If I had to pick the healthiest sandwich in the world, my pick would be Banh Mi. After all, which mad genius came up with the idea of putting daikon (Mooli a.k.a. mullangi), carrot, coriander leaves and cucumber inside a sandwich and still come out tasting amazing???
I am always partial to Vietnamese food. They seem to have healthy food as a part of their diet so effortlessly. The amazing pho (aromatic noodle soup), bean desserts (wut??, beans in desserts, yes and sooo… yummy)!! and of course, Banh Mi!! Banh Mi is a collaboration effort of the Viet and French cuisine. The French colonized Vietnam in the 1800’s. The baguette (bread) part is inspired by the French and the fillings come from the Vietnamese cuisine, and together they form a beauty!!
I first made this sandwich about 8 years ago. When I first saw the recipe, it sounded crazy, but tasted amazing then and still going strong. I teach this recipe in my cooking class and people always love the results!!
It has got tangy mayo, crispy tofu, crunchy veggies, fresh herbs and Asian heat from the chilies…what’s not to like??
Step by Step pictures
First prepare the components:
Marinate tofu: (Fresh ginger juice, soy sauce, honey, black pepper added). Then grill tofu…
Next step, pickled veggies!! Add chopped veggies to vinegar mix:
Other add-ons – Prepare fresh veggies:
Ok, then…Time to assemble the sandwich..
Spread the mayo…
Add Tofu strips..
Add pickled veggies…
Top off with strips of cucumber, chilies and coriander
A healthy and delicious sandwich filled with marinated and grilled tofu, pickled veggies and herbs.
- 1 French Baguette cut to size needed
- 16 oz firm or super-firm tofu
- 2 tsp Honey
- 1-1.5 tsp fresh ginger juice
- 2-2.5 tbsp Soy Sauce
- Few pinches of Black Pepper
- 2 tbsp Sesame oil
- 1 cup Daikon cut into matchstick pieces
- 1 cup Carrot cut into matchstick pieces
- 2/3 cup Water
- 1.25 tsp Salt
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 3/4 cup White (or any mild) Vinegar
- Handful of pickled veggies (drained of brine)
- 2-3 Thin slices medium hot chile (e.g Jalapeno)
- 4-6 Cucumber strips
- 1-2 tbsp Coarsely chopped cilantro
- Maggi Seasoning (Vietnamese product)
- Hoisin Sauce
- Soy Sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a saucepan, bring salt, sugar, vinegar and water to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over chopped veggies.
Use once cool. Store in fridge upto 2 months
Cut tofu into rectangular slabs. Drain tofu as much as possible.
Marinate tofu in the pepper, honey, ginger juice, soy sauce and oils for 30 minutes or more.
Sear tofu on a grill pan turning until the tofu has dark chestnut browning on all sides.
Toast Baguette to make it crispy and delicious. I toasted mine (from Trader Joe's) in a 400F oven for 4 minutes. I followed the toasting instructions printed on the package. Check with your baker for best settings.
Apply your spread generously (traditionally mayo, other options include – salted butter, Sunflower butter + siracha, etc).
Layer the toppings one by one. Close sandwich. Add extra seasoning if desired. Eat!!
Other veggies that can be pickled similarly
Red radish, cabbage, green tomatoes, lemongrass, snow pea
This recipe needs a good baguette. That’s the starting point. If you have a fresh baguette, half your battle is done already.
You can easily make this recipe vegan by substituting mayo with vegan mayo or a sauce made from Siracha+sunbutter. Trust me, vegans love this recipe!!
Finally, I love, love the book The Banh Mi handbook by Andrea Nguyen. She has great ideas on how to build upon the basic Banh Mi and clever variations of the recipe. Be sure to check it out!!
Have you had Banh Mi? If yes, post your opinion of the sandwich. If not, are you willing to try pickled daikon and carrots in your sandwich? Let me know in the comments below….until next time!!! Happy New Year to all my lovely readers!!
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