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 comments 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. Anonymous on said:

    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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