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Easy Tofu Bahn Mi

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Bahn mi was one of my greatest finds in NYC. Prior to moving there, I had never heard of it. I love the crunch of crisp bread, fresh veggies, and a nice tangy spicy sauce. Liberal use of sriracha is encouraged with a bottle always close by to the checkout station. During COVID lockdown – I decided to recreate a lot of my favorite dishes to enjoy at home. This recipe has simple ingredients that taste great with fresh veggies and french bread.

I took a few shortcuts and liberties to alter the recipe that I am posting. The picture is Italian bread. I used that because I just love to stuff my sandwiches. It’s thicker and easier to incorporate more toppings. But traditionally french baguette is used. I would encourage you to use the type of bread you like best – but whatever you use it needs a crust.

Ingredients makes 1 sandwich using 1 foot bread:

  • 1 foot french baguette (or Italian bread)
  • 1 carrot sliced into thin strips
  • 1 small white onion sliced into thin strips
  • 1 small cucumber sliced into thin strips
  • 1 jalapeno sliced into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon may or vegan mayo
  • 1/2 tablespoon of sriracha (or less according to taste)
  • 1 package of tofu ~ 14 ounces cut into 8-10 long thick strips. (Width of the strips should be a be less then the width of the bread and thickness should be 1/4 to 1/2 inch.)

For marinade sauce:

  • 2 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of sriracha
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lime/lemon juice
  • 1-2 tablespoon of minced cilantro
  • 1-2 tablespoons of ghee
  • dash of onion powder (less then 1/4 teaspoon)
  • dash of onion powder (less then 1/4 teaspoon)

Cooking and Assembly:

  • The tofu will need to marinade in the sauce for at least 1 hour. The ideal is overnight if possible, but not necessary. In a bowl mix all ingredients for the marinade. Take each thick strip of tofu to place in a Tupperware or closed container that all can fit in. Ideally if the tofu is stacked that works best. The way I usually do this is add a teaspoon of the marinade – spread it around and cover the bottom with tofu without breaking the strip. You can use a brush but the back of a spoon works just fine. Spread another teaspoon on top of the tofu and then stack the strips on top and so on. With any left over marinade I make sure the sides are covered. If there is still marinade left then pour over the top. Once this is complete put lid on and shake lightly for a few seconds. Put in fridge for 1 hour – overnight.
  • After you have finished marinading the tofu take out of fridge. It is ready to cook. In a frying pan add some ghee (~ 1/2 – 1 teaspoons depending on size of pan) and add each tofu strip at a time. Make sure you cook all four sides. Just the ghee instead of oil or butter to cook up the tofu. Use a little bit of ghee at a time until all of the tofu is cooked. Once this is done set aside. You are ready to assemble the bahn mi.
  • Cut the bread lengthwise so you can fill it with veggies and tofu. I like to lightly toast the bread. But it still tastes great without toasting.
  • Spread the mayo on one side of the bread. On the same side spread the sriracha ( You can skip this if it is too spicy). On the other side add the tofu. I like to layer tofu in two on my bread. Fill to your desire. Then add onions, carrots, cucumber, cilantro ( feel free to skip the cilantro if you hate it), and jalapeno.
  • Ready to eat!

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