spicy mayonnaise and pâté on sandwich

Cut the bread in half and toast each side.  Spread some of the spicy mayonnaise on each half of the toasted bread, and place the strips of pâté on the bottom half of the bread.  Pile 1/4 of the spicy chicken salad on top of the pâté.

Building the sandwich

Place a nice-sized pile of the pickled carrots and radishes on top of the chicken.  Put the sliced cucumber on top half of the bread and sprinkle several whole cilantro leaves on top that.  Put both halves together for the complete sandwich.  This bread also holds up well when the sandwich is prepared a bit in advance and kept wrapped in the refrigerator, which makes it ideal for packed lunches or picnics.

Spicy Chicken Salad Banh Mi Sandwich

Buon appetito!

*Kitchen Witch Tip:

Carrots and Radishes

I took the long way with this recipe, poaching the chicken myself and making the mayonnaise from scratch.  I also pickled the carrots and radishes about 24 hours in advance of making this dish.

Pickling Spices

After looking around on line, I just whipped up a quick pickling solution, put it in a jar, added the vegetables, and let it sit in the fridge.

Pickled Carrots and Radishes

I’m sure that it isn’t entirely the exact right way to make this, but the finished results were a slightly crunchy, tangy product that added some other spice notes and texture to the final sandwich.

Pickled Carrots and Radishes

Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus overnight to sit in refrigerator

Ingredients:

3 Radishes (preferably Daikon, but here I used what I had, which were the red ones)

2 Carrots

4-5 Allspice Berries

10 Black Peppercorns

10-12 Coriander Seeds

1 Star Anise

1 Tbsp. Sugar

1 Tbsp. Salt

1/4 c. Rice Wine Vinegar

1/2-3/4 c. boiling Water

Assembly:

Slice radishes into long, thin strips about 1/4 cm wide.  Peel the carrots and cut them in the same size.  In a glass jar with a tight lid, combine the spices with the sugar and salt.  Pour over the boiling water and then add the vinegar.  Stir to mix together and to make sure that the sugar and salt have dissolved completely.  Put the carrots and the radishes into the liquid and seal the jar tightly.  Let the jar cool for 10-15 minutes before placing it in the refrigerator to sit at least overnight.  This mixture should be consumed within a week, as it is not meant to be kept for long-term preservation.

Beer-Batter Fried Fish Tacos with Kimchi and Guacamole

1- Fried Fish-Kimchi-Guacamole TacoBeer-batter fried Fish Taco with Kimchi and Guacamole

After taking the Culinary Techniques course at the International Culinary Center, I have been having serious food cravings any meal that is not doused in a rich sauce or steeped in butter or that has the classic French flavor profile.  Looking at the jar of kimchi in my refrigerator from the demo last week with Kheedim of Mama Oh’s Premium Kimchee, my brain decided it was time to try to reverse-engineer the Fish Tacos from ABV (by the owners of Vinyl Wines and Earl’s Beer and Cheese).  Since its opening in January, ABV has become a popular gathering spot for Upper-Upper East Side folks (i.e., those living in the 90s and above) due to its extensive beverage list and unique dishes like the Tartare Pizza and Charred Strawberry Sorbet.

ABV

I was completely hooked from the very first bite I had of this dish with all the different layers of tastes and textures.  A slab of delicate, flaky fish surrounded by a hot, crisp crust lies on a base of spicy-sour kimchi and cool, creamy guacamole all held together by a soft, corn tortilla.  It is topped with a last-minute squeeze of lime, an extra sprinkle of cilantro and a few crumbles of queso fresco to give it an extra pop of freshness and tanginess.  This was my initial attempt at making this recipe, and I think I managed to capture most of the elements that appear in the dish at the restaurant.

ABV’s Fish Taco

I’ve marked this down as a Weeknight Supper option, as, with a jar of kimchi on hand, it really doesn’t take that long to pull this meal together.  I know that the ideal spot for eating this is on a beach, cold beverage in hand and ocean breezes wafting by.  Hopefully, that scenario is in your near future, especially with how hot it has been lately, but if it isn’t, at least these tacos might help keep things cool and refreshing.

