Some sandwiches are worth a little effort to make! Try this vegetarian tofu banh mi with mushroom pate and quick pickled vegetables!
Sandwiches are supposed to be a quick and easy meal. Slap some protein (meat, cheese, nut butter, whatever) between two slices a bread. Throw on some vegetables and a condiment or two and you're done. Simple. Fuss free. Satisfying blend of protein and carbs.
But sometimes it's worth it to pull out all the stops and whip up a sandwich that's almost a work of art. Because we all know a sandwich is a million times better when it's crafted with ingredients that are delicious on their own (for evidence, please see leftover Thanksgiving sandwich).
This vegetarian banh mi with spicy baked tofu, umami packed mushroom pate and tart crisp pickled vegetables is everything you want in a sandwich. And as someone who has been to Vietnam and tasted two of the best banh mi's in the country, I can say that even though mine is no where on that level, it invokes all the same flavors and textures.
For the tofu, I used a sriracha baked tofu from Trader Joe's, but feel free to use any type of marinated baked tofu sold at your grocery store. Or, you could marinate and bake your own! Another tasty swap would be tempeh bacon, which you can purchase at most grocery stores or use my recipe.
To save time, you could also search out mushroom pate at the store, which I know I've seen before (but for the life of me can't remember where! Maybe Earth Fare?). But if you like actual pate (I do!), you could always use that. Don't be grossed out. It's just a combination of meat and butter and spices - what's not to like? I know some are made with liver, but if you can get past what it is, liver is a rich source of nutrients like iron, b vitamins and many minerals. If you're worried about health, please know that I ate pate every single day I was in France last month I am still standing ;)
Tofu Banh Mi with Mushroom Pate and Quick Pickled Vegetables
Author: Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE
Serves: Serves 4
- 3/4 cup coconut vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 small cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots
- 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 baguette, cut into four slices
- 2 7-ounce packages baked seasoned tofu (I used sriracha baked tofu from Trader Joe's), cut into slices
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 radishes, thinly sliced
- Cilantro leaves
- First, make the pickled vegetables. Mix vinegar, sugar, and salt together in a large plastic container. Add cucumbers and carrots. Set aside to pickle for at least 15 minutes.
- Next, make the mushroom pate. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add onion and shallots and saute until golden, about 7 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic and season with salt and black pepper. Saute until mushrooms are tender. Pour in white wine while scraping up the yummy browned bits on the bottom of the pan. When wine is evaporated, turn off heat and scrape mushrooms into a food processor. Blend until they form a chunky puree. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
- When ready to make sandwiches, cut each baguette piece in half and toast. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add tofu slices and sear for a minute or so on each side until lightly golden.
- Spread bottom of each baguette piece with mayonnaise. Top with radish slices and pickled vegetables. Add seared tofu slices. Top the tofu with cilantro leaves. Spread thick layer of mushroom pate on top piece of baguette then top sandwich off with the piece of bread. Enjoy!