OMG Banh Mi!

banh mi 2Have you ever had a banh mi sandwich? I hadn’t tried one up until a few months ago. I’d seen them on menus and heard about them on cooking shows. I’d always been curious but wasn’t quite sure. Well, I tried one at a local café and OMG banh mi! Delicious! What had I waited so long for?!?!

So I’m no banh mi authority but it’s basically a Vietnamese sandwich (supposed to be served on a baguette) with some pickled veggies, cucumbers and cilantro. All those flavors together equal a symphony in your mouth!

I’ve made turkey banh mi sandwiches at home as of late, but I wanted something a little heartier for dinner. This recipe is not “traditional” (I didn’t use daikon and I used a bun, not a baguette) but has those delightful banh mi flavors. In chicken burger form. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Instrument of torture

Instrument of torture

As for making this scrumptious burger, if you have a mandolin, NOW is the time to use it. I am terrified of this kitchen tool, as we all should be. But I didn’t experience true fear until I took a piece of my thumb off with it. It was major in my opinion. I whined (yes, I know, I’m ashamed I whined as an adult) and told my husband I thought I needed to be taken to the hospital. He thought I was exaggerating. But it really hurt and bled for what felt like FOREVER. At least I didn’t cry like the time when a glass blender fell out of the top cabinet and onto my head. Anyways, I almost always use the guard and am very careful with this instrument of death now. But it came in handy for this recipe as I used it to cut all the veggies. If you don’t have one, that’s okay. Just eyeball your cuts and try for thin slices.

Chicken Banh Mi Burger (makes 6 burgers)

  • 1/2 c. rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and julienned (1/8″ setting on mandolin)
  • 1/4-1/2 of a small white onion, thinly sliced (1/8″ setting on mandolin)
  • 6 buns (I used my favorite Hard Rolls from Walmart)
  • 1 3/4 pounds ground chicken (I used dark meat)
  • 2-3 green onions, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. panko crumbs
  • dash of white pepper
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced (1/8″ setting on mandolin)
  • 1-2 baby cucumbers, thinly sliced (1/8″setting on mandolin)
  • Small handful of cilantro
  • Mayo

Add the first three ingredients to a small pot and stir over medium heat until sugar has dissolved. Cool slightly and then add onions and carrots. Set aside and let pickle for at least 30 minutes. After the veggies have pickled, drain off liquid and refrigerate until ready to use.

In a large bowl, mix together the ground chicken, green onions, garlic, soy sauce, white pepper and bread crumbs. You can use immediately or set in the fridge (which I did) to let the flavors come together. Divide into 6 equal size patties. Preheat your outdoor grill to about 350, or you can use a cast iron skillet or pan sprayed with cooking spray on your stovetop. Cook burgers about 5 minutes on each side, depending on your stove or grill. You can tell the chicken is cooked through when you touch the meat and it’s firm. Remove from grill and set aside.

Slice buns in half and slather each side with mayo. Place the burger patty on the bottom bun and add enough cucumber slices to cover the patty. Add a little bit of the pickled veggies on top. Place some jalapeno slices and cilantro on top of the veggies and cover with the top bun.

banh mi 6banh mi 5banh mi 4banh mibanh mi 3Enjoy your banh mi burger. Or should I say BOMB mi burger?

Chorizo Burgers with Chipotle Mayo

chorizo burger 2I created this recipe because I had leftover pico de gallo and I wanted something different! I had everything to make burgers and I really wanted that pico on it. I kept thinking of Mexican flavors and thought of trying a chorizo burger. Luckily, it was a hit! Even with the kids. We hadn’t had chorizo in a long time but this really had all the right flavors. And this chorizo recipe would also be great for breakfast, cooked with some scrambled eggs. Ay yay yay!

Chorizo Burgers with Chipotle Mayo (makes 5 burgers)

  • 1 lb. ground pork or ground dark meat chicken (I used chicken)
  • 3 New Mexico dried chilies (ancho or guajillo chilies can also be used)
  • 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. water or chili water
  • 1/4 c. onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. each of chili powder, paprika, ground oregano
  • 1 tsp. each of cumin and salt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. adobo sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce (or 1 chipotle)
  • 1 cup pico de gallo (store bought or homemade, recipe below)
  • 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 5 hamburger buns

ancho chilies 2Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Pull off the stems and remove the seeds from the chilies. Bake in the oven for approximately 5 minutes. Place chilies in a bowl and pour hot water over them. Let sit for 20-30 minutes.

ancho chiliesRemove the chilies from the water, reserving the water, and place chilies into a blender, along with the vinegar, onion and garlic. Add 2 tbsp. of the leftover chili water as well. Blend until smooth. Pour the chili mixture over the meat, and add the seasonings. Mix well and refrigerate. This can be made ahead of time or right before it’s time to eat.chorizo mixture

Mix together the mayo and the adobo sauce. If you like it spicy, add 1 chipotle. But if you have kids, I recommend just the adobo sauce. It’s more of a smoky flavor rather than spicy. Refrigerate until ready to use.

pico de galloAs for the pico de gallo, it’s very simple. If you choose to make it at home, it just requires some chopping.

  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 of a small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and membrane removed, finely chopped
  • 1/4 c. cilantro, chopped

Mix together, cover and refrigerate.

chorizo pattiesSpray a griddle with cooking spray and heat on your stovetop, medium heat. You can also do this on an outdoor grill. While this is heating, make your patties. Just divide the meat evenly into five balls and shape into patties. If you use chicken like I did, it’s more of a wet patty and holds together better when cold.

Place patties on griddle or grill and cook for 4-5 minutes per side. Toast buns and spread chipotle mayo on both sides of bun. Place chorizo patty on the bun, top with the pico and place shredded lettuce on the other side of the bun. Put together and now it’s time to stuff your face!

chorizo burger 4*If you want cheese on your burger, just add a thin slice of cheddar cheese (or whatever type of cheese you fancy) after you’ve flipped your burger over. Honestly, this burger is so full of flavor that you really don’t need the cheese.chorizo burger 3