Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Veg Báhn Mí

So, just over a week after writing that I prefer not to recreate traditional dishes without meat, I'm posting about a vegetarian version of Báhn Mí. But, I've never had the meat version of the Vietnamese sandwich, so for me, it's a new discovery and not a re-creation. (For those who have had the "real" thing, it's probably best to think of this as an interesting sandwich involving tofu, rather than expecting it to taste like the meat version.)

The sandwich starts with tofu that has been marinated in a mixture of lemongrass, garlic, soy sauce, black pepper, peanut oil and sesame oil, and then lightly pan fried. (The recipe also included salt in the marinade, but I omitted it because soy sauce tends to have plenty of sodium). Next, the tofu is placed on a baguette, and topped with pickled carrot, red onion and cilantro. The result is a tasty sandwich, which is good whether the tofu is hot or cold.

My mini-baguette was only big enough for two sandwiches. I didn't feel like heading back to the store mid-week, so I ate the remaining sandwich toppings over couscous, which was also very good. The tofu marinade is a tasty one; as the recipe creators observed, the marinated tofu could be used in a number of dishes, although I especially like eating it with the pickled carrots, cilantro and red onion.


vb said...

Great bahn mi! I love them. Here in Seattle's they are available everywhere in the International Districtand often for under $2! But I also love to make them at home after buying the baguettes 3/$1 in a Vietnamese deli. I think I might have to make some very soon.

Beatrice said...

How lucky you are!

The "international district" sounds like a great place to visit.


Michelle said...

Funny, I always get a tofu Bahn Mi when I'm in Chinatown here in Boston. Nothing odd about this cultural dish being vegetarian! They are great sandwiches. Now if only they served 'em on whole wheat bread... :-)

Beatrice said...

Hi, Michelle. I actually used a whole wheat baguette. It was a little tough, but I think that's b/c it was a couple of days old before I used it.