I’m sure there are those of you that have never heard of a banh mi sandwich before, am I right? You’re probably thinking what the heck is a banh mi sandwich. Well, I didn’t know what one was either until this past spring when my friend Carolyn showed some photos on Instagram of her fixings for a banh mi sandwich. Since then, I’ve seen these sandwiches popping up everywhere, it’s like my eyes were opened. Banh mi is the perfect combination of french bread combined with Vietnamese ingredients like cilantro, pickled vegetables, and chilies. Banh mi’s can be made with chicken, pork, beef, tofu, eggs and salmon and the sauces or spreads vary with each sandwich. I chose to make a vegetarian version with roasted tofu from my miso kale salad recipe, and a sriracha mayonnaise sauce that our family loves. This sriracha mayonnaise is also a great dip for fries, onion rings and as a topping for burgers.
There are a lot of components to these sandwiches, but please don’t let that turn you away from making these. You can truly make most of the fixings ahead of time like the pickled veggies, the sriracha mayonnaise and even the miso roasted tofu. Then all you have to do come dinner or lunch time is cut up some of the fresh veggies and assemble the sandwiches. I’ve made this particular sandwich 3 times so far and it’s a huge hit with the family. Next up, I’m trying Carolyn’s banh mi with meatballs. Yum!
vegetarian banh mi sandwich with sriracha mayonnaise:
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup carrot (about 1/2 of a carrot), peeled and cut into matchstick slices
- 1/4 cup white daikon radish (about 1/2 of a radish), peeled and cut into matchstick slices – These radishes actually look like long white carrots
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion, (about 1/2 of a red onion)
- 1/2 of a cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced, seeds removed if you want less spice
- handful of cilantro sprigs
- 1 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons yellow or white miso – I used a yellow chickpea miso
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large baguette cut into 4 sandwich sized lengths or 4 small french baguettes
recipe from white on rice couple
- 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sriracha
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
Bring the mixture to a boil, and stir constantly using a spatula until the sugar has dissolved, about 30-60 seconds. Transfer the vinegar mixture to a bowl to cool. I set mine in the refrigerator to cool off.
While the your mixture is cooling, peel and slice your carrot and radish into matchstick sized slices. I sliced my carrot and radish in half and then used my favorite new julienne peeler gadget from Kuhn Rikon to create the matchstick slices. It’s so much easier than manually chopping the slices yourself. I bought this gadget a month ago and I’ve used it 6 times, so it’s not a wasted gadget. Peel and slice your red onion into thin slices. Note: I was making a double batch of the pickled veggies, so that’s why you’re seeing double the veggies in the below photos.
Add the carrot, radish and onion to the cooled vinegar mixture and mix well. Cover and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes. Drain off the excess vinegar mixture after the vegetables have marinated and you’re ready to use them. I usually make this earlier in the day.
Now, it’s time to make up the sriracha mayonnaise. You can really make this up anytime, like when the tofu is cooking or earlier that day. Just make sure to store it in the fridge in a covered container. This mayo is super simple to make. Get out a small bowl and mix together the 6 tablespoons mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons sriracha, 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice and the 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce until well blended. That’s all there is to it. This mayo tastes great paired fries, onion rings and burgers. You can just cut the recipe in half if you’re using it as a dip for fries or onion rings.
Below is a picture of miso. You can find it in the refrigerated section of your grocery store usually by where the tofu is kept. Miso is a fermented soybean paste that adds flavor to dishes such as soups, sauces and salad dressings. It’s high in protein, and rich in vitamins and minerals. It’s available in different colors, white, yellow, red & brown. If you want a milder flavor then go with yellow or white. If you want a stronger flavor then go with a red or brown miso. The lighter the color, the milder the flavor. I chose this yellow chickpea miso because I wanted a milder flavor and this version is soy-free.
Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray or brush on some olive oil. Make sure that you coat it well, because if you don’t, then the tofu will stick to the baking sheet. I used my olive oil cooking spray.
Drain the tofu and wrap it in some paper towels and gently press out the excess moisture. Cut the block of tofu into square cubes like the picture below. I cut the block of tofu into 8 slices and then cut those in half to get these squares. It really doesn’t matter how you cut up your tofu, just make sure they are cut into even pieces.
Spread the marinated tofu in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Slice the baguette into 4 sandwich sized lengths. Slice them each in half and pull the center of the bread out of the baguette halves, leaving a cavity for the filling.
Now that all of your ingredients are prepped and ready to go, we can make the sandwiches! You can really assemble the sandwiches anyway you want. I’ll just show you how we assembled ours below.
Take the bottom half of your bread and spread on a nice layer of the sriracha mayo. We also spread some of the sriracha mayo on the top half of the bread as well. We really like our sriracha mayo!
We paired these sandwiches with some lacinato kale salad and it was the perfect meatless dinner.
You will have some leftover tofu, but no worries, you can top it on some of the leftover kale salad for lunch or make up a fresh batch of the miso caesar salad and make a kale caesar salad wrap. Just top a whole-grain tortilla with the leftover kale salad, the warmed tofu and then smash an avocado on top and wrap it up. Just re-heat the tofu in a 250 degree oven until warmed.
You can also top the leftover tofu on some cold soba noodles.