Beyond Banh Mi

It has been quite a while since I’ve paid tribute to my Vietnamese culture. There was a time period where I didn’t bother to embrace it as thoroughly as I should have. In hindsight, I regret not having been raised speaking Vietnamese or skipping a trip to Saigon for a children’s musical theater program. What was I thinking?!

The good news: it’s not too late to create new traditions and memories. There’s always Duolingo, saving up some money to travel (and lots of hand sanitizer and masks), and, of course, veganizing plenty of Vietnamese recipes! Growing up, there were so many dishes I loved, an equal amount I wasn’t interested in, and a few that I openly did not enjoy at all. Banh mi was one of the meals I could eat every single day–I loved the flavor combinations and textural differences of its ingredients and how satisfying the sandwich is. My favorite childhood variation included pork belly with a vibrant marinade!

Being vegan, I have no desires to consume pork or mayonnaise anymore, but pickled vegetables, a spiced marinade with sweet and salty qualities, and a creamy spread between a French baguette always sounds like a delight. No other types of sandwiches would suffice. Sure, I can some vegetarian versions provided at restaurants, but I really wanted to try a homemade rendition with a modernized twist. Listen, I KNOW that avocado is not vegan mayonnaise. I personally happen to not like mayonnaise very much (and quite frankly, the rest of my family doesn’t either…so there was no point in purchasing a whole jar of Vegenaise for one use), but feel free to use it!

Note: this recipe creates one 10-inch long sandwich with enough pickled vegetables to yield leftovers. It depends on how much of each ingredient you want to stuff in your sandwich. In general, this amount would serve for 1-2 people!

Another note: I am aware the baguette is upside down in the sandwich–I know I screwed up in the middle of everything but, whelp, what can you do?

RECIPE (pickled vegetables)

  • 1 medium carrot​
  • 1 medium daikon or white carrot​
  • 2 small radishes​
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper (optional)​
  • 1/4 cup sushi rice vinegar​
  • Splash of water​

RECIPE (sandwich)

  • 1 large red onion​
  • 1 bunch of cilantro​
  • 1 Beyond Meat patty​
    • Substitutes: 3-5 ounces of pan-fried tofu, bean curd strips, tempeh, etc.
  • 10-inches worth of a French baguette​
  • 1/4 avocado or 2 TBSP mayonnaise/mayonnaise alternative​
  • 1-2 TBSP vegan butter or vegetable oil​
  • 3 TBSP sushi rice vinegar​
  • 1 1/2 TBSP soy sauce​

PROCEDURE (pickled vegetables)

  1. Wash and dry one large carrot, one daikon, and two small radishes.​
  2. Cut the tops and bottoms of your vegetables.​
  3. Shred the carrot and daikon.​
  4. Slice the radishes.​
  5. Toss enough sushi rice vinegar to soak the carrots and daikon (~1/4 cup). Add a splash of water.​
  6. If spiciness is desired, integrate a small chopped jalapeno pepper.​

PROCEDURE (sandwich)

  1. Slice a peeled red onion into thin strips.​
  2. Remove stems from cilantro.​
  3. Take a large pan and lightly coat with vegan butter or vegetable oil.​
  4. Saute the red onions in the vegan butter.​
  5. Toss in one Beyond Meat patties with the red onions. If frozen, place a lid on the pan and leave the patties in the middle and allow to thaw entirely.​
  6. Flip after 4-6 minutes.​
  7. Sprinkle a dash of salt on top.​
  8. Combine 3 TBSP sushi rice vinegar and 1 1/2 TBSP soy sauce in a dish sauce.​
  9. Slice a quarter off of one large French baguette.​
  10. Halve the quarter into two slices and toast lightly.​
  11. Spread 1/4 of an avocado or 2 TBSP of mayonnaise on one half of the bread.​
  12. Sprinkle sushi rice vinegar and soy sauce mixture on top of a cooked Beyond Meat patty that is placed on one slice of bread.​
  13. Garnish with radishes, pickled carrots, and daikon. Serve warm.

Thanks so much for reading! I’m aiming to post more often and showcase more recipes again!


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