Bánh Mì with lemongrass tofu


I’ve been to Vietnam, but I didn’t have a Bánh Mì there.  I did have really good Vietnamese coffee, fresh coconut juice sipped out of a plastic baggie, and sticky rice with fried onions from a brimming pot on a street corner.  Hanoi didn’t particularly cater to vegetarians and I’m not really a sandwich kind of gal.  Even after moving to San Francisco, where Bánh Mì’s are all the craze, where people line up around the block during lunch hour, I wasn’t intrigued, not even a little.


But one magical day, I was brought one.  It was placed in my hand, and since then, I dream of these sandwiches. I finally had to own up and say, I can do this. I say I know how to cook, I call myself adventurous, a problem solver. Then I found this breath-takingly simple recipe and the entire endeavor was sort of anti climactic.

But in any case,  its a perfect recipe. And suddenly saying, I think I’ll just have a sandwich at home means much more than that.

Bánh Mì with Lemongrass Tofu
Makes 2 sandwiches (adapted from the kitchn website)

2 (8-inch) baguettes (preferably a soft sandwich-style bread)


Do chua (pickles):

1 cup julienned daikon
1 cup julienned carrots
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 cup water


10 oz firm tofu sliced
2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic minced
2 bulbs of lemon grass minced or grated


4 tablespoons mayonnaise (use vegan mayo for a vegan version of this recipe)
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1-2 tsp siracha sauce (optional)
1-2 tsp soy sauce (optional)

Additional fillings and garnishes:

1 medium cucumber, sliced lengthwise
1 or 2 jalapeño peppers, sliced, leave the seeds in if you want it spicy, remove them if not
Small handful cilantro

For the do chua (pickles):

In a large bowl, combine sugar, salt, vinegar, and water. Add daikon and carrots and toss. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Drain completely before using. (adjust sugar and vinegar to taste preferences)

While the pickles are pickling, make the tofu

For the Tofu:

Cut tofu into 1/4-inch thick slices and press between clean kitchen towels or paper towels to rid of excess water. In a shallow dish, combine soy sauce, vegetable oil, sesame oil, lemongrass, and garlic. Place tofu slices in the dish, gently coat slices with marinade, and arrange so they overlap as little as possible. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Cook in a skillet over medium heat until brown and crisp on each side

For the spread:

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, siracha, soy sauce, and cilantro

To serve:

Slice baguettes lengthwise, leaving one side as a hinge. Spread mayonnaise on top and bottom halves. Arrange fillings and garnishes: cucumber, do chua, tofu, jalapeño, cilantro

  1. i saw this photo on tastespotting and mosey’d on over, only to find an incredibly cute blog! loving it. i’ll be back!

  2. vietnamese food is the best! You have such a beautiful blog!!

  3. thanks for coming by. lis du tigre is pretty beautiful as well!

  4. Banh ME!

  5. hey, thanks for the roasted peanut sushi suggestion…I had NEVER thought of that!

    These look absolumazing. Have you read David Chang’s Momofuku cookbook? My one qualm about his stuff is that it’s all pork-belly-carnivore-madness. Thanks for offering an alternative!
    Joanna @ Stoveless

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