Beer-Batter Fried Fish Tacos with Kimchi and Guacamole

Prep Time: 30-45 minutes

Serving Size: 4 appetizer portions (one taco per person) or 2 meal-sized portions (two tacos per person)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Kimchi, chopped

1 Avocado

1/2 Jalapeno pepper, minced

1 Tbsp White Onion, finely chopped

1 Tbsp Cilantro, finely chopped

Zest of 1 Lime

Juice of 1 Lime

1 pinch ground Cumin

1 pinch ground Coriander

1 pinch Black Pepper

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 cup Flour

1 pinch Salt

1/2 cup Beer (doesn’t have to be the highest quality)

1 whole Red Snapper (or other white fish), about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds OR

1 to 1 1/2 pounds Red Snapper fillets

Corn or Sunflower oil for frying

4 large White Corn Tortillas (I used ones from Hot Bread Kitchen)

Queso Fresco

12-16 whole Cilantro leaves

4 Lime wedges

Assembly:

Kimchi

Place the chopped Kimchi in a serving bowl and set it aside until ready to put together the tacos.

Guacamole

Cut open the avocados and remove the pit.  Scoop out the green interior and place it in a bowl.  Mash it with a fork until there are no big chunks.  This version of guacamole should be fairly smooth in texture.  Add chopped jalapeno, onion, cilantro, and lime zest.  Stir to combine.  Pour in lime juice, cumin, coriander, pepper, and salt and mix together thoroughly.  Taste and adjust for seasoning.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside until ready to put together tacos.

Ingredients for Beer Batter

Put 1/2 cup flour into a shallow bowl with a pinch of salt.  While stirring with a whisk, pour in 1/2 cup of beer and mix together until the ingredients are all combined completely and there are no lumps of flour.  It should resemble the batter for thin pancakes.  Let this sit for a few minutes while preparing the fish.

Red Snapper

I chose to use red snapper for this dish, but any white fish that won’t fall apart when fried would work.  I went by the guidelines at the fish counter at Whole Foods, truthfully, as I still find it confusing to figure out which is a “good fish” to buy versus a “bad fish,” environmentally speaking.  Feeling adventurous based upon my exploits in culinary class, I decided to buy a whole one and practice on it.  Needless to say, it is not really possible to take pictures while cutting up a fish, so I’ll have to let you imagine that I did much neater job of this task than was the actual reality.

Red Snapper Fillets

In the end, I had several large pieces.  To test the recipe, I cut a couple of them into long strips and left the others as they were.  I’m still not sure which size I prefer for this dish.  They both fry up really quickly and seem to hold onto their texture while maintaining a nicely crisp exterior coating.

Beer Batter

Put 1/2 inch of Canola or Sunflower oil into a heavy frying pan and turn it to a medium-high heat.  This is a great excuse to pull out the cast iron skillet as it will hold the heat better than other pans, which is why it is often recommended in fried chicken recipes.  While the oil is heating, prepare the fish.  Pour the other 1/2 cup flour onto a plate or into a shallow bowl.  Cover each piece of fish in the flour and shake off the excess.  Dip each piece of fish into the beer batter.  Shake off the excess and put it on a clean plate or cutting board while you check to see if the oil has reached the right temperature for frying.

Frying Fish

Drop a bit of batter into the oil.  If it sizzles immediately and begins to turn golden on contact, it is ready.  Gently place several pieces of fish in the pan, making sure not to crowd them together as they need room to cook.  Fry about 3-4 minutes on the first side, until golden, turn it over and cook another 3 minutes on the second side.  Remove fish from the pan and dry on paper towel.  You may have to cook the fish in a few batches.

Prepping Tacos

Set up the ingredients and begin to construct your tacos.  Begin by slathering some guacamole on a corn tortilla base.  Then spoon some of the chopped kimchi.  Gently lay a piece of the fried fish on top of the kimchi.  Sprinkle a few whole cilantro leaves plus a couple of large pinches of crumbled queso freso on top of the whole thing.  Serve on a large plate, accompanied by lime wedges.  These should be eaten while the fish is still warm to hot so that you get the right balance of hot and cold, crunchy and sour, and creamy and tangy.

Buon appetito!