Vegetarian Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwich

Among the various food carts and trucks to ogle in my area, is the Vietnamese banh mi cart. For the uneducated, a banh mi is a delicious sandwich served on a baguette. It comes in various flavors – it’s bumped up in flavor with some traditional Vietnamese flavors like lemongrass and cilantro. The near varieties often include a pate.

At lunch time, the line sometimes seems to be a mile long. As the line moves along, the ladies come out of the cart and cross of sandwiches as they run out. They have one vegetarian option – a tofu banh mi. 
I have yet to see a kosher restaurant sell an authentic banh mi. Aside from the pork varieties, there is nothing inherently “treif” about banh mi. I miss the days where I could stroll in to Chinatown and pick up a scrumptious three dollar Vietnamese sandwich. 
I decided to recreate it at home. I have been browsing Pinterest and eyeing the various banh mi options. I keep pinning and repinning ideas. I am happy with the way it turned out. I regret that I didn’t include a vegan pate in this version. My second regret is that I didn’t take the time to make my own baguettes. Baguettes will have to wait for another day.

The Bahn Mi I made, is made up of layers:

  1. Baguette
  2. Mayonnaise or Vegan Mayo
  3. Daikon/Carrot Pickle (recipe below)
  4. Baked Tofu Vegenaisse(recipe below)
  5. Sriracha
  6. Thinly Sliced Cucumbers
  7. Thinly Slice Red Onions
  8. Thinly Sliced Avocado
  9. Cilantro
Carrot/Daikon Pickles
recipe very slightly adapted from Viet World Kitchen


1 large daikon
2 thick carrots

1 teaspoon salt 
2 teaspoons plus 1/2 cup sugar 
1  1/4 cups distilled white vinegar
1 cup lukewarm water
Cut the carrots and daikon up in to a thick julienne. I used my nifty new mandoline. 
Place the cut up carrots and daikon in a plastic bowl and mix with the salt and 2 teaspoons of the sugar. Massage the mixture with your hands for a few minutes. The veggies will start to soften and some water will start to seep out. The vegetables will get a bit softer. Drain the liquid and then rinse the veggies in water and press all of the liquid out. Transfer to whatever container you will use to store your pickles.
In another bowl, mix up the rest of the sugar, the vinegar, and the warm water. 
Pour the brine mixture over the carrot/daikon mixture. Cover your container. Place in fridge and let them do their pickling.


Baked Tofu:
recipe slightly adapted from eat, live run

1 lb extra firm tofu

2 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp honey
1 tbsp. chopped fresh ginger
2 tsp. red pepper flakes
pinch of sea salt

Drain the tofu and slice the brick of tofu so it’s about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the brick in half.

Mix the marinade ingredients.

Marinate tofu for about an hour.


Preheat oven to 350.

Drain 75% of the marinade ingredients. The rest will burn off.

Bake for about 15 minutes on each side.

Have all of the ingredients prepped and ready to go. Layer your sandwich together. Get ready to eat. Enjoy!


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