Sometimes my favorite recipes are the mash-ups that I have to come up with on the fly. This deconstructed banh mi recipe is one of those.
I love a banh mi sandwich. Savory tofu, a spicy spread, and vinegary pickled veggies just warm my heart. Slap those suckers onto crusty bread, and you have got a seriously awesome sandwich.
For this month’s sponsored EZ Tofu press recipe, I really wanted to come up with a banh mi recipe that was simple and satisfying. I headed straight to the farmers market for a loaf of crusty bread. And that loaf of bread sat on my kitchen table for three days. D’oh!
Pressing the tofu with a good tofu press is super important. You want your tofu to soak in lots of that salty, citrusy, spicy marinade!
This deconstructed banh mi recipe is like the sandwich in salad form.
- 1 block extra firm tofu pressed and cut into 1/2" cubes
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 small small jalapeno minced (remove the seeds, if you prefer less heat)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 3/4 cup shredded carrots
- 3/4 cup radish slices Cut them as thinly as you can.
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 a baguette cut into cubes (about 4 cups of bread)
- 4 cups bibb lettuce chopped (optional)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
In a small bowl, toss together the tofu with the soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, and jalapeno. Set aside.
In another bowl, combine the water, vinegar, carrots, and radishes. Set this aside and let the veggies marinate on the counter for at least half an hour.
Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in your frying pan on medium low, and saute the bread for about 8-10 minutes, until it’s nice and browned. Make sure you stir frequently and get all of that bread coated in oil. Transfer to your serving bowl.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil on medium high. Cook the tofu and marinade, stirring, until the tofu begins to brown, around 7-9 minutes.
Transfer the tofu into the bowl with the bread.
Drain the veggies, reserving 1/4 cup of the marinade. Toss the veggies and marinade with the bread and tofu. Let the salad stand for at least 30 minutes before serving on a bed of lettuce with a couple of tablespoons of cilantro on top of each bowl.
Instead of daikon and Thai chilis, this banh mi recipe uses regular ol’ radishes and a jalapeno. I try to use easily accessible ingredients, but if you do have access to daikon radish and red Thai chilis, by all means substitute them in! You’ll need 2-3 small Thai chilis to replace the jalapeno.