Written Eons Ago…
The buds of pink jasmine have emerged, proclaiming spring’s arrival. This explosion of blushing trumpets amassed along twining jade filigree never fails to elicit a smile. “Spring has truly sprung,” they croon. I spy clusters of tissue-pink blooms from my kitchen window, recalling their sweet perfume when I bury my nose within the ephemeral blossoms. Barefoot, I step gingerly along the overgrown path, gathering clusters as a gift to cheer up the winter-weary house. Back inside those four walls, blooms in hand, the heady, cloying scent is too much. Funereal. A stifled sob escapes from somewhere low and dark inside me. The sunlight through the kitchen window is too dazzling. The house is melancholy. We are all in mourning here.
Chicken Bahn Mi
These sandwiches are all about the mouthwateringly-flavorful sauce. Don’t forget to drizzle more over the sandwiches before tucking in. Choose a baguette with a softer crust so you don’t tear up your mouth when you take a big bite.
- Pickled Carrots
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup boiling water Cilantro-Mint Sauce
- ½ cup mint leaves, loosely packed
- ½ cup cilantro leaves, loosely packed, plus more for sandwich
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Zest from 1 lime
- Juice from 2 limes
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons sambal oelek chili paste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt Sambal Oelek Aioli
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons (or more) sambal oelek chili paste – depending on your preferred heat level Sandwiches
- 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken, cooled
- 4 Tablespoons lime cilantro sauce
- 1 Baguette, cut into four 5-inch pieces
- ½ Cucumber, sliced
- Make Pickled Carrots: Combine carrots, rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Pour ½ cup boiling water over carrots and set aside.
- Make Lime Cilantro Sauce: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Make Sambal Oelek Aioli: Stir together mayonnaise and sambal oelek in a small dish. Set aside.
- Make Chicken: In a medium bowl, combine shredded chicken with 4 Tablespoons lime-cilantro sauce.
- Assemble sandwiches: Slice baguette pieces in half and remove some of the bread so you have more room for all the good fillings. Spread one side with sambal oelek aioli. Layer cucumber, shredded chicken, pickled carrots, and cilantro. Drizzle with additional sauce and enjoy. The chicken can be served warm or cold, but I prefer these sandwiches cold.
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