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These colorful Vietnamese-inspired 25 Minute Ginger Sesame Banh Mi Rice Bowls are full of fresh flavors and made so simply. The ground chicken, or pork, is cooked in a sweet soy chili sauce until caramelized around the edges. It’s then added to bowls of lemongrass rice. A fresh, bright, cucumber herb salad with chunks of avocado is spooned overtop along with quickly pickled carrots. There’s spicy mayo and extra sauce too. It’s a very yummy balance of spicy, sweet, and savory flavors. Altogether, these bowls are so delicious, plus quick to make.

25 Minute Banh Mi Rice Bowls |

If you’re not familiar with a Banh Mi sandwich, it’s a Vietnamese sandwich. It’s usually made with a baguette-style sub roll that’s layered with cripy pork or chicken. Then a spicy mayo is spread on top with pickled veggies, cucumbers, spicy chilies, and fresh herbs. It’s also traditional to add liver pate, but you’ll notice I left that out of these bowls. It’s not something I can easily find.

The flavors combined are fresh, with just the right amount of spiciness, and great umami flavors all around.

It’s such a yummy sandwich!

25 Minute Banh Mi Rice Bowls |

I’ve never made a traditional banh mi, they can sometimes be time intensive depending on the method used. But these bowls are the next best thing!

And so quick to make too, which we just love! These bowls aren’t traditional, but a nice, quick way to enjoy similar flavors.

25 Minute Banh Mi Rice Bowls |

The details on these bowls

To start, I do make my own lemongrass rice. It’s super simple but totally optional.

Lemongrass is such a star ingredient that’s so underused. When cooked, it has a subtle citrusy, lemony flavor with a bit of mintiness in there too.

It’s a very light refreshing flavor and I love cooking it into the rice. The lemongrass really compliments these bowls.

I cook the rice in coconut milk for a creamy, coconut flavor along with lemongrass paste and Thai jasmine rice. Simply let the rice steam while you prepare the bowls.

While that’s cooking away, I make the cucumber salad.

25 Minute Banh Mi Rice Bowls |

Lots of fresh herbs, I use a mix of cilantro and Thai basil. If you enjoy mint, add that too! Then, refreshing cucumber, avocado, toasted sesame seeds, roasted peanuts, a little spice from a serrano pepper, and a simple lime dressing.

Just toss everything together in a bowl, no fancy steps.

And now the meat. You can use chicken or pork, I usually do a mix of the two. Then a couple of shallots and garlic. Then add chili paste, tamari or soy, fish sauce, and maple syrup. Oh, plus some black pepper.

25 Minute Banh Mi Rice Bowls |

Now the KEY, pickled ginger. I added this at the last minute and it ended up being the most delicious addition. The picked ginger quickly caramelizes and becomes sweet and just addicting. You will love it.

25 Minute Banh Mi Rice Bowls |

Finish it up

Layer each bowl with lots of rice, then the meat, and any extra sauce. Top each bowl with the cucumber salad and spicy mayo.

Enjoy immediately…and that’s it! This takes less than 30 minutes to make and it’s delicious and fun! All those fresh herbs really make the difference.

25 Minute Banh Mi Rice Bowls |

Looking for other quick weeknight dinners? Here are some favorites:

Sheet Pan Poblano Chicken Fajita Bowls.

Cauliflower Tzatziki Bowls with Sweet Potato Fries

30 Minute Garlic Butter Chicken Pad Thai

Coconut Popcorn Chicken with Sweet Thai Chili Lime Sauce

30 Minute Sticky Thai Meatballs with Sesame Noodles

Better Than Takeout Sweet Thai Basil Chicken

Lastly, if you make these 25 Minute Banh Mi Rice Bowls, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

25 Minute Banh Mi Rice Bowls

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 530 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Cucumber Herb Salad

Banh Mi Meat


  • 1.  To make the salad. Combine everything in a bowl and gently toss. Season with salt
    2. To Make the meat. In a bowl, mix the tamari, fish sauce, chili paste, and maple syrup. Add 1/3 cup water. Set a few tablespoons of the sauce aside for serving, if desired.
    3. Heat the oil, meat, shallots, and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, breaking up the meat as it cooks, until browned, 5 minutes. Add the sauce. Cook another 5 minutes, until the meat is crispy. Add the pickled ginger, and let cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
    3. Spoon the meat over bowls of rice. Top with the herb salad, pickled carrots, and spicy mayo. Drizzle over the extra sauce. Enjoy!


Pickled Carrots: In a bowl, mix 1/2 cup rice vinegar, 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon salt. Microwave 1 minute, then whisk. Add 2 cups julienned carrots and toss well. Let sit 15 minutes to 1 hour. You can also add thinly sliced ginger and or jalapeños. 
LEMONGRASS RICE: Add 1 can coconut milk and 1/3 water to a medium-sized pot. Bring to a low boil. Add in 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice and 1 tablespoon lemongrass paste. Stir to combine. Place the lid on the pot and turn the heat down to the lowest setting possible. Allow the rice to cook 10 minutes on low and then turn the heat off completely. Let the rice sit on the stove, covered, for another 15-20 minutes (don’t take any peeks inside!).
2. After 15-20 minutes remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Note that rice can cook differently for everyone, this is just what works for me.
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25 Minute Banh Mi Rice Bowls |

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  1. 5 stars
    Amazing recipe with great flavor. Really well done!

