This Vietnamese Tofu Bánh mì is just like the traditional ones, but made vegan with tofu. It is made with a soft baguette filled with fresh cilantro, pickled daikon radish and carrots and homemade vegan pate and mayonnaise. It is the ultimate comfort lunch recipe that will keep you full and happy.
Without taking my backpack off of my shoulders after coming home from school, I would grab one of the Bánh mì my mom bought off the kitchen table and bite into it, crumbs falling off everywhere. I’m usually not that of a messy eater, but when it comes to sandwiches especially when they are still warm and toasty, the crumbs are a must.
My mom didn’t frequent the Vietnamese neighborhood from where I grew up that often as it was further out than where we lived and she doesn’t always have enough time after her grocery stops in Chinatown, worried that she would not get back home in time with my dad to pick my brother and I up from school (even though our bus stops were only a few blocks away from our house). However, whenever she does, she would get everyone a Bánh mì sandwich from one of her favorite Vietnamese cafes to have for lunch.
Bánh mì is a popular Vietnamese sandwich influenced by the French. It basically translates to bread in Vietnamese, served with a type of short baguette with a thin, crispy crust and soft inside texture, pork sausage, pickled daikon radishes and carrots, cilantro, pate and/or mayonnaise, and a light drizzle of soy sauce.
My mom always buys an extra so that my brother and I can split one for lunch the next day, though if she let me, I could finish one whole Bánh mì along with the other half. I’ll sit on the kitchen floor with my backpack still on me, eating the sandwich while watching her put the remaining groceries away, wondering if she’d eaten yet. She could go the entire day without eating until dinner sometimes and even then, does not eat a lot, always wanting to save whatever she made for me, my siblings and my dad, never wanting much and will be happy and satisfied seeing us happy and fed.
Even though things change everyday and the changes might not always be positive at the moment, we can choose to remember the happy memories, knowing that whatever happens, those memories will never be replaced and will forever be treasured in our hearts.
Let’s make this Bánh mì together! There are a couple parts in which you can prepare in advance and can be refrigerated. Vietnamese baguette can be found in some Asian supermarkets. However, if you cannot find them, a ciabatta roll will be the next best or you can use a traditional baguette, though it would be a bit denser than regular Vietnamese baguettes.