Loaded with fresh cilantro, mint, tangy pickled carrots and daikon, jalapeño, baked tofu - all on soft French bread? Hello! Sandwich heaven, guys. You must try a vegan tofu banh mi.
The elements of this vegan bánh mì are:
- French bread
- Vegan mayonnaise
- Fresh herbs (cilantro, mint, Thai basil)
- Do chua (pickled carrots and daikon)
- Marinated baked tofu
The combination of all of these flavors and textures is quite addictive.
It is important to use fresh bread that is not tough or too chewy. You want it to be soft and easy to bite through and not so crusty that it hurts your mouth to chew it up.
In Houston's Chinatown, Parisian Bakery makes fresh French rolls every day, both in a standard and small size.
You can think of these as a full sandwich and half sandwich size. They are the perfect bread for bánh mì.
Mexican bolillo rolls or french or italian rolls should work well as an alternative.
Fresh herbs and veggies
For the fresh herbs, you can use all three or just one or two - whichever combination you prefer. If you cannot find the Thai basil, I would not recommend substituting Italian basil.
Just use the cilantro and/or mint. The cucumber and jalapeño offer cool crunch and heat, respectively and are essential.
If you can't find the Persian cucumber (the short ones, sometimes called baby cucumbers), then just use English cucumber or a standard cucumber.
You will have to cut them in half or thirds before slicing them long ways. Cut them to be about the length of the bread you are using.
If using a standard cucumber, I would recommend peeling it.
Do chua (pickled carrots and daikon)
If you can find the do chua, you could easily purchase it, but it is not difficult to make. A mandolin makes quick work of the julienned carrots and daikon.
If you want to just use carrots, this is totally fine! The first time I made these, I just used carrots. Once you make the pickled veggies, it will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month.
For speed, julienne the carrots and daikon in either a food processor or a mandolin.
It makes quick work of turning them into thin strips. If you have either, a plain old knife will work just as well, although it will take longer.
Marinated, baked tofu
I would enjoy this sandwich without even adding the tofu. But, to make it a complete meal and add some heartiness, I recommend adding a marinated, baked tofu.
You could potentially also add seitan or even experiment with soy-marinated and cooked jackfruit or hearts of palm.
The tofu we use is marinated in soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, ginger and a little bit of sugar and then baked.
After you've prepared the ingredients for your vegan banh mi, it's as simple as assembling a sandwich!
Cut your bread in half, without cutting all the way through.
Spread on the vegan mayo. Then, layer in your cucumber, pickled carrots and daikon, herbs, jalapeño and tofu.
Grab, take a big bite and enjoy!
👨👩👦👦 Serving suggestions
If you have leftover ingredients, try making fresh spring rolls or rice noodle vermicelli bowls with a spicy peanut sauce or dressing to mix things up.
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If you like this Vietnamese-inspired vegan banh mi sandwich recipe, maybe you'll like one of these other Asian-inspired vegan recipes on my site:
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- 1 package extra firm tofu, sliced into 8 rectangle pieces
- 2 teaspoon crushed garlic
- 2 teaspoon crushed ginger
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- juice of half a lime
Do Chua (Pickled Carrots and Daikon)
- 2 cups carrots and daikon, julienned
- 1 cup unseasoned rice vinegar or white vinegar
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 French rolls or bolillos
- 4 Persian cucumbers, sliced into thick long quarter slices
- 1 jalapeño, de-seeded and thinly sliced
- Fresh cilantro, mint, Thai basil leaves
- Vegan mayo
- Prepare the do chua by adding the veggies to a jar. Mix the rest of the do chua ingredients together in a large measuring cup or bowl. Stir to dissolve sugar and salt. Pour over veggies and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
- Prepare the tofu by pressing it gently in a clean dish cloth. Mix marinade ingredients in bowl, then brush over pieces of tofu on a baking sheet lined with a silpat mat or parchment paper. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes, turning halfway through.
- Slice French rolls lengthwise, not cutting all the way through. Remove some of inside of the bread to make room for the filling. Then, warm in oven for 60 seconds.
- Spread mayo on bread, then add cucumber, jalapeño, herbs, pickled veggies and 2 pieces of tofu. Serve right away.
For plant-based, oil-free: omit mayo or use oil free mayo substitute and use oil-free whole wheat french rolls.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 345Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1116mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 7gSugar: 24gProtein: 11g
Nutritional calculations are done using online tools, such as recipe widget Create. Even though we have tried to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates.