Banh mi (vegan)

This is the vegan’s version of a barbecue sandwich. Layers upon layers of flavor and absolutely impossible to eat without making a mess. But you won’t care cuz it’s just that good.

I tried a different technique with the tofu–slicing into 1/2 inch, marinating and then baking it. It got a little texture on the outside but still plenty moist. It has the appearance of something other than tofu, which may be important to some folks.

I also used a readymade cabbage slaw for the pickled vegetables. That’s speeds things up too. I had black currant vinegar on hand which blended the tart/sweet punch perfectly!

You can pretty much accessorize with any crunchy vegetables you have though. I had radishes, daikon radish sprouts and a jalape├▒o. I thought about slicing a cucumber too but it was already too fat to fold ­čśë

Fresh herbs–mint and cilantro–and a Sriracha mayo finish it up. Round 2 was open-face sandwich style.

Creating this feels like creating art: between the colors and flavors it turns out differently each time, but always delicious! Easily my favorite sandwich and WAY better than barbecue.

Banh mi (vegan)

  • Baguette
  • 1 block extra firm tofu, sliced into 1/2″
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
    2 tbsp Sriracha, divided
    Juice of 1/2 lime
    1/2 cup vegan mayo
    1 cup coleslaw blend
    1/2 cup vinegar–apple cider or another fruit based cider works well
    2 tbsp sugar
    Sliced radishes
    Sliced jalape├▒o
    Sprouts or lettuce
    Cucumbers
    Mint and cilantro leaves

Drain and slice tofu. Mix tamari, sesame oil and 1 tbsp Sriracha. Coat tofu and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Microwave vinegar about 1 minute until just warm enough to dissolve sugar. Cool, then add coleslaw and allow to soften for about 30 minutes.

Bake tofu on tinfoil at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes. An ambitious person would flip it halfway through.

Mix mayo with remaining Sriracha and lime juice. Adjust heat to your preferences.

Slice cucumbers, radishes and jalape├▒o. Prep mint and cilantro leaves.

Assemble sandwich by putting mayo, herbs, vegetables and tofu on one side, slaw on the other.

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Chicken banh mi sandwich 


First off, priorities: the beer. A local MN brew called Hunny Do. Light, fresh and a touch of honeydew melon. Intended to be consumed while checking things off the ‘honey do’ list, which in this case was manning the grill. Perfect summer beer!

As for the food, we’re taking advantage of the peak of summer with fresh herbs, vegetables and grilled meat, so while this has a lot of flavors and ingredients it actually comes together fast. I’m looking forward to trying the marinade with shrimp and tofu. 

I used this recipe for the side salad, quinoa with ginger-peanut dressing and tweaked a bit based on what I had on hand (frozen edamame and green onions being nice adds).

Chicken banh mi sandwich 

  • 3 large chicken breasts, sliced in half horizontally 
  • Baguette, cut in 4
  • 1/2 c light mayo
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Sriracha 
  • 1/4c water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp Sriracha 
  • Splash of fish sauce
  • Sliced radishes
  • Sliced jalape├▒o 
  • Matchstick carrots
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Cilantro sprigs
  • Mint leaves

Make marinade: Heat water until sugar dissolves, add garlic, lime, fish sauce, Sriracha. Cover halved chicken in 3/4 of marinade, refrigerate 12-24 hours.

Make mayo: mix mayo, lemon, Sriracha. (This is “spicy” level, cut back if you don’t like heat).

Toss radishes, carrots and lettuce with remaining marinade. Grill chicken. 

Assemble sandwiches: mayo, radishes, carrots, jalape├▒os, herbs, lettuce.