Stepping outside my comfort zone.
One of my oldest friends has a knack for making Vietnamese food (even though she’s Irish). She’s inspired me to try experimenting with new dishes! It seems like for the last three weeks, I’ve spent all my meal time trying to make new Asian foods! The first dish we made together was the Pho (yum!). Since then, I’ve experimented with ramen, and now I’m on to banh mi. I’m lucky, there’s an asian market just up the street from where I live. That lets me run out the door and get all the ingredients I need in just a few minutes. Handy when I need to satisfy a craving.
I’m actually a banh mi rookie.
Truth be told, I’ve never had a “real” banh mi. My first experience with this type of Sandwich was at a restaurant in Montreal called L’Gros Luxe Végé… they serve it as a banh mi taco. Weird? Maybe, but delicious! Note to self: if you don’t have bread at home and want to make this dish, it’s equally delicious in a soft tortilla! I remember being bummed when I offered to share it with Christopher and he took me up on my offer (rookie move).
Impress even the toughest critics!
Back to the sandwich! I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out—I normally stick to making soups, salads, and raw desserts and leave the rest to Christopher. He has more patience than me, is more meticulous when it comes to presentation, and also handles a mandolin like a champ. The last time I used a mandolin before this… I ended up with part of my index finger missing (was that an overshare?).
I was also a tad nervous because we fed these to some tough non-vegan critics. Turns out, nothing to be worried about! The flavours are bold and the banh mi disappeared in no time at all. Yours will too!
I’d love to hear what recipes you’re mustering up the courage to try next!
Vietnamese Banh Mi SandwichPrint Recipe
- — PAN-FRIED TOFU —
- 4 slices extra firm tofu
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 1 tsp turmeric
- dash of salt & pepper
- olive oil, in a pan
- — PICKLED VEGGIES —
- 2 carrots, large
- 1 daikon, small
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp sambal sauce
- — SPICY MAYO —
- 1 tbsp sambal sauce
- 4 tbsp vegan mayonaise
- — SANDWICH —
- sambal sauce
- cucumber, julienned
- cilantro, chopped
- french baguette or fresh bun
— PICKLED VEGGIES —
With a mandolin or by hand, julienne the carrots and white daikon.
Place in a 1L mason jar.
Add water and apple cider vinegar.
Add any spices that may be calling your name (we added sambal)
Let sit in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
— SPICY MAYO —
In a small bowl, mix the mayo and sambal sauce. Set aside in fridge.
— PAN-FRIED TOFU —
Slice tofu block into 4 slices (or more depending on how thick you want it… or how many people you want to serve).
In a shallow bowl or plate, combine corn starch, turmeric, a pinch of salt, and a few turns of fresh cracked black pepper.
One piece at a time, cover all sides of the tofu in the cornstarch mixture.
Heat olive oil in a pan on medium (I prefer cast iron). When it's hot enough, add the pieces of the tofu, without overcrowding!
Cook on each side for approximately 5 minutes.
Once cooked, place on a piece of paper towel to remove any excess oil.
— SANDWICH —
On a piece of bread (ideally a baguette or a bun) spread spicy mayo, add fried tofu, add pickled veggies, julienned cucumber, and cilantro to taste.