A good banh mi is one of my favorite things - especially with tofu inside! I normally bake my tofu after marinating it to give it a meatier texture, but this time I tried something a little different. I found the original recipe for this tofu banh mi on Slate but of course I couldn't help but fiddle with it and change it a bit :D
I added a little more flavor in some areas and altered the flavors in others, and I've also provided substitutions for some ingredients. :)
(Special thanks to audreyobscura for coming over and taking photos and eating tofu banh mi with me!)
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Step 1: Ingredients:
- one package firm or extra firm tofu
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- lots of black pepper - this balances the sugar and gives it a little heat :D
- 1/2 - 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 - 1 tablespoon minced ginger
For the pickled carrots:
- 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded or cut into small strips
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- a fresh baguette or hoagie rolls - I used hoagie rolls, you want the bread to be soft!
- fresh cilantro leaves
- a cucumber cut into strips
- jalapenos, cut into round, thin slices
- butter, at room temperature, or mayonnaise
- sriracha sauce
Step 2: Prep Work!
You'll want to start by pressing your tofu and cutting up your vegetables.
Slice the onions and jalapenos thinly, and cut the cucumbers and carrots into strips. Mince your garlic and ginger.
Make the pickled carrots by combine the carrots, salt, sugar, water and vinegar together in a small bowl. They'll only need 15-20 minutes to finish, which will be the amount of time you'll work on the tofu.
Step 3: Cook the Tofu
Add 1/3 cup sugar and one tablespoon water to a pan over medium heat. Cook until the sugar is melted and turns light brown - just shake the pan occasionally. This will take 5-10 minutes, so you can assemble your other toppings during this time.
Once the sugar is browned, add in the soy sauce and stir stir stir. You'll need to dissolve the sugar mixture to get it to combine. Then add in the onions, ginger and garlic and saute until they're starting to soften and get fragrant. Once they're soft, dump in your tofu, top with a generous amount of black pepper, and saute until the tofu has soaked up most of the sauce. Turn the tofu every now and then so it's uniformly covered with sauce. :)
Step 4: Assemble!
Spread both halves of the bread with butter or mayo - add a little sriracha on top of that. Put on a good amount of tofu and onions and then top that with the pickled carrots and other veggies. Top with cilantro and eat!
Also, now you get to see the weird places I take food photos at home. These sandwiches were made and then eaten standing over my crafting/sewing table. :D