I’ve never had a reason to make banh mi’s at home because some of my favorite places (Lulu B’s and Elizabeth Street) are right down the street. But suddenly daikon started showing up at the farmers market right next to the colorful carrots that I love – and I knew some homemade sandwich pickling was in order. If tofu isn’t your thing, you could go with some other type of meat – but since tofu is my thing, here we go…
I made a quick tamari-ginger-lime marinade for the tofu and seared it on each side until golden brown. Then I stuffed it into toasted baguette with mayo (you could use vegan mayo), pickled veggies, cilantro and a good squeeze of sriracha.
This recipe looks a little long but if you make your pickles a day ahead of time, you’re halfway there. This will make extra pickles so feel free to have breakfast banh mi’s (with eggs) the next day like we did. Or just store them in your fridge for salads, or sandwiches later on in the week.
- 1 14oz. pkg. extra firm tofu (see notes)
- olive oil, for the pan
- fresh baguette, sliced into sandwich sized portions
- good quality mayo, or vegan mayo
- a few sprigs of cilantro per sandwich
- sriracha, to taste
- 1 small daikon sliced into matchsticks
- 2 small carrots, sliced into matchsticks
- ½ a small cucumber, de-seeded & sliced into matchsticks
- ½ jalapeño, thinly sliced
- ¼ (or more) cup white wine vinegar
- ¼ (or more) cup rice vinegar
- a few pinches of sugar
- a few pinches of salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce)
- juice of ½ lime + a little zest
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon minced ginger
- generous amounts of freshly cracked pepper
- Make ahead: Place thinly sliced daikon, carrots, cucumbers, and jalapeños in a medium jar with white wine vinegar, rice vinegar, sugar and salt. If the liquids don’t cover the veggies, add about 2 tablespoons of water and more vinegar if necessary (the amount you need will depend on the size of your jar). Let chill for at least an hour, or store in the fridge for at least a week.
- Drain tofu, slice it into approx. ½ inch slices. Place on a towel and gently pat dry to remove excess water.
- In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, tamari, lime, zest, garlic, ginger, and freshly cracked pepper.
- Place tofu in a shallow pan and pour the marinade on top. Flip the tofu so that it coats (if it doesn’t coat fully in your pan, add a bit more tamari until all tofu is coated). Let the tofu marinate for at least 15 minutes.
- Heat a nonstick skillet to medium-high heat. Add a little oil to the pan and place tofu pieces with enough space between each so that they’re not too crowded (you can cook them in batches). Let the tofu cook (without moving it around too much) for a few minutes per side until they’re deeply golden brown and caramelized (almost blackened) around the edges. Remove from heat. Taste a little piece and add more salt & pepper if necessary.
- Assemble sandwiches with mayo, tofu slices, pickled veggies, cilantro and serve with sriracha.
For the pickled veggies: if you can't find daikon, just skip it. And if you're sensitive to spice, go light on the jalapeños.
Other ideas: add sautéed shiitake mushrooms or slices of avocado.