For my first trick, I’m going to show you how I make vegan spicy teriyaki tofu bahn mi. I’ll take you step by step through pickling carrots and daikon to making your own mushroom and walnut paté.


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vegan tofu banh mi recipe
Vegan Spicy Teriyaki Tofu Banh Mi

For my first trick, I’m going to show you how I make vegan spicy teriyaki tofu bahn mi. I'll take you step by step through pickling carrots and daikon to making your own mushroom and walnut paté. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: sandwich, vegan, Vietnamese
Author: Michael Monson
The components:
  • Bread: you want a nice hoagie style roll or small French style roll. Any bread will do actually, but traditionally this sandwich is served on a small baguette. I found the hoagie rolls in the bakery section of my closest grocery store to be perfect.
  • Pickled daikon and carrots (recipe below)
  • Mushroom onion, and walnut paté (recipe below)
  • Spicy teriyaki tofu (recipe below)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Thinly sliced cucumbers
  • Thinly sliced jalapeno
  • Thinly sliced onion
  • Cilantro
For the pickled daikon and carrots:
  • 1 daikon radish
  • 3 large carrots
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
For the mushroom, onion, and walnut paté:
  • ½ to 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms chopped small pieces
  • 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion, or sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1-2 tablespoon sherry
  • 2 tablespoon vegan butter (I prefer Miyoko's)
  • 1 tablespoon vegan mayo
  • Salt and pepper
For the spicy teriyaki tofu:
  • 1 14 ounce package of firm or extra firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil optional
  • ½ cup of store-bought teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Korean chili flake
  • 1 tablespoon sambal or chili paste
To make the pickled daikon and carrots:
  1. Peel our daikon and carrots and then slice into thin ribbons with a knife or a julienne peeler. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a bowl. Toss the carrot and daikon ribbons in the vinegar mixture and allow to marinade for at least an hour.
  2. This recipe is scale-able depending on the amount of daikon and carrot you have. You want an equal portion of carrots and daikon. The basic pickling liquid ratio is 1 part vinegar to 1 part water to a half part of sugar and ¼ part salt.

To make the mushroom, onion, and Walnut paté:
  1. In a dry pan, lightly toast the walnuts just until they become fragrant. Remove them from the pan. Add the olive oil to the hot pan, and then saute the mushrooms and the onions. When they begin to reduce and start to caramelize, and the garlic powder, onion powder, and thyme. Continue cooking until the mushroom and onions are reduced by half, and nicely caramelized. Deglaze the pan with the sherry, and cook until they sherry has evaporated. Add the walnuts back into the pan, and stir to combine.
  2. Add the cooked mushrooms, onions and walnuts to a food processor and pulse until it starts to puree. Scrape down the sides often to make sure that everything is incorporated. Once you are able to turn on the processor without having to scrape down the sides, you can begin dropping in your vegan butter, about a teaspoon at a time. You want the butter to be solid when it goes in, but be integrated in before you add the next teaspoon. When all of the butter has been incorporated, test to see that the paté is a smooth, paste consistency without any grit or chunks. Add the vegan mayo at the very end, and pulse just enough to incorporate.
  3. Place the paté in a container and let set-up in the fridge for at least an hour. Overnight is best, but an hour is good.
To make the spicy teriyaki tofu:
  1. Freeze the tofu for 24 hours, and then thaw. (If you don't do this step, it's fine. Freezing tofu just gives it a more "meaty" texture.)

  2. Remove as much water as you can from your tofu by gently squeezing it, and then sandwiching it inside of a towel, and placing a heavy pot or pan on top of it. Let it drain for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. While your tofu drains, combine the teriyaki sauce, chili flake and sambal. Stir and set aside.
  4. Slice the tofu into 12-13 rectangles. Dry the tofu again just to make sure that you’ve removed as much moisture and you can.
  5. Oil a large nonstick pan on medium heat, and then add the tofu in a single layer. If your pan isn’t big enough, you might have to work in two batches. Let the tofu cook for about 5 to 7 minutes on the first side. When the rectangles feel crispy to the touch and appear slightly golden brown, them and allow to brown on the other side for about 5 minutes.
  6. Spoon your sauce over the tofu, using the back of your spoon to paint the sauce on evenly. Turn the heat down to medium-low and turn the tofu over; saucing the other side. Allow each side to caramelize for a minute or two.
To assembly your banh mi
  1. Slice your hoagie roll in half, but not all the way through. Add a generous slather of paté to the bottom half, and a slightly less generous slather of mayo to the top. Add as much tofu as you would like, but keep in mind that this sandwich is about balance, so you don’t want to overpower the other ingredients. I usually add about 2 or 3 rectangles of tofu to each of my sandwiches. Top the tofu with a layer of sliced cucumbers, onions and jalapenos. Next, put your pickled daikon and carrot on top, and then finish it off with a small handful of cilantro leaves (still on the stems). Fold the sandwich closed, and devour.

Recipe Notes

These sandwiches save very well. I can usually get about 6 sandwiches out of this batch, with a ton of paté leftover. I just assemble as many sandwiches as I can, and then I wrap them in foil and throw them in the fridge.