Monday, October 21, 2013

Tofu Bahn Mi

I am so excited to blog about this sandwich. Until very recently I had never had a Bahn Mi sandwich.  While traveling on business in Chicago recently I ordered a grilled portabella Vietnamese Bahn Mi and I liked it.

I started researching "authentic" Bahn Mi sandwiches online and found that there are quite a few varieties out there. It seems that most recipes call for pork (or other meat) along with a liver pate and some pickled daikon and carrot.  I began to ponder how to make a vegan Bahn Mi that was true to the spirit of the original yet without the meat.

My version uses a mushroom pate instead of liver and thinly sliced tofu instead of meat. I will tell you, that beyond a shadow of a doubt this is THE BEST sandwich I have ever made and quite possibly the best sandwich I have ever eaten!

I made only one sandwich so I have a lot of leftover mushroom and pickled daikon and carrot which is a good thing because its what the family is having for dinner tonight!

Tofu Bahn Mi

For the quick pickled daikon and carrot:
1 daikon radish, spiral sliced (or cut into thin matchsticks)
2 medium carrots, spiral sliced (or cut into thin matchsticks_
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp salt

For the mushroom pate:
2 portabello mushrooms rough chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp Braggs liquid aminos
Fresh ground black pepper

For the tofu:
Thinly sliced tofu (about three or four slices per sandwich, pressed to remove excess water)
1 tbsp sesame oil

For the sriracha mayo:
3 parts vegan mayo
1 part sriracha sauce

To build the sandwich:
Crusty sandwich rolls
Cilantro for garnish

First make the quick pickled daikon and carrot by mixing all ingredients into a glass jar. Shake well to ensure the sugar dissolves. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.

To make the mushroom pate heat olive and sesame oils over medium heat in a saute pan. Add the mushrooms, onion and liquid aminos.  Saute until soft. Put in food processor and season with plenty of fresh ground black pepper. Pulse until almost smooth. Set aside.

Combine the vegan mayo and sriracha sauce in a bowl and whisk until incorporated.

In a saute pan over medium high heat add one tablespoon of sesame oil.  When hot, place the tofu slices in the pan.  Allow them to get golden brown on one side and flip to brown the other side.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the sandwich roll(s) in the oven until the crust starts to get crisp and the roll is heated through.

To assemble the sandwich slather one side with the sriracha mayo and the other side with a generous portion of the mushroom pate.  Layer the tofu slices on top of the mushroom pate, then add the pickled daikon and carrot and garnish with cilantro.


While I looked at a lot of Bahn Mi recipes online this one is where I pulled the majority of my inspiration from.


  1. This sounds super yummy, Lee! You have got me craving tofu again with this one.. mmmm :)

  2. Banh Mi are so excellent. I'm really happy you posted a recipe you're so proud of! We have a place in northern VA that is hailed as "the best" and is incredibly popular with a huge vietnamese population backing them every time I've visited. They sell a fresh, filling, and delicious fried tofu banh mi for $3.50! It is similar to yours but without a pate element and includes lots of fresh, thin sliced jalapenos. I am happy to attempt yours later this week, the flavors sound excellent!

    1. Thanks Jared! I would love to know the place you refer to in Northern Virginia. I am there fairly often and would make a point of checking it out. If you make this version I would love your opnion!

  3. I love a good vegan Banh Mi sandwich. I love how simple this one is but still has all that good Banh Mi flavor like pickled veggies and spice!

    1. Thanks for the kind words! I cannot believe it took me this long to try one! I LOVED it!