I had my first Vietnamese sub at a food truck in Portland in 2013 and I was in LOVE! I created this recipe because I wanted an easy, slow cooker Chicken Banh Mi sub I could make at home
These Slow Cooker Chicken Banh Mi Vietnamese Submarine Sandwiches are not only easy, they are also healthy, loaded with fresh veggies and herbs, full of flavor and Weight Watchers friendly @ only 9 WW points on the blue plan!
💭Chicken Banh Mi Calories
Although banh mi subs are usually made with pork, chicken is also a great option. It's not only lean, it's low calorie and 0 (zero) points on the Weight Watchers blue plan. Personally, I could never get sick of chicken because it's like the blank canvas of the meat world. There's so much you can do with chicken and it takes on the flavor of the whatever it's cooked with. And in a slow cooker, chicken has hours to absorb all those delicious flavors.
The only reason this sandwich is this high in points and calories (399) is because of the bun (7 points) and sriracha mayonnaise (2-3 points, depending on the brand you buy or whether you simply mix a low-fat mayonnaise with sriracha sauce). If you can find a submarine bun that's lower than 6 or 7 points you can bring down the points even further.
💭 Top tip
Shred chicken in your mixer
I recently discovered the very best and easiest way to shred chicken is in your kitchen aid mixer/or with a hand mixer! This is a game changer. I can't believe how much time I have wasted shredding chicken (and other meat) with forks!
I also use this food hack when I'm making my No Cook Buffalo Pulled Chicken Sandwich (with rotisserie chicken), my Slow Cooker Beef on a Bun and my Slow Cooker Pulled Pork on a Bun or any recipe that calls for shredded meat.
💭What is Lemongrass?
If you've never had lemongrass before, it's best described as citrusy, but tastes like a mix of lemon and mint. Popular in Vietnamese cooking
and a common ingredient in Vietnamese subs, lemongrass lends a unique and complex flavor to this banh mi dish. And although the taste of
lemongrass is mild and doesn't overpower, it adds a welcomes tang (minus the bitterness of lemon.)
I grew lemongrass for the first time this year and I couldn't think of a better use for it than in this lemongrass slow cooker banh mi!
But remember, if you are using fresh lemongrass, only the bottom third, which is the tender part of lemon grass, is
actually edible. You can read more about lemongrass HERE. I recognize that fresh lemongrass is harder to find during colder months
than the other herbs (mint and cilantro) in this recipe, but you can get it at most Asian supermarkets (T&T in Calgary) all year 'round. However, you can also substitute dried lemongrass. (but you'll want to use substantially less/about ½ the amount called for.) You can read more about substituting dried lemongrass HERE.
Making your own Vietnamese Submarine Sandwiches at home is really satisfying. The beauty of this recipe is that your meat cooks in the crockpot while you go about your business. In the end, you get a delicious AND healthy food truck quality sandwich for dinner!
🥪What is a Banh Mi Sandwich?
In Vietnamese Banh Mi means ‘bread’, referring to a type of baguette which is often split lengthwise and filled with various savory ingredients such as cucumber, carrot, daikon radishes, mint and cilantro. Apparently, the baguette was introduced to Vietnam in the mid–19th century. It became a staple food by the early 20th century, eventually evolving into well-loved street food popularized in North America. If you are interested in learning more about the history of the banh mi sandwich, click HERE.
If you love banh mi flavors, then give my other banh mi recipes a try! These Banh Mi Devilled Eggs are a scrumptious twist on an old favorite!
And my healthy Banh Mi Turkey Hot Dogs recipe makes plain old hot dogs, fresh, healthy and fun!
So if you are looking to get your Vietnamese sub fix at home, in a healthy, easy, delicious and Weight Watchers friendly way, then give these Slow Cooker Chicken Banh Mi Vietnamese Subs a try!
Did you make this recipe? Please RATE THE RECIPE below!
🥪Slow Cooker Chicken Banh Mi Vietnamese Sandwiches
- 6 chicken breasts
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic , chopped
- 1 tablespoon peeled and grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon lemon grass. chopped *If substituting dried, use ½ the amount
- 2 tablespoon agave * you can substitute liquid honey but you will need to use 3 tablespoon of honey in place of agave
- ¾ cup rice vinegar
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ⅓ cup fish sauce
- 6 8 inch sub buns cut in half lengthwise
- 6 tablespoon sriracha mayonnaise *you can mix sriracha sauce and mayonnaise together
- ½ cup red onion
- ¼ c. fresh cilantro chopped
- 3 tablespoon mint
- 1 cup cucumber, thinly sliced sliced
- 12 tablespoon grated carrots
- 6 radishes, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 lime
- additional lime wedges
- additional sriracha mayonnaise
- Spray bowl of slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and place chicken breast on the bottom. Add onions, ginger, garlic and lemongrass.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoon agave, ¾ cup rice vinegar, ½ soy sauce, ⅓ cup fish sauce to bowl and stir. Pour mixture over chicken.
- Cook on low for 6 hours (or high for 3 hours) or until chicken is cooked through (there is no longer any pink)
- After 6 hours, remove and shred chicken breast. **The easiest way is to do this is with an electric hand mixer or in your kitchen aid mixer (See video in NOTES)*
- Add ½ cup of liquid from the slow cooker back into the shredded chicken and mix together.
- On one side of the bun, spread a thin layer of sriracha mayo (1 tablespoon), then top with shredded chicken. Add red onion, cilantro and mint.
- On the other side of the bun, add cucumber, grated carrots and sliced radishes.
- Sprinkle rice and sugar mixture onto the vegetables, then squeeze lime juice over the other side.
- Serve with additional sriracha mayonnaise and lime wedges.