Are you ready for a flavor-packed, plant-powered sandwich with a Vietnamese flare? Look no further, I’ve got the answer. My vegan twist on the popular Banh Mi sandwich starts with Maple-Roasted Tofu. I then layer in onto bakery-fresh bread along with a simple cilantro-peanut pesto, fresh radishes and a sweet slaw made with shredded carrots and cucumbers.
When creating an “exceeds expectations” sandwich, it’s important that each component is perfectly executed. Like for this one – the bread’s fresh, and the tofu is marinated and roasted until dense, chewy and satisfying. Good start. I then come in with the accessories. The cilantro-peanut pesto adds rich fats and a punch of flavor. Finally, I add sweetness and acid with that easy slaw, plus freshness and crunch from the radishes.
While each layer of this sandwich is important, shredding veggies into a slaw for sandwiches is a signature move for me and truly makes a huge difference. I love it because slaws naturally hold themselves together, the veggies become seasoned and you get a little bit of everything in each bite. If you haven’t tried this method, my Banh Mi style sandwich is a great excuse.
Banh Mi Style Tofu Sandwiches (vegan)
Servings: 3 sandwiches
Cilantro-Peanut Pesto (you’ll have leftovers!)
1 batch Sweet Carrot & Cucumber Slaw
6-8 medium radishes, thinly sliced
Sub rolls of choice, I’m using a whole grain ciabatta
*all recipes follow
Split the rolls. Spread a layer of pesto onto the inside edge of each roll, top and bottom. On the bottom half of each roll, layer 4 slabs of tofu in an overlapping pattern, then a thin layer of radishes, lastly some slaw. Top each sandwich with the upper half of the rolls.
Maple-Tamari Roasted Tofu
1 block extra firm tofu, pressed for 15-20 minutes
2 tablespoons tamari (I use reduced-sodium)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon rice or white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or granules
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a small bowl, whisk together tamari, oil, maple syrup, vinegar, garlic powder and salt.
Cut pressed tofu into 12 slabs. I do this by cutting the block into three rectangles and slicing each rectangle into 4 slabs. In a shallow dish, add half of the marinade and add 6 of the tofu slabs. Turn them over to coat and wait for a few minutes for them to absorb the liquid. Transfer to a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet, giving each piece of a tofu some room. Repeat the process with remaining tofu.
Roast tofu for 40-45 minutes, gently flipping after the first 35 or so.
* The recipe makes enough tofu for 3 sandwiches, 4 slabs of tofu per sandwich
3/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup roasted peanuts
1-3 cloves raw garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bunch cilantro leaves, about 1.5 to 2 cups lightly packed
2 cups baby spinach
Blend pesto ingredients together until a smooth, oily paste is formed and peanuts are finely ground. Add salt to taste.
* This recipe makes enough pesto for 6+ sandwiches, expect leftovers
Sweet Carrot & Cucumber Slaw
2 medium-large carrots, peeled and grated
2 mini cucumbers, grated
2 tablespoons rice or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine dressing ingredients, vinegar through salt. Toss dressing with grated carrot and cucumber. Add salt to taste.
* Use 1/2 of a large cucumber (seed scraped out if desired) instead of 2 minis