How to: Recipe Makeover – Tofu Bahn Mi

This is a bahn mi.

It’s simply a sandwich with vietnamese roots.

tofu bahn mi

And with this heat? It’s sandwich season in my kitchen.

The bun is a french style baguette and the filling can be any variety of meat, seafood or tofu which is usually accompanied by crunchy pickled vegetables, herbs and a chili kick of some sort.

Basically, a savoury, sweet, sour, spicy flavour bomb. The sandwich jackpot.

As a fan of the popular Bahn Mi Boys sandwich shop here in Toronto, I have been wanting to create something similar at home.

tofu bahn mi

That, is lemongrass.  If you’ve never used it before it has a fresh, floral lemony scent and flavour.  Remove the tough outer leaves and mince the juicy root end.  Ginger works as a good substitute if you can’t find it.

tofu bahn mi 1

If you would prefer to meat-ify your bahn mi, this marinade would work beautifully with meat or seafood too.

tofu bahn mi 2

The daikon is a large white radish with a mild flavour. It’s available in most grocery stores and can be substituted with any other type of radish.

tofu bahn mi 3

I cheated and bought pre-cut matchstick carrots in a bag for this recipe.  Hey, five minutes saved in the kitchen means five more to savour my delicious sandwich on the back deck with a cold beer.tofu bahn mi 4

Each of these components are simple to make and work together in a surprisingly harmonious way.

tofu bahn mi Can we say…homerun?


Tofu Bahn Mi

Serves 4-6
Prep time 40 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
From magazine Cooking Light


  • 1 package extra firm tofu (drained)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil (divided)
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/4 cup matchstick cut carrots
  • 1 and 1/4 cup matchstick cut daikon radish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1.5 teaspoons sriracha
  • 1 cup finely sliced cucumber
  • french baguette (or similar type bread)


The pickled carrots, spicy mayo can be made and the tofu marinated up to a day in advance, making this a great quickie meal or a perfect option when having guests.


1. Cut tofu lengthwise into 6 equal slices. Arrange the slices on a few layers of paper towels, top with another few layers of paper towels and top with a heavy pan or a book. Let stand for 15 minutes.
2. Combine lemongrass, 2 Tbsp water, soy sauce and 1 tsp of sesame oil in a dish large enough to accommodate the tofu slices in a single layer or a large plastic zipper bag. Let stand for at least 20 minutes, flipping slices halfway through.
3. Meanwhile, combine vinegar, 1/4 cup water, sugar, carrots and radish and let stand for at least 30 minutes and up to a day in advance. Add chopped basil.
4. In a small dish combine mayonnaise, sriracha and remaining tsp of sesame oil. Whisk until smooth.
5. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with a spray or brush of oil. Remove tofu fro marinate and pat slices dry with paper towels. Cook tofu slices about 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown and crisp.
6. Spread mayo over both cut sides of baguette and layer tofu, cucumbers and carrot mixture in between.





3 thoughts on “How to: Recipe Makeover – Tofu Bahn Mi

  1. I made a fun sandwich this week and now it’s making me crave new variations! This banh mi sounds like the perfect meal, especially with this heat!

  2. Your bahn mi looks great and I’m sure tastes great too! Too much time, ingredients and work for ME. Anyway, it sure is a scrumptious looking sandwich. Thanks for sharing, Erin.

  3. Pingback: RaNdOm | soya & chocolat

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