Veggie Banh Mi Bowls with Crispy Tofu
The classic Vietnamese bánh mì sammie (you know, roast pork, spicy mayo and pickled veggies) is hard to beat. But this vegetarian version from Molly Krebs’s new cookbook, Eat More Plants, rivals the best sandwiches around—all while served in a bowl, no less.
“Banh mi sandwiches are one of my favorites,” Krebs writes. “The combination of a crusty fresh baguette, roasted pork, Sriracha mayonnaise, cilantro and tangy pickled vegetables is a flavor- and texture-lover’s dream. These bowls are my deconstructed version of the delectable sandwich, using the crispiest pan-fried tofu and finished with quick pickled veggies and a healthy drizzle of my Sriracha mayonnaise.”
“I love using quinoa or brown rice for these bowls,” she continues, “but I’ve also used cauliflower rice many times for an extra veggie boost.”
We’ll take ours with extra mayo, please.
Reprinted with permission from Eat More Plants by Molly Krebs, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019.
Two 14-ounce (420g) packages extra-firm tofu
1 tablespoon (15 ml) rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon (15 ml) soy sauce
1 tablespoon (15 ml) sesame oil
2 teaspoons (10 ml) Sriracha
½ teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoon (18 g) cornstarch
¼ cup (60 ml) vegetable or canola oil
½ cup (110g) mayonnaise
Juice of ½ lime
1 tablespoon (15 ml) Sriracha
1 garlic clove, minced
Pinch of kosher salt, plus more as needed
3 cups (555g) cooked quinoa or brown rice
Store-bought pickled vegetables (such as carrots, onion and daikon), for serving
Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, for serving
Thinly sliced jalapeño, for serving
Sesame seeds, for serving
1. Prepare the Tofu: Using paper towels, dish towels or a tofu press, press as much water as you can out of the tofu. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes and place them in a medium bowl.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, Sriracha and garlic powder. Pour the mixture over the tofu and gently toss to coat. Let the tofu marinate for 30 minutes (or longer if possible), stirring a couple of times during the marinating time.
3. Make the Sriracha Mayonnaise: Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lime juice, Sriracha, garlic and salt until the mixture is smooth. Season with additional salt to taste.
4. Drain the marinade from the tofu. Add the cornstarch and gently stir the tofu to coat. Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the vegetable oil. Fry the tofu until it is deeply golden and crispy, about 5 minutes per side. Drain the tofu on paper towels.
5. To assemble the bowls, top the quinoa with the tofu, pickled vegetables, cilantro, jalapeño, Sriracha mayonnaise and sesame seeds.