Try This—Tofu Bánh Mì (the vegetarian-friendly spin on the classic Vietnamese Sandwich )

I’m so excited to be sharing this recipe with you guys! Maybe you haven’t had the pleasure of eating a Bánh Mì yet. Maybe you’ve never heard of the deliciousness that is this Vietnamese sandwich. Maybe you’ve had the pulled pork version, but since you’ve gone vegetarian you’ve been denied of Bánh Mì glory. Either way, I have the perfect recipe to remedy your Bánh Mì woes.

A while back I shared a tofu bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich recipe that, up until now, I thought was everything. I still love a good T-blt, but this bánh mì is giving me life! It’s a little bit spicy, a little bit crunchy, a little bit sweet, and a little bit crisp. It’s just perfect. After some experimentation with how I prepared the tofu, I’m pretty sure I’ve got the balance right. You soooooo need to try this!

There are a lot of Bánh Mì recipes out there and each one I’ve seen forgets a crucial step that, to me, takes away from the overall texture of the tofu in the finished dish. I absolutely always freeze and then thaw the tofu before making my Bánh Mì. This step is crucial. Freezing and then thawing your tofu will change it’s texture making it easier to work with and making the marinade absorb better.

Tofu Bánh Mì


1 package extra-firm tofu, pressed
1 large carrot, shredded
3 tbsp rice vinegar
6 tbsp sugar
¼ cup butter, at room temperature, or mayonnaise
1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
⅓ cup soy sauce
1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
1½ tsp black pepper
1 baguette
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
½ small cucumber, cut into strips
2 medium fresh jalapeños, seeded and cut into thin strips


  • Begin by pressing the excess water from the tofu, slice it, and then freeze it overnight
  • In the morning, place the tofu in the refrigerator to thaw it
  • Combine the shredded carrot, 2tbsp of the rice vinegar, 1 tbsp of the sugar, and a large pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
  • In separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and the Sriracha
  • Put the remaining 5 tbsp of sugar and 1 tablespoon water in a large skillet over medium-low heat
  • Cook the sugar/water until the sugar somewhat melts into a golden brown, gooey consistency (about 10 minutes)
  • Slowly add in the soy sauce and then add the onion.
  • Cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender (about 8 to 10 minutes)
  • Add the thawed tofu and the black pepper
  • Cook the tofu until it has absorbed most of the sauce, turning it occasionally (about 15 minutes)
  • Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon rice vinegar and remove from the heat.

To Assemble Your Sandwich

  • Slice the baguette and remove some of the inner part of the bread.
  • Spread the Sriracha mayo on the bottom half of the baguette
  • Arrange your tofu on the baguette
  • Drain the carrot mixture and add the cilantro, sliced cucumber, and the jalapeños
  • Enjoy!

Images: Lazy Cat Kitchen

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