Vegetarian Lunch Idea – Tofu Bánh Mì Thịt Nướng

Bánh Mì Thịt Nướng is a traditional Vietnamese sandwich that is typically a baguette stuffed with barbecued pork, pickled vegetables, cilantro, mayonnaise and soy sauce. Say what? No worries, we can turn this into a healthy, vegetarian version easily, which is also known as a Bánh Mì Chay (with a few healthy substitutions, of course!).

1 block of extra firm tofu
½ tbsp Hoisin sauce/barbecue sauce
1 tsp Sriracha
Canola oil (any non flavored vegetable oil) for shallow-frying
Baguette or French roll
Pickled carrot strips (see below)
Pickled daikon strips (see below)
Cucumber strips

Spread (optional)
1 tbsp mayo (for a plant-based diet, use yogurt)
½ tbsp Hoisin sauce
A squeeze of Sriracha

Two ways to make Vietnamese-style pickled carrots and daikon
The preferred way
½ cup julienned (thinly cut) carrot strips
½ cup julienned (thinly cut) daikon strips
-Dissolve 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp salt into 2 cups drinking water and ½ cup white/rice vinegar
-Place the carrots and daikon strips in a glass jar or a ziploc bag.
-Fill the pickling liquid to fully submerge carrots and daikons
-Let it sit for 1-2 days
-The pickles can last up to 3 weeks in the fridge.

The lazy way
-½ cup julienned (thinly cut) carrot strips
-½ cup julienned (thinly cut) daikon strips
-Mix carrot and daikon with a pinch of salt and sugar, and a splash of white/ rice vinegar
-Let it sit for 15-20 minutes.

Lightly spread on both sides of a baguette or French roll. Toast the bread in an oven at 350F/170C for 5-7 minutes until golden brown.
There are two delicious and easy styles that we recommend you to try. First style: simply take a block of extra-firm tofu, cut off a couple thin slices, sauté them in a pan over medium heat with hoisin sauce (alternatively, you can use your favorite hot sauce or barbecue sauce). Second style: cut the extra-firm tofu block into small cubes. Then, shallow-fry the tofu cubes until crispy, drain off the excess oil, and toss them with ½ tbsp hoisin sauce and 1 tsp Sriracha. Once the tofu is cooked, stuff in a baguette or a French roll with fresh cilantro, pickled carrots and daikon, and thinly cut cucumber. You will then have a delightful, fresh and mouth-watering Bánh Mì Thịt Nướng to be proud of!