Bánh mì is a Vietnamese sandwich that is typically filled with meats, vegetables such as cucumber, daikon radish and carrots, fresh cilantro and mayonnaise. This vegan version is inspired by the flavors and elements typically used and is so easy to make. The flavors in this sandwich are fresh and delicious.
This sandwich is great for picnics, beach trips or just a lazy weekend afternoon. You can prepare the elements ahead of time and then just assemble when you want to eat it. However, it is also a great quick meal because the tofu and carrots only need about 20 minutes to marinate. The tofu’s flavor is not overwhelming which is really nice so you can taste all the elements of this delicious sandwich.
The choice of bread is typically a baguette. Smaller baguettes are definitely nicer for making individual sandwiches. However, I used a half sourdough loaf that I had at home and it was equally as delicious. So feel free to use the bread you have access to. As long as the bread is soft and great for sandwiches it will be perfect.
You can play around and add extra toppings but I did try to keep this as true to the sandwiches sold in Vietnam as possible. Another element that is typically included would be daikon radish but I couldn’t find any. You can play around with seasonings or even swap the tofu out for mushrooms or seitan. There are tons of ways to play around with this delicious sandwich.
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Quick Pickled Carrots
5 carrots (about 4.5 ounces [130g])
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
Chili Lime Tofu
1/2 block extra firm tofu (about 8 ounces [226g])
2 limes, juiced
1/4 cup (60ml) grade A maple syrup
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cucumber, made into ribbons
1 jalapeno, sliced
4 to 5 sprigs fresh parsley or cilantro, leaves only
2 to 3 tablespoons veganaise, or to preference
1/2 large baguette, or 2 smaller baguettes
*or any sandwich style bread loaf you prefer
- Prepare the quick pickled carrots: cut the carrots into small matchstick shapes or peel with a vegetable peeler to make carrot ribbons. Place into a jar and add the remaining ingredients. You can leave on the counter for at least 20 minutes or refrigerate overnight until ready to use.
- Prepare the chili lime tofu: slice the tofu into 1/4 inch thick slices. In a large bowl or container mix the lime juice, maple syrup, soy sauce, and chili powder. Place the tofu slices into the marinade and marinate for at least 15 minutes on the counter or overnight in the refrigerator.
- To assemble the sandwich slice the bread open and spread the veganaise across the top and bottom half of the bread. Layer the tofu, cucumber ribbons, jalapeno, and parsley/cilantro. Fold the sandwich over and enjoy.
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