Banh Mi Salad

Banh Mi Salad

The name “Banh Mi” directly translates to bread, which means that the title of this recipe, “Banh Mi Salad”, is an oxymoron and also makes absolutely no sense. Kind of like how the popular drink often referred to as Chai Tea in the U.S., doesn’t make sense because chai means tea. Essentially, this salad combines some of your favorite elements of this wonderful Vietnamese French sandwich without the bread.

Banh Mi Salad Closeup

Of course, if you’d like, you can place all these ingredients onto two slices of baguette and have a pretty good meal, but to heal my junk food eating soul, I decided to incorporate a little greenery. Plus, we’re still in that “new year, new me” phase, right?

Some key components of most Banh Mi sandwiches are pickled vegetables, meat and bread of course, but we’ve already covered that piece. Because this is a vegan and vegetarian blog, I swapped out the meat for marinated and seared tofu for a hit of vegan protein. You can also use tempeh and marinate it in the same way if you prefer it over tofu. The world is your oyster!

Marinated Tofu

Because most people don’t have several days to wait for vegetables to pickle, warming up the pickling liquid speeds up the process so that you can enjoy vinegary goodness in about the same time it takes to marinate and cook your tofu.

Pickled Vegetables

To top it all is a ginger sesame dressing, a naturally tangy and spicy sauce that is versatile and can be used for this salad, spring rolls or whatever your heart desires.

Share this Banh Mi Salad with a friend or keep it all to yourself. Recipe below!

Banh Mi Salad Overhead

Banh Mi Salad

(makes 2 servings) 

 Pickled Vegetables

  • 1 jalapeño, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced thinly
  • 3 radishes, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup of rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tsp black pepper

 Banh Mi Salad

  • 7 oz tofu
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp hoisin
  • 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 head of lettuce  

 Ginger Sesame Dressing

  • 1 1/2 inch of ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame seed
  • 1 tsp sesame seed oil
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

Instructions

  1. Place rice vinegar, water, pepper, and sugar into a small saucepan and cook for about 3-4 minutes or until small bubbles have started to appear on the bottom of the pot.  
  2. Place radishes, cucumber, jalapeño, and carrots into an air right container. Pour rice vinegar mixture into the container with the vegetables until all are covered. Let sit for about an hour or longer.  
  3. Mix sesame oil, tomato paste, chili flakes, lime juice, soy sauce, hoisin, and brown sugar in a container. Slice tofu into cubes and pat dry. Mix tofu with marinade and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Blend ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, sesame seed oil, rice vinegar, olive oil and soy sauce together in a food processor until smooth to create the ginger sesame dressing.
  5. Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Remove tofu from marinade and cook the cubes in the skillet for about 10 minutes or until brown and crispy.
  6. Slice lettuce and top with pickled vegetables, tofu and ginger sesame dressing.

Enjoy!

 

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