If you've had a conversation with me in the past week, chances are my love for a good tofu bahn mi was mentioned one or nine times. I'm serious when I say that if I could marry a sandwich this one would be it.
Now, because this is a very very messy sandwich, I suggest that you don't take it work, or eat it while wearing white pants, or try to eat it in the car. But then again, white pants can be washed, a car can be vacuumed, and your coworkers would probably appreciate this amazing sandwich gracing their break room. So screw it. Take this sandwich everywhere. Here's the recipe!
Adapted from Marin Mama Cooks
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 large carrot,
1/4 to 1/2 of a red onion
Boil vinegar, water, and sugar on a medium heat until sugar dissolves. Set the mixture in a bowl and in the fridge to cool while slicing vegetables. Grate the carrot, and thinly slice the red onion and add to the mixture. Set aside for a minimum of thirty minutes for very strong flavor, but if you're in a time crunch (or just impatient, like me) ten minutes will do just fine.
(sounds gross but is SO GOOD)
6 tablespoons mayonnaise (or veganaise for a completely vegan version)
2 tablespoons sriracha
2 teaspoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
Mix together in a bowl and set aside. You can add more sriracha is you're braver than me.
1 package extra firm tofu
1 clove garlic,
1/4 cup lemon juice
You won't use all of the package on one bahn mi, but if you become a bahn mi addict you'll want to keep your fridge stocked with tofu. Start by draining the tofu, cutting about four thin slivers, cutting them into triangles, pressing them with a paper towel to get rid of all the tofu juice (ew), then marinate them in a little lemon juice and some garlic. Get a frying pan hot and then fry the tofu in a little light olive oil until each piece is crispy, brown, and appears edible.
Now, take out a loaf of French bread (softer is better in this case) and slice an extra large piece. Cut the piece all most in half, but leave it not cut all the way (like a Publix sub). Spread your sriracha mayonnaise on both sides, then put in half of the tofu, then I like to add a little straight sriracha to make myself feel daring, then add the pickled veggies (after draining off the vinegar), drizzle some more sriracha mayo, and finally, add some fresh cucumber slices.
You can also add jalapeños and cilantro but I hate both of those food items and choose to leave them off.
*cilantro added only for the purpose of creating a pretty photo*
Now grab several napkins, a glass of ice water, inform your loved ones not to disturb you for fifteen minutes, and dig in!