The Banh Mi is a Vietnamese-French fusion sandwich. Back in the days when France colonized parts of Indochina, they would take their native foods (like their glorious baguettes) and incorporate them with the local fare (like pickled vegetables and grilled meats). That's what happened to create the Banh Mi. It's usually not vegan, but I've played around and came up with a quick and easy vegan version that uses baked tofu and lots of crunchy veggies.
I usually bake up the tofu beforehand, and then when I want to make a sandwich I just pull together all the stuff and it's ready in 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can make the "pickled" vegetable mix early in the morning and take the sandwich ingredients with you to lunch (I pack my lunches) and then assemble the sandwich right before eating it. The sandwich recipe below makes one sandwich, though it could easily be doubled, tripled, quadrupled, etc. The baked tofu recipe uses a full package of tofu and makes about six servings of tofu, so you'll have leftovers for later.
Tofu Banh Mi:
1/2 c. packaged broccoli slaw mix
1/8 c. shredded carrots
1 green onion, white and green parts, sliced
2 Tb. rice vinegar
1 tsp. sugar/liquid sweetener
Big pinch of red pepper flakes
1 Tb. Veganaise or Reduced-Fat Veganaise
Sriracha, to taste
1 (4.5 inch) section of baguette (I love sourdough here)
1 to 1 1/2 servings of baked tofu cubes (depending on how hungry you are, lol), recipe follows
Romaine lettuce leaves
Sliced English cucumber
1. In a small bowl, combine the broccoli slaw, shredded carrots, chopped green onion, vinegar, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Mix well and set aside.
2. Spread the baguette with the Veganaise and sriracha. Layer it with the lettuce, cucumber, cilantro, and baked tofu. Using a slotted spoon or fork, place the slaw mixture on the sandwich and replace the top part of the baguette. Enjoy!
Simple Baked Tofu:
1 pkg. tofu (the high-protein super firm variety is great for this recipe), pressed, drained, cubed
2 Tb. soy sauce or tamari
1 Tb rice vinegar
1/2 Tb. oil (peanut or canola is good)
1 tsp. sweetener of choice
1 tsp. sriracha or chile-garlic paste (sambal oelek)
a few drops toasted sesame oil (adds umami!)
Preheat oven to 375
1. Whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, oil, sweetener, chile paste, and toasted sesame oil. Add the tofu cubes and swirl to coat.
2. Add tofu and soy sauce mixture to the pan and bake at 375 for about 35 minutes, or until firmed and browned on all sides. Toss the cubes around every once and awhile while baking, and swirl in marinade if necessary.
This is a very good basic baked tofu recipe. You can also embellish on it and make a Thai version, a Chinese version, an Italian version, etc. I just find the 2:1 soy sauce to vinegar ratio my way to go. Also, the longer you bake it, the more chewy and delicious it will become.
It's not the best picture ever, but as you can see, it is a sandwich literally overflowing with deliciousness. And check out that tofu! I was mostly hungry and without the patience to stage a pretty photograph, lol.
This Tofu Banh Mi is definitely a cool, crisp sandwich perfect for a hot, summer day!