Vegan Banh Mi Tofu Sandwich
This Tofu Banh Mi Sandwich is a take on the Vietnamese classic and is loaded with marinated tofu, herbs and homemade picked veggies for a sandwich filled with flavour!
I’m not generally a huge sandwich person, but if there’s one sandwich I can get behind, it’s this tofu banh mi!
I first tried a banh mi sandwich on a trip to Vietnam a few years ago, and I instantly fell in love. Vietnamese food is bursting with vibrant fresh flavours, and the banh mi sandwich is no exception!
So first let’s cover some basics here.
What exactly is a Banh Mi Sandwich?
Banh mi is a Vietnamese sandwich made with a baguette type of bread and traditionally filled with meat, pork pate, pickled vegetables and mayonnaise. Fun Fact, the term “banh mi” refers to “baguette in Vietnamese!
For today’s recipe, we’re doing a vegan take on the classic and using some marinated tofu in place of the meat, and a vegan mayonnaise.
Vegan Banh Mi Ingredients
- Tofu: for this vegan Banh Mi sandwich we’re using tofu as a protein instead of meat.
- Tofu marinade: the tofu gets marinated to infuse it with flavour. This is the most important step for a delicious Vegan Banh Mi sandwich!
- Pickled veggies: for this recipe, I like to pickle carrots and daikon (a type of radish), but you can pickle any type of veggies you like.
- Bread: you can use a baguette or a soft baguette depending on the texture you like
- Cucumber: fresh cucumber to add to the sandwich.
- Cilantro: for some freshness. If you don’t like cilantro you can leave this out.
- Green onions: another optional ingredient but helps add more flavour.
- Vegan mayonnaise: you can use any brand you like.
How to Make a Banh Mi Sandwich
Banh mi (like most sandwiches) are pretty easy to make, but will require a bit of prep work. For starters, you’re going to want to marinade the tofu and pickle the veggies overnight for best results. Though if you’re short on time, at least one hour should do .
Once the ingredients are prepared, it’s as simple as cooking up the tofu and then assembling the sandwich.
Many traditional banh mi recipes will use a soft variety of baguette, but I love making this sandwich with a crusty Italian baguette.
What is banh mi sauce made of?
Banh mi sauce is made from a mix of mayonnaise, hoisin sauce and sriracha. You can make a mixed sauce out of these or just add them separately spread onto your Vegan Banh Mi.
Storing Your Tofu Sandwich
If you want to prep this sandwich the day before eating it so you can have it ready to go for lunch, just prepare the sandwich and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in a ziplock bag in the fridge.
If you prefer to assemble the sandwich fresh, (which I recommend if you are able to) store all the sandwich ingredients separately in the fridge and the bread stored on the counter. Then assemble to sandwich right before eating.
Banh Mi Sandwich Recipe FAQ
Traditionally a banh mi is made with pork paté, ham and mayonnaise. There are many different variations of Banh Mi sandwiches and you can find some made with different ingredients like pork sausage or even chicken. Since this is a recipe for a vegetarian and vegan-friendly Banh Mi Sandwich, we’re using tofu which is equally as delicious!
One Tofu Banh Mi Sandwich has approximately 535 calories. Keep in mind that this estimate might change depending on the type of bread you use or any additional ingredients you might add to your sandwich.
A few notes on Vegan Banh Mi
This tofu banh mi sandwich starts by marinading some lemongrass tofu. If you can’t find fresh lemongrass, you can just leave out this ingredient entirely.
The tofu is best marinaded overnight, so I’d definitely recommend doing so if you have the time. But if you’re a bit pressed on time, just marinade it for at least an hour. Same goes for the picked veggies. The longer you let them soak the more “pickled” they’ll get!
I use a mix of daikon and carrots for the pickled veggies, but you also use some radishes, red onion or even some purple cabbage to mix things up!
If you love this make sure to check out this banh mi bowl with sticky tofu for a fun twist on this classic recipe!
More Vietnamese-inspired recipes to tryPrint
Vegan Banh Mi Sandwich
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4 sandwiches 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: Cook
- Cuisine: Vietnamese
This is a vegan take on the classic Vietnamese sandwich. It’s made with marinated tofu, pickled veggies and crusty baguette!
- 1/4 cup tamari
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 1-inch cube ginger, chopped
- 1 lemongrass stalk, roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp crushed red chilli flakes
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup carrots, cut into sticks or peeled
- 1/2 cup daikon, cut into sticks or peeled
- 1 baguette
- 1/4 cucumber, sliced
- green onions
- vegan mayonnaise
- hoisin sauce
- sriracha (optional)
- Make the tofu: Mix the marinade together and place the tofu in the marinade. Let sit overnight or at least 1 hour before baking. Bake tofu at 420 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
- Make the pickled veggies: Mix the vinegar, water, sugar and salt together in a bowl. Cut the carrots and daikons into thin sticks and place in the pickling mixture overnight or for at least an hour.
- Build your banh mi: Cut a piece of the baguette and spread some vegan mayonnaise and hoisin sauce onto the bread. Fill with the marinated tofu, pickled veggies, sliced cucumber, green onions and cilantro. Optionally add some sriracha for spice!
Feel free to add in any veggies or sauces you like to this sandwich!
If you like your bread warm, gently head the banh mi in a panini press for 1-2 minutes.
- Serving Size: 1 sandwich
- Calories: 535
- Sugar: 20g
- Fat: 20g
- Saturated Fat: 10g
- Carbohydrates: 72g
- Fiber: 4g
- Protein: 15g
Keywords: How to make a banh mi vegan, what is a banh mi
If you tried this Tofu Banh Mi Sandwich or any other recipe on the blog let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below! Be sure to follow along on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook for even more deliciousness!
This was delicious! So so good. Only questions was my daikon was really stinky after pickling. It tasted fine but smelled terrible. Is this normal?
Hi Hayley, happy you enjoyed the recipe! I’m not sure, maybe you just don’t enjoy the smell of picked vegetables?
i don’t have any coconut sugar, will leaving it out or replacing it with white sugar alter the taste greatly? thanks! excited to try this out soon
You can definitely replace it with white sugar or brown sugar! You can also leave it out but it will change the balance of the flavours a little if you do.
Such a good sandwhich! I made it a few days ago and my husband has already requested it again 🙂 I assumed one recipe used one 350g block of extra firm tofu — however I guessed how thin to slice it and went with 3 slices per block. The slices seemed a bit thick, so I’m trying 4 slices per block this time around.
So good though! <3 Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Hi Maya, thank you for the review! Some blocks of tofu may differ in size slightly, but you can slice the tofu as thin or as thick as you like! If you slice it more thinly, it can be slightly more flavourful after marinading since you will have more tofu in touch with the marinade. Glad you enjoyed the recipe!
It´s such a great idea! I love Vietnamese food but I´ve never tried to make a sandwich like this one. Your photos look great as well. Happy Weekend 🙂
Thank you so much Melanie!
I am not a huge sandwich person…how is that possible? Lol. In any event, your banh mi looks and sounds amazing! Especially loved those pickled veggies!
Thanks Nisha! To be honest I rarely eat sandwiches but whenever I do I’m like oh wait..these are delicious!
This looks so delicious, Jess!
The perfect snack!😋
Lots of love,
Thanks so much Bianca! 🙂 xo
Such a great sandwich! Loved how the tofu was marinated.
Thanks so much for the review! Happy you enjoyed!