Monday, July 29, 2013

Lemongrass Tofu Banh Mi

Now that you have all that delicious carrot pickle on your hands (granted, it's still marinating... right?) what are you going to do with it all? Well, how about a delicious, vegan version of the most common foil for it - the popular Vietnamese sandwich Banh Mi? 

I only stumbled onto the wonders of Banh Mi after removing meat from my diet, so I don't know how authentic using marinated tofu really is. But it doesn't matter - the flavour and texture of the finished product - tangy, crusty sourdough bread, sweet, spicy and sour pickle, lightly crisped, almost floral tofu and spicy-sweet Sriracha laced Veganaise - is out of this world and will tempt vegans and omnivores alike.

*Note: the NI accounts for eating all the marinade. Obviously this isn't the case - only about 19 calories, .6 g fat, 554 mg sodium and .5g carbohydrate are absorbed into the tofu (not the 64 calories,  2.1 g fat,  1,847.8 mg sodium and 1.9 g carbohydrate a serving of just marinade contains)

Lemongrass Tofu Banh Mi
Serves 4

Tofu:
1 (350g) pkg extra-firm tofu, drained
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
5 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce (or tamari)
¼ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
3 tbsp pureed lemongrass (like Gourmet Garden)
1 tbsp coconut oil
 
Sandwich:
4 sourdough demi-baguettes (or 2 regular baguettes, halved crosswise), sliced in half
4 tbsp nayonaise(or homemade vegan mayo)
2 tsp Sriracha (or to taste)
1 cup Spicy Shredded Root Pickle
Thinly sliced cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes and chopped cilantro to taste

Tofu:
  1. Wrap tofu in a clean tea towel and press under a heavy weight for 1 hour.
  2. Slice crosswise into ¼” pieces and set aside.
  3. In a large plastic bag or a shallow glass baking dish, combine the remaining ingredients and shake to distribute well.
  4. Add the tofu, seal the bag and gently distribute the pieces through the marinade (try to get them in one layer).
  5. Let marinate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. Drain the marinade and blot tofu dry with paper towel.
  6. Heat oil in a large non-stick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add the tofu in one layer (you will likely need to do this in batches).
  7. Cook the tofu until both sides are golden brown with a nice firm crust.
Assembly:
  1. Toast the baguette until golden.
  2. Combine the mayonnaise and Sriracha and spread evenly onto one half of each sandwich.
  3. Layer with lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, and tofu.
  4. Top with Spicy Shredded Root Pickle and cilantro to taste.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 569.9
Total Fat: 19.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 3,000.7 mg
Total Carbs: 68.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.1 g
Protein: 18.6 g