Introduction to Tofu Banh Mi
Vietnamese cuisine is celebrated for its vibrant flavors, fresh ingredients, and harmonious balance of textures. Among the countless dishes that have captivated taste buds worldwide, the banh mi sandwich holds a special place in my heart.
The Vegan Tofu Banh Mi—a mouthwatering twist on the original, showcasing the versatility and flavor potential of plant-based ingredients.
First, at the heart of this vegan banh mi lies tofu—a protein-rich, soy-based staple often used as a substitute for meat. Tofu’s neutral taste and sponge-like texture make it a perfect canvas for absorbing flavors, making it a perfect choice for this recipe. Marinated in a delightful blend of Asian-inspired seasonings, the tofu becomes infused with a symphony of aromas and tastes harmonizing beautifully with the other ingredients.
Next, I elevated the tofu banh mi experience by pickling the vegetables. This adds a refreshing and tangy element to every bite. Carrots and daikon radishes are thinly sliced and marinated in a vinegar-based marinade, transforming them into crunchy accompaniments. These pickled vegetables provide a delightful contrast in texture and introduce a burst of vibrant colors to the sandwich.
Additionally, another essential component of this recipe is the aromatic herb medley. Fresh cilantro leaves, sprigs of fragrant mint, and crisp cucumber slices are added to the banh mi, imparting a burst of freshness and a delightful crunch. This combination of herbs brings a refreshing element to the sandwich, complementing the flavors of the tofu and pickled vegetables.
Finally, I generously smear vegan mayo onto a crusty roll to complete the Tofu Banh Mi. This final layer adds a creamy and indulgent touch, tying all the flavors together into a harmonious symphony of taste.
In conclusion, whether you’re a dedicated vegan or simply looking to explore new flavors and expand your culinary horizons, the Tofu Banh Mi offers a delicious and satisfying experience. This plant-based sandwich celebrates the best of Vietnamese cuisine with its umami-rich tofu, tangy pickled vegetables, refreshing herbs, and creamy mayo. Join us on this culinary adventure as we dive into the recipe and uncover the secrets behind crafting a tantalizing Vegan Tofu Banh Mi that will leave your taste buds craving more.
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What You Need…
How to Make Tofu Bahn Mi
Banh Mi Sandwich
Daikon & Carrot Pickle
Char Siu Tofu
Char Siu Sauce
Bread For Banh Mi
- 4 bolillo rolls or small French baguette
- 1 vegan mayo recipe
- 2-3 jalapeño chilies sliced thinly
- 1 English cucumber sliced thinly
- 1 bunch cilantro leaves
How to make Pickled Daikon & Carrot
- Peel and cut the carrots and daikon into sticks. About 3 inches long and ¼ inch thick.
- Combine salt, 2 Tbsp sugar, daikon, and carrots. Massaging and rubbing the vegetables with salt and sugar. Allow to rest for 20 minutes.
- Rinse the vegetables with cold water. Place the vegetables in a bowl or jar.
- Combine the water, vinegar, and the rest of the sugar. Stir to dissolve.
- Combine the liquid and the vegetable. Refrigerate for up to 6 days.
How to make Char Siu Tofu
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Cut the tofu into ¼ strips. Score the tofu cutting ⅛ inch deep creating a diamond shape.
- Combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt. Stir to dissolve.
- Place the tofu in a baking dish. Pour the black vinegar mixture, and flip the tofu after 10 minutes.
- Place the portioned tofu on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Cook in the oven for 20 minutes, the goal is to dehydrate the tofu. This will intensify the flavors.
How to Make Char Siu Sauce
- Combine all of the ingredients, mixing to combine.
- Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees.
- Use a pastry brush to coat the tofu's top and bottom with the Char Siu sauce.
- Cook the tofu until a little crispy on the edges.
- Save a few tablespoons to drizzle on the bread.
- Set aside
Building The Banh Mi
- Heat the roll until crispy on the outside.
- Allow the bread to cool for 1 minute before cutting it in half, make sure to not cut the all the way in half, and leave the backside intact.
- Remove some of the bread in the middle of the bread, creating a little channel.
- Spread a generous amount of vegan mayo on both sides of the bread.
- Drizzle some of the char siu on both sides of the bread.
- Place the tofu on the bread, then a layer of cucumber, and pickled vegetables, followed by the sliced jalapeño and cilantro leaves.