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Chicken Banh Mi Salad
with Sriracha aioli and pineapple spears

Active: 30 min Total: 1 hr
Tonight we're going to take chicken infused with Vietnamese flavors and make enough for a salad tonight and cabbage cups tomorrow night. Tonight's dinner is paired with pineapple spears for a tropical treat (if not in season, just pick another fruit you love).
Smarts: If you've got a big enough grill pan, always double the protein. It means you've got a whole other meal done for tomorrow!


Sriracha Aioli:
  • Garlic - 1 clove , minced
  • Mustard, Dijon - 1 tsp
  • Egg yolk - 2
  • Lemon juice - 1 tsp
  • Oil, avocado - 1/2 cup
  • Sriracha - to taste , ~1 tsp is a good heat level
Nuoc Nam (1 1/2 cups):
  • Water - 1 cup
  • Honey - 1/4 cup
  • Garlic - 4 cloves , minced
  • Fish sauce - 1/4 cup ((Red Boat brand has the fewest additives))
  • Lime juice - 1/4 cup
  • Hot sauce (opt) - to taste
Chicken Banh Mi Salad:
  • Chicken breasts (enough for tomorrow) - 2 lb
  • Nuoc nam - 3 Tbsp + 3 Tbsp
  • Carrots - 1/2 lb , grated ((~2 carrots))
  • Cilantro - 1/4 bunch , leaves of
  • Jalapenos (opt) - 1 to 2 , sliced
  • Pineapple - 1/2 , sliced into spears
  • Butter lettuce - 1 head
  • Cooking oil - for brushing on pan / grates


  1. Make nuoc nam - This makes enough for two nights. Combine sweetener and water and boil (or heat in a microwave for 1 ½ to 2 minutes, until water is bubbling). Mix with remainder of sauce ingredients and season to taste with hot sauce. Adjust taste as needed - use fish sauce for more savory, more lime juice for tartness, more sweetener for sweetness. Remember to set some aside for tomorrow night. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Chicken - This makes enough for tomorrow’s meal too. Halve and place into a baking dish. Cover in first part of nuoc nam and then tenderize with a fork. Marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead).
  3. Carrots - Prep as directed. This makes enough for two nights. Mix with second part of nuoc nam. Reserve half for tomorrow. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  4. Cilantro - Peel off leaves. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  5. Jalapenos (if using) - Slice into thin circles. Remove seeds for less heat.
  6. Pineapple - Slice into spears. If making tomorrow’s smoothie, just chop it all. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  7. Make Sriracha aioli - Mince garlic. Combine minced garlic, Dijon mustard, egg yolk, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Whisk in oil until you get a thick creamy consistency. Season with Sriracha.
  8. Butter lettuce - Peel off leaves to use as lettuce cups.

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  1. For outdoor grill: Preheat grill to 500F(or 260C) degrees to get the grates nice and hot. Brush grill grates with some cooking oil. Sprinkle chicken with some salt and pepper, and add over direct heat. Grill on each side for 3 to 4 minutes with the grill cover closed. Rotate 45 degrees once on each side to get better grill marks.
  2. Stovetop: Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Brush pan with some cooking oil and sprinkle some salt and pepper over chicken. Place onto heated pan. Grill on both sides for 3 to 4 minutes each. Rotate 45 degrees once on each side to get better grill marks. If the chicken isn’t cooked through, lower heat, and cover with foil until it reaches 165F (74C) degrees.
  3. Let rest for ~10 minutes and then slice (you can slice tomorrow’s portion too). Set aside half of the chicken for tomorrow.
  4. Assemble lettuce cups with sliced chicken, cilantro leaves, carrot slaw, jalapenos, and aioli. Enjoy with pineapple spears!



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