8.21.2013

char siu tofu bánh mì



The Food Network is currently airing their fourth season of the Great Food Truck Race. Ever since the first season, when the Nom Nom Truck was a contender, I have been dying to make a bánh mì sandwich, one that is just as great as the Nom Nom Truck's. Difficult to tell though, since I can't taste the show's sandwich.

Last week the Food Network aired a rerun of the first season and all those desires came flooding back: I needed to finally make a bánh mì.

 In recent years, bánh mì, a Vietnamese baguette sandwich, has taken the U.S. by storm. The sandwich, or some variation there of, has shown up in a multitude of places, including the vegan world.  

There is a killer bánh mì sandwich in Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day! by Tamasin Noyes and Celine Steen and Robin Robertson has her own spin on this popular sandwich in One-Dish Vegan called 
the Bánh Mìzza.:

Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!

One-Dish Vegan

Both of the above culinary masterpieces are amazing, so grab the books and start cooking. Naturally, these are not recipes I can share with you, but I can share the version I made.

I chose to make a Char Siu Bánh Mì

First things first:  we need to define just exactly what a "bánh mì" is. It is a Vietnamese baguette  sandwich with a (meat) filling, pickled vegetables, jalapenos, cucumbers and cilantro.

The pickled vegetables are a local replacement for the French cornichon pickles, which was an expensive ingredient for the local folks. The French influence, also responsible for the bread itself, is because of French colonization of the local region in the 1800's.

Char Siu is Asian barbecue pork. It is sweet, sticky, and bright red. Most Asian countries have adopted this Cantonese staple and have adapted it to suit their own needs and tastes. I am falling in line and adapting it to my tastes and needs. I used pressed tofu as the base. After marinating the tofu in the BBQ sauce, I baked it and then broiled it to achieve that  "burnt" or "siu" componenet that this dish is known for. 

I pickled daikon and carrots in a simple brine for about three days before making the sandwich. My bánh mì is served with the char siu, daikon pickles, cilantro, jalapenos, sauteed shiitake and onions, and my Cilantro-Sriracha Sauce

It is a little involved to make this sandwich: pickling the veggies, pressing and baking the tofu and all that slicing and dicing.  

 The hype alone that surrounds this sandwich is a good enough reason to spend a few hours in the kitchen. Decide for yourself - tasty enough for all that effort? In the end, we thought it was well worth it.


Char Sui Tofu + Daikon and Carrot Pickles + Cilanto-Sriracha Sauce 








21 comments:

  1. Holy cow!!! This looks freaking amazing! Will definitely bookmark this and try it. Yum, yum, yum.

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  2. Oh WOW! Bahn mi is my favorite. I really want to make this!

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    1. I didn't know it till I made it, but it is one of my faves as well now. Thanks for visiting.

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  3. I loved the history behind the recipe. Can't wait to see more food truck food!

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  4. Yummy! That char siu tofu looks sooooo delicious, I bet these are yummy in bao zi!

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    1. I think it would, too. That's the latest "new" thing here. I bet you know loads about great Asian foods!

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  5. I wish we had Vegan Food Trucks nearby!
    Hiya! Vegan MoFo Hoppin'! Nice place you have here! May I link you and visit and comment often!? Swing by my place and let me know!

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    1. Please comment and I'll comment on yours, too!

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  6. That tofu looks amazingly good! I'm going to give this a go :)

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  7. Wow! That looks totally worth it, I want to make it!

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  8. I love bahn mi in all forms, and that one looks great!

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  9. Definitely making this soon! Looks awesome!

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  10. I have always called you Vegan Aide, is Zsu your name? So glad to have found your new nifty site with as usual superb cooking. sandwiches are the best. Congrats on the new site and Happy MoFo 2013.

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    1. Good to meet you, GiGi, is it? Aren't you missing? Happy MoFo to you, too! This is our fourth one together!

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  11. Yep GiGi would say nice to meet you too.
    Yes this would be our 4th year doing MoFo together :)

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