Tofu Banh Mi




Introduction: Tofu Banh Mi

About: Hi! I'm a slightly feral mountain hermit that likes to be helpful. I do community management at Instructables & Tinkercad. 🙌

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!)

Step 1: Ingredients:

For the tofu:
  • 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

For serving:
  • 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
This might look like a huge list, but don't be discouraged! Much of it is super cheap and you should already have at least half of the items on hand. :) Banh mi is mostly prep work.

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

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    6 years ago

    Might try to freeze your tofu then thaw it.
    Gives it more of a meaty texture.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I never eat tofu before but that looks tasty! ;)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    This looks great! I have a vegan friend who would love this (bread could be an issue).
    My lady and I recently spent a day in oakland for a concert and went all over the place just eating.
    If you are still local to S.F. try "Bahn Mi Ba Le" in oakland jessy, cheap and to die for!


    9 years ago on Step 4

    this looks delicious...i'm going to try it tonight for dinner!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    This looks FABULOUS. There are no good vietnamese restaurants near me, so I can't wait to try this.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I like your place.. clean and ordered :) I have a question as you know what the thing taste.

    I don't like sweet in my food. Could I omit the sugar you think?

    Looking forward to read you :)


    9 years ago

    Looks like it smells and tastes awesome. Outside the grocery now, taking the ingredients list in with me.