Today’s recipe is this easy charred tofu bánh mì! This plant-based Vietnamese-inspired bánh mì features super flavorful tofu and quick pickled carrots and cucumber piled high on a crunchy toasted baguette. Smear on a layer of creamy vegan mayo, and top everything off with thinly sliced jalapeño, and loads of cilantro for an easy, filling sandwich.
This easy charred tofu bánh mì is vegan and vegetarian friendly & only uses a few ingredients (not including the tofu marinade). For the sandwich you’ll need the following:
- extra-firm tofu
- vegan mayo- I’m using Hellman’s vegan mayo
- high-quality baguette
the tofu marinade
To make the tofu, you’ll want to slice a block of extra firm tofu into rectangles about 2 inches wide and 1/2 an inch thick. The key to getting super flavorful charred tofu here is making sure to marinate it for a good amount of time. I marinate mine for at least 30 minutes. You could also prep this the night before and marinate it overnight.
The key ingredients in the tofu marinade are:
- Chinese 5 spice
- smoked paprika
- soy sauce
- vegan Worcestershire sauce
- agave nectar
- brown sugar
- sesame oil
I don’t recommend leaving any of these out since each ingredient adds so much unique, smokey, and savory flavor.
how to quick pickle the vegetables
In this recipe, I’m quick pickling the carrots and the cucumber to save time. For the pickling liquid, you’ll need:
- white vinegar
- rice wine vinegar
- granulated sugar
- lime zest
I like to mix up the above ingredients in a small, sealable jar and add the ribboned carrots and cucumber to it. You can close up the jar, give it a shake, and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. Luckily, the tofu also needs to marinate, so these veggies can chill out in the fridge at the same time as the tofu!
tips and tricks for the best tofu bánh mì
Traditionally, bánh mìs are made with baguette-styled bread. The word bánh mì in Vietnamese translates to bread. If you’d like to make your own Vietnamese baguette, check out TastyLittleDumping’s recipe.
In this recipe I’m using cucumber and carrots to keep the ingredients list simple and short. You can also add daikon if you’d like. It would add some more amazing crunchiness.
Traditional bánh mìs are sometimes flavored with lemongrass. If you can’t find fresh lemongrass at your local grocery store, you can order dried lemongrass online. Or you should be able to find it at your local Asia Market.
This sandwich is best served when the baguette and tofu are slightly warm, but the vegetables are raw and still crunchy. I recommend toasting your baguette in the toaster oven for just a few minutes prior to assembling.
Looking for more delicious vegan recipes? Check out the ones below!Vegan Sesame ‘Beef’ Udon Noodles
Hoisin Tofu Bao
Easy Miso Ramen
Did you make this recipe? I’d love to know! Leave a rating and comment below!
- 1 block extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
- 2 carrots, peeled and ribboned
- ½ large English cucumber, peeled and ribboned
- 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
- ½ cup vegan mayo
- 1 cup of roughly chopped cilantro
- 1 long baguette, high quality
- 3 cloves garlic, grated
- 2 tsp agave nectar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 5 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 6 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp Chinese 5 Spice
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- ½ white vinegar
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 4 tbsp granulated sugar
- ½ tsp lime zest
- ¾ cup water
Marinating the Tofu:
- Mix all the tofu marinade ingredients together in a sealable container or a bowl that you can cover with plastic.
- Slice the tofu block into rectangles that are about 1/2 inch thick and 2 inches wide. Place the tofu in the container with the marinade. Shake the container or gently stir the tofu so all pieces are coated.
- Place in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes ( but preferably an hour or overnight).
To Make the Pickled Veggies:
- Mix together the pickling liquid ingredients in a sealable jar until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the ribboned veggies, cover, and place in the fridge to pickle for at least 30 minutes.
- Once the tofu has marinated, heat a nonstick skillet on medium heat. Fry tofu in the pan until golden brown and charred, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Set aside.
- Slice the baguette into 6 inch long sections and slice in half lengthwise. Place in the toaster or toaster oven for 3 minutes or until warmed and just barely golden brown. The inside should still be soft, not crispy.
- Layer on a tablespoon of vegan mayo on both sides of the baguette. Then stack the tofu on the bottom half, following by the carrots, cucumber, cilantro, and jalapenos. Close up the sandwich and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 345Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 283mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 10g
Nutritional info is an estimate.
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