The first time we went to Vietnam, I wasn’t a vegetarian and I happily ate bowl after bowl of pho and bun cha. The second time we went, I no longer ate meat and things got a little trickier, until I realized that you could get banh mi with just Laughing Cow cheese, chili sauce, and vegetables. I ate dozens of those sandwiches as we explored the southern end of the country.
For his birthday yesterday, Mike requested sandwiches for dinner and I realized I had never attempted homemade banh mi. This recipe called for thin slices of fried tofu, lots of vegetables, and mayo. I switched out the mayo for Laughing Cow, and we both LOVED these! The bread I found at the store wasn’t quite right (it was too chewy and not crusty enough) so I may make my own bread next time, but in a pinch just about any white sandwich roll with a nice crust should work.
(adapted from Herbivoracious)
makes 4 sandwiches
1 pound firm tofu, sliced evenly into 12 thin slices
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into thin slices
1/2 daikon radish, peeled and cut into thin slices
4 triangles Laughing Cow Cheese
1/2 English cucumber, cut into thin slices
1/2 white onion, sliced thin
1 avocado, sliced
about 1/4 cup fresh mint
a handful of fresh cilantro
a few tsp Chili Garlic sauce or Sambal Oelek
4 crusty mini-baguettes
Dissolve the sugar in the water and vinegar in a medium bowl. Add the daikon and carrot and let marinate for about 20 minutes.
Pat the tofu slices dry. Heat the oil in a wide skillet over medium high. Add the tofu in a single layer (cook in 2 batches) and fry for a few minutes on each side (until golden). Remove and drain on paper towels, then sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
To prepare the sandwiches, cut the bread almost in half lengthwise. Spread with cheese and chili garlic sauce, then top with tofu slices and vegetables.