Pesto Chicken Tzatziki Salad Wraps.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
Just wondering what fresh herbs you suggest?
Parsley and Thai Basil are great options! Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT
I wonder if this author knows that banh mi literally translates to bread in Vietnamese.
Delish! Everyone in the family enjoyed this dish. I made extra chicken, and the leftovers are so good, too. I also added edamame, for an extra veggie. Great recipe!
The flavors all together are delicious. I had a bit of a problem though with the chicken not crisping up and getting brown. The skillet was hot and I put the onion/garlic and meat all in at once but it just got too watery. I had to scoop out the water. Will definitely make again and ensure that the stovetop is on high. Even when I added the sauce it never crisped up. Flavors though- yum! and we did not add any salt to anything because there was enough in the sauce that we drizzled over the top afterwards. Definitely loved the pickled carrots too.
This was incredible. A new favorite!
Just clarifying the lemon grass rice calls for 1/3 water. Is it 1/3 cup or can
Sorry, it’s 1/3 cup of water:) Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT
Okay this is the third recipe of yours I’ve tried this week which means this is the third banger recipe I get to add to the rotation to keep things interesting! You keep hitting home runs. Thank youuuu!