Monday, September 5, 2011
Happy Labor Day everyone! I hope you are enjoying your long weekend of non-laboring and wearing white while you still can. One of the things we did this weekend was to meet some friends for a picnic in Prospect Park - sadly, our first and possibly last picnic this summer. I don't know why we didn't manage to do any picnicking until now... for a while it was simply too hot, or we've been too busy working and dodging hurricanes and stuff.
Anyway, for the picnic I finally made this recipe for Lemongrass Tofu Bánh Mì that I've had bookmarked since forever. If you are not familiar, Bánh Mì are Vietnamese baguette sandwiches that are usually stuffed with meat, pâté, an assortment of crunchy pickled vegetables like carrots and daikon, and fresh herbs like cilantro and/or mint. I absolutely loved this version with the lemongrass-marinated tofu, the pan-fried tofu slices turned out to be juicy, savory, and just slightly spicy. You can follow the recipe as closely as you want, or improvise a bit with your toppings. I followed their recipe for the do chua, which is a quick pickle of carrot and daikon, which went on top of the tofu along with sliced jalapeno, and fresh mint and cilantro leaves. I also mixed up some Vegenaise along with Sriracha sauce and generously spread both sides of the baguette with it. The resulting sandwich is savory, spicy, crunchy, and herbaceous. It's fantastic! It may take a little bit of planning ahead so you have time to marinate the tofu and prepare the pickled vegetables, but it's so worth it.
As far as sandwiches go, you know I love my Coconut Bacon BLT's, but this Lemongrass Tofu Bánh Mì just might be my new favorite. Fortunately there's enough room in my heart (and stomach) for both.