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Tofu Bánh Mì

Photo: Thomas J. Story

Active time 1 hr, 15 mins
Total time 4 hrs, 15 mins

Serves 6

The vegan bánh mì at Tiger!Tiger!, a San Diego pub specializing in sandwiches, is every bit as hearty as its meaty cousins. The original recipe is complicated, but you can create a delicious version fairly quickly with a few shortcuts. Toss shredded daikon and carrots with seasoned rice vinegar; season mayo with minced chipotle chile; and season hoisin with minced ginger and lemongrass. Layer into a baguette with sprigs of cilantro and this super-flavorful tofu. Short skewers help hold the sandwich together.


  • TOFU
  • 20 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped lemongrass (tender inner part)
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise (vegan or regular)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chile
  • 1 cup coarsely shredded carrots (for best-looking shreds, use a hand-held slicer or food processor)
  • 1 cup coarsely shredded daikon (for best-looking shreds, use a hand-held slicer or food processor)
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 soft, light French bread (1 lb., 4 in. wide)
  • 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro sprigs

Nutrition Information

  • calories 588
  • caloriesfromfat 29 %
  • protein 22 g
  • fat 19 g
  • satfat 2.4 g
  • carbohydrate 82 g
  • fiber 5.1 g
  • sodium 1412 mg
  • cholesterol 7.2 mg

How to Make It

  1. Prepare tofu: Cut tofu into 7 or 8 slices, each 1/2-in. thick and about 4 by 2 in., and set in a 9- by 13-in. dish. In a food processor, whirl lemongrass to mince; set aside 1 tsp. Whirl ginger and garlic with remaining lemongrass to mince. Add 2 tbsp. water and the remaining tofu ingredients; whirl to blend. Spoon marinade over tofu and turn to coat, distributing seasonings. Chill, covered, at least 3 hours, turning occasionally.

  2. Meanwhile, make sauces: In a small bowl, combine hoisin, reserved lemongrass, and the ginger. In another small bowl, combine mayonnaise and chipotle. Chill.

  3. Finish sandwiches: Preheat oven to 450°. In a bowl, combine carrots, daikon, and vinegar; set aside. Set tofu on an oiled baking sheet, brushing off seasonings with fingers. Bake tofu until browned and a little crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. During last 5 minutes, set bread on oven rack to crisp.

  4. Brush tofu generously with hoisin sauce. Split bread lengthwise and spread cut sides with chipotle mayo. Overlap tofu on bottom of bread. Drain carrot mixture (pat dry if quite wet) and arrange over tofu with cucumber and cilantro. Set top of bread in place and secure sandwich with short skewers. Cut into portions.

  5. Make ahead: Through step 2, up 1 day, chilled.

Tiger!Tiger!, San Diego