My version used a standard wheat baguette, but I tried to stay true to the spirit of Vietnamese sandwich fillings. Online information suggested I could pickle the vegetables quite briefly - for an hour or so - rather than needing an extensive pickling process. I used carrot, cabbage and radishes but cucumber and daikon would be authentic additions to the mix. Fresh coriander isn't in season here, but if you can find it, it would be a great finishing touch. As it is, I used the dried variety in my tofu marinade.
I've shared a few recipes lately with the note that you don't really need to press your tofu. Here, you do. Allow time to press it in advance and then marinate it for 30 minutes or so before cooking. The result is crispy thin slices that really make the sandwich.
Vegan banh mi sandwich
An easy, vegan version of this classic Vietnamese meal
Author: Bite-sized thoughts, but with inspiration from many online sources
For the pickled vegetables -
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 head cabbage, roughly chopped
Bunch radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup mirin or rice wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
For the tofu -
200g - 300g firm tofu, pressed and thinly sliced
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin or rice wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp maple syrup, agave or liquid sweetener of choice
1 tsp sriracha sauce
1 tsp dried coriander (or equivalent fresh)
Sesame oil, for cooking
To assemble -
Fresh crusty baguettes
Extra sriracha or mayonnaise
Fresh chopped coriander, if available
In a large bowl, cover the chopped carrot, cabbage and radishes with the white wine vinegar, mirin / rice wine vinegar, salt and sugar. Set aside and allow to stand for at least an hour, but up to several days.
Combine the tofu marinade ingredients (ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, maple syrup, sriracha, coriander) in a shallow dish. Add the tofu and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes.
Heat a non-stick pan over high heat and spray or coat with sesame oil. Cook the tofu strips until browned and crispy, turning every few minutes.
When the tofu is cooked, drain the pickled vegetables and assemble the sandwiches. Divide the tofu and vegetables between the baguettes and top with sauce/s of choice, and coriander if available.
Do you have a favourite version of banh mi?