    What on earth is all the drama with people complaining about nothing?

    Screw them! Keep up the great work!

  2. 5 stars
    I used the turmeric lemongrass paste you sometimes use in other recipes. Not the right flavor probably but it still tasted delicious! I even forgot the sesame oil in the salad and it was still delightful. Will be making again, and next time I will follow directions 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    I and my family love so many HBH recipes, and even then I think this now is one of our favorites. Those pickled carrots make a difference — do not skip that ingredient! Thanks again, Tieghan — another winner!

  4. These were so delicious and unique! I mostly followed your recipe but used a chicken/mushroom meat blend that I had leftover from lettuce wraps the night before. I also could not find lemongrass paste so I used a little lemon zest in the rice.
    You have so many creative recipes that are blends of flavors and cooking styles! You inspire me to try new things when I cook, making it so much more fun. Thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    Made this last night and loved everything. Do not skimp on pickled veggies. I did the carrots, red onions and jalapeños.

  6. This sounds amazing! But what an unexpected treat to read these comments, like people thought it would be an actual banh mi sandwich stuffed into a bowl, and they were shocked and outraged when they realized it’s not an actual sandwich. But I’m sure they’re cool with stuffing their faces full of Taco salad and pizza rolls and wouldn’t think twice about it…wait until they hear about the Pho-rito that everyone serving out here, they’ll really freak!

    1. It’s because it literally means bread. So yes, one would assume it has bread. A bread bowl that didn’t actually have bread would be dumb, no? As is your comment. Taco doesn’t inherently mean tortilla. Try again.

      1. 5 stars
        Holt crap, give it a rest. Are you absolutely deranged? Seriously. She can call the damn recipe whatever she wants. You need therapy, preferably the electric shock variety, if you think this is something to get fired up about.

        Get help.

      2. 5 stars
        You’re one hell of a high-strung, uptight twat, aren’t ya? I mean, you are really affected by this. Holy wow. Talk about loony.

      3. 5 stars
        Hey Elizabeth, I could put my sausage in a banh mi, and you can choke on it. Would that shut you up?

  7. 1 star
    Banh mi – where is the bread? Inappropriate and appropriating Asian culture again. Do better. Acknowledge your mistakes.

    1. 5 stars
      “Appropriating” Asian culture? Not at all – she just used it for inspiration to make something different. Nothing wrong with that at all.

    2. 5 stars
      The only mistake she made is not deleting stupid comments like these. The recipe is was fantastic though. Sorry about your weird triggers and hang-ups. Maybe see a doctor?

  8. 5 stars
    Cant wait to try this! Will use tofu thats been pressed to get the water out and then torn to make edges that pick up all that great sauce!

    Easy recipe to riff off too!

  9. You know, this kind of cuisine butchery is really funny, like what if I ordered a sunny side with egg omitted , what do I get? Same with this rice bowl. Banh mi mean bread, good old bread, simple plain bread, where’s the bread, lady? No croutons, no toasted pieces, no nothing. Really half baked way to do your plain bread a favour, isn’t it? And no, banh mi alone mean plain bread, and it’s not a sandwich either, nothing sandwiched, rather it got stuffed, like grilled pork/beef, both chunky and grounded version, onion, your version is quite exotic, to say the least.

      1. 5 stars
        Wow, this is the funniest thing I have ever read, also! It’s like trying to comment on a food blog without having a brain. Good going! Now please, grow up.

    1. 5 stars
      Dear god, get over yourself. Your rant is nothing but unhinged garbled gibberish. Aren’t you embarrassed? Please get a hobby. Preferably not as a food critic. It’s not your strong suit.

  10. 5 stars
    Delicious. Quick overall to make with fairly simple ingredients. I used fresh cilantro, basil, and thyme for the herbs. Very good as leftovers as well, thanks for another great recipe!!

  11. Loved this bowl! It was super easy to prepare and the result was fabulous on the tastebuds! I subbed the lemon grass rice for a lime leaf ginger rice. It was perfect. Thank you for all your delicious recipes Tieghan!

    1. 5 stars
      Yum! I’ve never had the real deal of this dish but loved this one! Was super easy! I found a recipe to pickle the carrots beforehand for half hour. Will deff be adding to my make again list.

  12. 5 stars
    This was amazing! So many colors and the flavors were fabulous. It really did come together in the 20/25 minute range which is perfect for a quick dinner. Thanks for sharing

  13. 5 stars
    My goodness. People can be so harsh.

    Just made this tonight and we thoroughly enjoyed it and will most definitely put it in rotation. Does it remind me of a Bahn Mi, not so much but are the flavors delicious? Absolutely! Thank you for a delicious recipe!

    1. 5 stars
      These people ranting and complaining about a bloody rice bowl are not “harsh”. They are straight up mentally ill. I would recommend a lobotomy, but it seems most, if not all of them have already had one.