by Chef Kendall Huff
Native Foods Cafe
My recent obsession has been with this delicious masterpiece of a sandwich. Finding the correct bread is the key here. Banh Mi is a Vietnamese term for all kinds of bread. The bread most commonly found in Vietnam is single serve and resembles a torpedo and is usually more airy and has a thinner crust. Commonly made with rice and wheat flour, the Vietnamese baguette makes for an airy crumb. Traditionally these sandwiches come with meat fillings and tofu, and these days you can find them with vegan pate, seitan and much much more!! Here is the traditional Banh Mi line-up… but we are going to turn this on its head and make a vegan Banh Mi!
Native Foods uses this photo courtesy of the New York Times
The Banh Mi accompaniments are never ending. For example, pickled carrots and daikon, pickled jalapenos, cilantro, basil, fried shallots, shredded lettuce, and hey…why not toss in some kimchi? No rules here! They are so stupid good that there is a web site focused on battling them! Check it out!
So of course I skipped into a Native Foods kitchen with a HUGE grin and went to work… here she is…
The Native Banh Mi
Pickled Carrots and Daikon
- 1 cup rice vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 pound daikon radish
- 1 pound peeled carrots
- 1/4 cup sea salt
In a small saucepan over medium heat add the vinegar, water, sugar, and turmeric.
Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and allow it to cool.
Meanwhile, peel the daikon and carrots and Julianne them.
Place in a colander with salt and mix well.
Place the colander over a bowl and let drain for 1 hour.
Rinse the salt off with a couple of changes of water and dry the veggies well. Put into a clean glass jar. Pour the cooled brine through a cheesecloth into the jar to just cover the veggies.
Refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight
- 1# Firm tofu
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. Mirin
- 1 Tbsp. Rice vinegar
- 1/2 Tbsp. Coconut Nectar
- 1 Tbsp. ginger
- 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cups chopped, sweet onion
- Sriracha to taste
Press tofu to get rid of excess moisture.
Cut into 1/2 inch slices.
Combine marinade ingredients in a blender or food processor.
Put tofu and half of mixture in a plastic baggie and smooch around to coat each piece and marinate for 1 hour.
Bake in 350-degree oven for 13 to 15 minutes or smells delicious!
The final steps are quite easy and fun. Layer as much tofu on the bread as you’d like. Same with the pickled veggies. Add some fresh alfalfa sprouts, basil, cilantro, fresh jalapenos, pickled ginger, and sesame seed! You won’t be disappointed.
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