Vietnamese bánh mì sandwiches are very popular here in NYC. In my neighborhood alone, I know of at least 3 places that serve up this ‘Saigon Sub’. This tasty sammie is traditionally made with pickled carrots, daikon radish, cucumber, chili sauce, mayo, soy sauce and choice of protein (pork, chicken, beef, tofu) between a toasty French baguette. While I usually stick to tofu, a lot of places offer “fake” meat – not my favorite.
Don’t shy away from the long list of veggies! Any leftovers can be transformed into an Asian-inspired salad with a little store-bought miso-ginger or peanut dressing. This sandwich also stores surprisingly well for a picnic or workweek lunch. Just press and wrap tightly in plastic wrap (be sure to keep cool until ready to eat).
Vietnamese Bánh Mì
Makes 1 large sandwich (2 servings)
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp. honey or agave
- 1/2–1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup shredded radish
- 1/4 cup shredded carrot
- 1/2 French baguette, split in half lengthwise
- 1 Tbs. low-fat mayonnaise or Vegenaise
- 1 tsp. red chile sauce, such as Sriracha
- 1/4 tsp. tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 block extra-firm tofu, drained well
- 1 T. canola oil
- 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
- Handful cilantro
- 1 medium tomato, sliced (optional)
- 4 lettuce leaves, torn
- Combine vinegar, honey or agave, and red pepper flakes in small bowl. Add radish and carrot, and stir to mix. Let stand 15 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Slice drained tofu lengthwise into 1/4-inch pieces. Sandwich tofu between sheets of paper towel and gently press until fairly dry. In a large skillet, heat 1 T. canola oil over medium-high heat. Saute tofu until golden brown and crispy.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place baguette on baking sheet, and crisp 5 minutes in oven. Cool 2 to 3 minutes.
- Spread mayonnaise on both sides of bread. Sprinkle with red chile sauce and tamari or soy sauce. Fill with tofu, cucumber, and cilantro. Drain carrot-radish mixture, and spread on sandwich. Top with tomato and lettuce, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Press top half of baguette on sandwich, and slice sandwich in half.