This Tofu Banh Mi is a delicious vegan version of the classic sandwich. It's made with pan-fried and marinated tofu and pickled vegetables, then topped with vegan mayo, cilantro and sriracha for an easy, flavor-packed meal.
It's about time I share this tofu banh mi recipe! I created it a couple of months ago, and it's the ultimate vegan sandwich (in my opinion).
You should know by now that I love tofu. I love it in tofu curry, in this tofu quinoa bowl and I really love it by itself, aka crispy baked tofu.
But tofu in a sandwich? That's next level! Let's walk through how to make this ridiculously good sandwich recipe.
- A delicious way to enjoy tofu
- Similar to my banh mi bowl, but vegan-friendly
- Loaded with flavor: marinated tofu, pickled vegetables AND cilantro/sriracha
Tofu - Extra firm. If you use firm or silken tofu, the tofu won't get crispy.
Coconut aminos - Can sub soy sauce; you should be able to find coconut aminos in the asian food aisle or with the condiments at most grocery stores.
Toppings - The key to banh mi is pickled vegetables, in this case, a combination of carrots, cucumber and radishes. If you're in a hurry, you don't have to pickle the vegetables, but it really only takes 10-15 minutes.
Step 1: Make the pickled vegetables. Add the sliced vegetables to a bowl or jar, then pour the vinegar overtop. Let the vegetables sit for at least 10 minutes, or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
The longer they sit, the more fermented they'll be. But, if you're in a hurry, 10 minutes will do!
Step 2: Cook the tofu. Add the sliced tofu to a bag with coconut aminos and cornstarch. Shake the bag so that the tofu is coated, then place it into a skillet with a little oil and fry the tofu on all sides until it's crispy, about 5 minutes.
Then, pour the sauce into the skillet and stir the tofu around until it's coated in the sauce.
Step 3: Assemble the sandwich. Spread vegan mayo on half of the baguette, then top it with the marinated tofu and pickled veggies, cilantro, and sriracha
Tips and FAQs
-Make sure to slice the tofu into thin "blocks"; that way, they're easier to fit onto a sandwich.
-I like using a combination of rice vinegar and white vinegar, but you absolutely just use one or the other if you don't have both on hand.
What's typically on a banh mi sandwich?
According to the Spruce Eats, banh mi is usually made up of meat, pickles, vegetables, chili, and mayonnaise on a crusty baguette.
This vegan version is similar, only instead of meat it uses tofu and it omits any cheese that you sometimes find on a banh mi sandwich.
What kind of tofu should I use?
Anytime you're frying tofu, you want to make sure to use extra/super firm tofu. Regular firm or silken tofu won't result in crispy tofu, and we definitely want crispy tofu!
Can I make this ahead of time?
Kind of. You can definitely pickle the vegetables ahead of time -- just store them in the refrigerator until you're ready to use them -- and you can press the tofu ahead of time.
But, I would wait to cook the tofu until you're ready to eat the sandwiches. Marinated tofu doesn't reheat super well, so I'd opt to eat it fresh if you can!
More tasty tofu recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Tofu Banh Mi Sandwich
- 1 block extra firm tofu pressed
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
for the pickled vegetables:
- ½ cup matchstick carrots
- ½ cup cucumber thinly sliced
- 5 radishes thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeño thinly sliced, optional
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup white vinegar
for the sauce:
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ¼ cup coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon fresh ginger grated
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- cilantro, vegan mayo, sriracha
- 1 french baguette
- Begin by pickling the vegetables: add the carrots, cucumber, radishes, and jalapeño (optional) to a jar or bowl, then pour the vinegar overtop. Let them sit for at least 10 minutes, or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
- If you haven't already, use a clean kitchen towel (or a tofu press) to press as much liquid out of the tofu as you can. Then, slice the tofu into larger bricks and place them in a plastic ziploc bag. Add 1 tablespoon coconut aminos and 2 tablespoon cornstarch to the bag, then seal it shut and shake it so that the tofu is coated.
- Heat oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high, then add the tofu to the skillet and fry on all sides until golden brown. This should take around 5 minutes total.
- While the tofu is frying, make the sauce: whisk all sauce ingredients together in a bowl then set aside.
- Once the tofu is cooked, reduce the heat to low then pour in the sauce and stir until the tofu is coated; remove from the heat.
- Last, assemble the sandwich: slice the baguette, then add vegan mayo on one side of it. Then top it with the cooked tofu, pickled vegetables and any additional toppings you want (think: cilantro, sriracha, etc.) and enjoy!
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