Monday, January 11, 2010

Vegetarian Banh Mi

In celebration of my mentor's glorious return to the blogosphere I decided to cook whatever he did, but vegetarian style. This sandwich is absolutely delicious with so many different tastes coming through: the strong meaty flavors of the tofu and marinade, the sour of the slaw, the creaminess of the mayonnaise, the spice of the Sriracha sauce, texture of the fried egg, and chewiness of the bread. All of these in every bite, it is really an incredible sandwich. So good that Ms. gorgeous and I cooked it again two nights ago. It took a while to make all the separate pieces but it was well worth it.

The basic set-up for the sandwich is the following; bread, protein (meat/tofu), pickled vegetable, spice, mustard/mayonnaise (optional), herbs (optional), plus much more. Below are the different parts that I cooked to create my sandwich.

For the tofu portion, I found a recipe here. Seems like the entire site is focused on the Banh Mi so you can really research the different possibilities. Letting the tofu marinade was great because it absorbed a lot of the flavor in the marinade and it cooked very easily due to the oil it has soaked up.

For the pickled portion, I made a simple vinegar slaw with radishes and carrots. I boiled about a cup of vinegar, 1/2 a cup of sugar, some onions, and a mixture of spices (Turmeric, salt, mustard seed). After the onion softened I poured it over the carrots and radish mixture. Very good.

I was going to make my own mayonnaise but I did not get to it, but I had made my own bread earlier that day. The yeast was a little dead but they still had a little metabolism left.

Finally, I added a fried egg to the sandwich. Fried eggs fit into the category of "never a bad idea to add to a ________". It held true for this meal.
Assembly was fun. Squirt some mayonnaise and Sriracha sauce on the different sides of bread. Add the tofu slices and some slaw. Finally top with the fried egg, some chopped cilantro, and a little pepper. It is ready to enjoy.