Grilled Vietnamese Chicken Sandwiches

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr 15 min (includes marinating time)
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients

1 cup rice vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

Kosher salt

1 2-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, sliced

2 carrots, cut into matchsticks (about 1 cup)

1/2 small daikon radish, cut into matchsticks (about 1 cup)

4 stalks lemongrass, finely chopped

1 shallot, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons fish sauce

4 large skinless, boneless chicken thighs (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds)

Vegetable oil, for the grill

1 cup fresh cilantro

1 loaf soft French bread, split and cut into four 6-inch pieces

1/4 cup mayonnaise, preferably Japanese (such as Kewpie)

2 Persian or other small cucumbers, thinly sliced

1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced

Sriracha, for serving

Directions

  1. Combine the vinegar, sugar, 1/2 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt and the ginger in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Transfer half of the vinegar mixture to a large bowl and add the carrots and daikon; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Transfer the remaining vinegar mixture to a shallow baking dish; stir in the lemongrass, shallot, soy sauce and fish sauce. Add the chicken thighs and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours, flipping the chicken halfway through.
  4. Preheat a grill to medium high and brush the grates with vegetable oil. Remove the chicken from the marinade, scraping off the lemongrass and shallot; season with salt. Grill the chicken until well marked and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Remove to a cutting board.
  5. Drain the carrots and daikon; stir in the cilantro. Cut the chicken thighs in half. Toast the bread on the grill and spread the mayonnaise on both sides; sandwich with the sliced cucumber, chicken, carrot mixture and jalapeno. Serve with Sriracha.