This is a bahn mi.
It’s simply a sandwich with vietnamese roots.
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.
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.
If you would prefer to meat-ify your bahn mi, this marinade would work beautifully with meat or seafood too.
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.
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.
Each of these components are simple to make and work together in a surprisingly harmonious way.
Can we say…homerun?
Tofu Bahn Mi
- 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.
||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. |
||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. |
||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. |
||In a small dish combine mayonnaise, sriracha and remaining tsp of sesame oil. Whisk until smooth. |
||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. |
||Spread mayo over both cut sides of baguette and layer tofu, cucumbers and carrot mixture in between. |