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Recipe Andrea Nguyen

Hanoi Grilled Chicken

Here’s a delicious and nutritious Vietnamese recipe from “The Banh Mi Handbook” by Andrea Nguyen! 

Yield: Makes enough for 6 banh mi; takes 1 hour.

Hanoi Grilled Chicken


  • 1 1⁄2 lbs. (675 g) boneless, skinless chicken thigh
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon sugar
  • Brimming 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1⁄4 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Roughly 1 1⁄2 tablespoons canola oil


  1. Trim and discard big fat pads from the chicken thighs.
  2. If the thighs are large and/or super uneven in thickness, butterfly them.
  3. Set aside.
  4. In a bowl, stir together the sugar, salt, pepper, fish sauce, and lime juice.
  5. If needed, tweak the flavor to get a slightly tart-sweet, salty finish.
  6. Add the oil, then the chicken coating the pieces as well.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  8. To grill the chicken, preheat a gas grill to medium or prepare a medium-hot fire, or use a stove-top grill pan heated over medium-high heat with a little oil brushed on.
  9. Cook the chicken for 6-10 minutes, turning several times, until clear juices flow out when you pierce the flesh with the tip of the knife.
  10. After putting a chicken thigh on a hot grill or pan, let it sear undisturbed.
  11. When there is an opaque border of about 1/3 inch (6mm), flip the chicken.
  12. It should release easily and have nice browning on the underside.
  13. The second side will cook in less time, and you can turn it as you like.
  14. Cool for 0 minutes before cuttingacross the grain.
  15. Tumble in the cooking juices to include extra flavor in the sandwich.

NOTE: For a Hanoi grilled chicken banh mi, use any of the accouterments. Keep leftovers for up to 3 days, warming the chicken in the microwave, oven or skillet over medium heat, adding any cooking juices for depth.


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