I wouldn’t call it authentic Bánh Mì, maybe a vegan long Vietnamese-style sandwich with teriyaki-flavoured baked tofu, cilantro, Japanese mayo, pickled carrots & red bell peppers, green jalapeño, and cucumbers.
Sweet Pickled Carrots & Red Peppers
• 5 medium carrots, thinly sliced like matchsticks (or use one 10-oz bag of Trader Joe’s washed & ready-to-use shredded carrots)
• 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced like matchsticks
• 1/2 cup vegan sugar + 2 teaspoons vegan sugar
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1 1/4 cups white vinegar
• 1 cup warm water
1. In a large bowl, add sliced carrots and red bell peppers.
2. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons vegan sugar and 2 teaspoons salt. Toss until well-coated.
3. Mix for three minutes until they soften. Try to bend a piece of carrot and it shouldn’t break. That means these are ready.
4. Rinse these vegetables in drainer in cold water. Drain completely.
5. In a new large bowl, dissolve 1/2 cup vegan sugar, white vinegar, and warm water until sugar dissolves. Leave it aside.
6. Use ball mason/canning jars (You can use Ball Mason Jars Wide-Mouth Can or Freeze – 12pk). Fill two of these jars with the drained and rinsed veggies (carrots & red bell peppers). If you have leftovers, put it another jar.
7. Pour “sugar-vinegar-water” mix in these two filled jars. Seal and fridge for 2-3 hours before eating. It’s best to do it overnight for best flavour.
Vegan Sweet Teriyaki Sauce
• 1/2 cup soy sauce
• 1/2 cup mirin
• 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons vegan sugar
• 1 1/2 tablespoons potato starch
1. In a small saucepan, mix soy sauce, mirin and vegan sugar at low heat with a wooden spoon. Simmer until sugar dissolves.
2. Combine 1 tablespoon potato starch and 4 tablespoons water in a small bowl.
3. Let the “soy sauce-mirin-sugar” mix boil at medium heat Pour the starch mix, whisk after boiling. It should be thickening.
4. Let it cool at room temperature.
Teriyaki Baked Tofu
• 1 extra firm tofu, drained and pressed.
• Teriyaki sauce (as mentioned above)
• Cooking spray
1. Press the tofu block between towels to remove any excess water. We used a 13-lb Himalayan Salt Block over that, which worked very well and dry them out.
2. After pressing the tofu for a couple of hours, slice the tofu in 1/2-inch slices.
3. Lay tofu slices side-by-side in a large flat pan.
4. Spread the teriyaki sauce over and under the tofu slices. Cover and marinate for 2-3 hours.
5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
6. Spray the Silpat with cooking oil. Lay marinated tofu slices side-by-side on Silpat.
7. Bake 1/2 hour on one side, turn over halfway through the baking for another 1/2 hour.
The Bánh Mì Setup
This is for one serving.
• 1/2 green jalapeño, sliced lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick pieces. You can remove seeds if you don’t like the heat. I do like my heat.
• vegan Japanese mayo (add one drop of agave nectar for every 2 tablespoons of mayo, otherwise I used Mayodoree).
• 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, freshly washed and blotted with paper towel to avoid moisture
• 4-6 tablespoons sweet pickled carrots & red bell peppers (as mentioned above)
• 2 Teriyaki baked tofu slices
• one thinly sliced cucumber, halved crosswise and sliced lengthwise
• one French baguette, sliced in half. I can only eat half of that. This is intended for one serving.
1. Slice the half baguette so it will be a slider (but do not slice all the way, you want the sandwich to look like a holder). Remove enough of the bottom interiors of the baguette so that the filling can fit easily.
2. Spread vegan mayo on both sides.
3. Add one cucumber on the bottom, cilantro leaves, pickled carrots & red bell peppers, two baked tofu slices and then top with jalapenos.