Banh mi is one of my favourite lunches but unfortunately there is nowhere near my work to get a good one, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and whip up some of my own! Complete with pickled veggies and plenty of chilli, this recipe for lemongrass tofu banh mi is definitely a winner!
In an attempt to make these as close to the real-deal as possible I picked up some rolls from the Vietnamese bakery close to my house (which incidentally does delicious banh mi!), but any soft roll will work (even better if it has at least a little crunch on the outside). Stay away from super crunchy or artisan-style rolls though, they tend to be a little too chewy for banh mi. A french baguette cut into smaller portions is an excellent option!
This list of ingredients and steps might look a little long, but it’s all very easy so don’t let it put you off. Also, it makes enough for quite a banh mi, so that’s even better!
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 medium daikon
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1tsp salt
- 1 cup water
- 250g firm tofu
- 2 stems lemongrass
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2tbs soy sauce
- 1tbs chilli sauce
- 1tbs sesame oil
- 1tbs flavourless oil
- Bread rolls
- 2 red chillis
For the Pickled Vegetables
- Slice the carrots and daikon into thin matchsticks
- Combine the vinegars, sugar, salt and water in a bowl and whisk together
- Pop the vegetables in a jar and pour over the vinegar mixture, ensuring it completely covers the veggies. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, but you can keep them for up to a week
- Drain before using.
For the Lemongrass Tofu
- Cut the tofu into long strips, roughly 1cm in width, then press between paper towel to drain any excess liquid
- Finely mince the lemongrass and garlic, then whisk together with the soy sauce, chilli sauce and oils
- Coat the tofu in the marinade on both sides and place in a tray, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour
- When ready to eat, cook the tofu in a frypan until browned and crispy on each side
To Make the Banh Mi
- Slice the rolls lengthwise and spread with a generous amount of mayonnaise
- Thinly slice the cucumber and arrange inside the rolls with the pickled carrot and daikon and slices of tofu
- Roughly chop the coriander and chilli and add to the rolls
Boy these are tasty, they definitely fill the banh mi gap in my lunch options near work (plus, I prefer to take my own lunch anyway!). I’ve even found that you can heat the tofu in a sandwich press to keep it nice and crispy, rather than just heating it in the microwave which just makes them that much better.
Go as hard as you like on the chilli front, there’s a little kick to the lemongrass marinade, but there’s definitely room for plenty of fresh chilli in the banh mi as well, if that’s your thing of course! If you want to make these vegan friendly then either sub in some vegan mayo or something like nuttelex, and other than that you’re good to go!
See, it’s super easy to make lemongrass tofu banh mi at home! Are you a banh mi fan too?
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