Easy Vegan Tofu Banh Mi
I love me a quick, easy, delicious, and nutritious sandwich – and that is why I present to you: my version of the vegan banh mi. This is inspired by the Mendocino Farms vegan banh mi, expect theirs is on a ciabatta bread rather than french baguette. Made with fresh ingredients and all under 30 min to put together (and have leftovers), this one is a winner.
What I did was make a pickle of the daikon radish and carrots the night before. Prepping the tofu beforehand can also save you time as it tastes just as good cold in the banh mi sandwich. What a found helpful in making tofu have a sort of “gooey yet crispy” texture is to coat it with some corn starch! I’ve been doing this to many of the tofu dishes I’ve been making.
What’s special to me about banh mi is that is it the epitome of a “fusion” food that was formed as history unfolded itself. With the usual meats and veggies that are native to Vietnam, combined with the classic French baguette and ingredients such as mayonnaise, jalapenos, and pate. Nowadays, we seem to be making fusion versions of fusion food.
I would pair this with a glass of Vietnamese iced coffee as I stuff my face – so yum. With the leftovers I was able to make a tofu salad, with is pretty much mixing the tofu up with all the ingredients except for the mayo spread and bread – that was pretty good too. Beware that the pickled daikon and carrots can leave a bit of a smell as you reopen your jar….it’ll likely fill your fridge and house too. So those who are sensitive to that kind of odor…you’ve been warned. But trust me, it’s worth it! And nothing a few candles in your house and some ground coffee in your fridge can’t fix!
Vegan Tofu Banh Mi Sandwich
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp scriacha
- 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 2 cloved garlic (minced)
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Bread and spread
- 1 large baguette cut into 2 halves
- 3 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- sliced cucumber
- carrot daikon pickle (recipe linked below)
- jalapenos (optional)
Dry the tofu block by wrapping it in a clean kitchen cloth or paper towels. Add a weight on top to allow more moisture to be squeezed out. Allow the tofu to sit like this for at least 10 min. The more moisture you get out, the easier it is to get the texture you want later.
Slice the tofu into rectangles and coat them with the corn starch. Add oil (I love avocado oil but any vegetable oil works). Pan fry them on both sides until they start to crisp and turn a golden brown.
Combine all ingredients for the tofu sauce and add to the pan once the tofu has been fried. Coat the tofu with sauce evenly. Once the sauce thickens and tofu has soaked up most of the liquid, remove tofu from heat.
Slice the bread in half and toast until slightly crispy.
Make mayo sriracha spread by mixing the two ingredients together and spreading on bread.
Layer the bread with tofu slices, sliced cucumbers, carrot daikon pickle, cilantro, and jalapenos (if you like a bit of heat). Add on the other half of the bread, slice in half, and enjoy!
For the carrot daikon pickle, I used this recipe.