Monday, March 19, 2012

lemon and garlic tofu banh mi

Banh mi's are quite possibly the perfect sandwich. There's creamy mayo, a kick from the jalapenos, and that tart sourness from the pickled vegetables. They're usually on a baguette or some form of a french roll. And then there's a whole range of proteins you can pick like BBQ pork, meatballs, beef, etc.

I saw this recipe on The Kitchn and was inspired to play around with my own flavors. The flavors were ridiculously good. The sandwich was simple to put together and pretty inexpensive. 

I switched up a few ingredients to use what was more readily available at my market. So this isn't necessarily a traditional banh mi, but it's pretty dang good.

We have leftovers of all the ingredients except for the bread. We're thinking of setting up a "deconstructed banh mi" for dinner tomorrow with tofu, pickled veggies, cilantro, and jalapeno over coconut rice. 

Lemon and Garlic Tofu Banh Mi
adapted from The Kitchn
(makes 2 sandwiches)

2 demi-baguettes (6-8 inches in length)
4 tablespoons wasabi mayo*
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1 jalapeno, seeded and thinly sliced

Pickled vegetables:
1 cup julienned carrots
1 cup julienned cucumbers
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar**
1/4 cup sherry vinegar**
1 cup water

Marinated lemon and garlic tofu:
8 ounces firm tofu
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 lemon, juiced
4 cloves of garlic, minced

*You can use normal mayo, but the wasabi mayo gives it an extra kick
** These were the vinegars I had at home, but you can totally use whatever vinegars you have (white, cider, etc)

Combine all of the pickled vegetable ingredients together in a bowl. Cover with saran wrap and refridgerate for at least an hour or up to a day.

Slice the tofu into 1/4 inch slices. Press between paper towels to remove excess liquid. Place tofu in a shallow dish. Combine all of the tofu marinade ingredients and pour over all of the tofu. Cover with saran wrap and refridgerate for at least an hour or up to a day.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice baguettes in half vertically. Toast baguette slices until slightly dried out, about 5 minutes. 

In a medium-high pan, sear the tofu slices until golden brown, about 3 minutes on the first side and 2 minutes on the flipped side.

Spread 1 tablespoon of mayo on each baguette slice. Layer tofu slices on the bottom baguette slice. Top with pickled cucumber and carrots. Garnish with jalapeno and cilantro. Top with baguette slice.

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