Lemongrass tofu bánh mì

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Helen serves up a stunning tofu bánh mì recipe, marinated in a heady mixture of lemongrass, fish sauce, coriander and garlic for a delicious take on this classic Vietnamese sandwich.

First published in 2017

The bánh mì is one of the world’s great sandwiches. This glorious mash up came about as a result of French colonial rule in Vietnam, when French ingredients like baguette, mayonnaise and pâté were combined with chilli and pickled vegetables.

People tend to associate the bánh mì with pork, but there are other interesting fillings to try. You’ve probably guessed by now that tofu is one of them. One of the greatest properties of tofu is its texture, and this recipe should give you the right balance of crisp outer skin and soft, wobbly interior.

The best way to cook this is on a griddle pan, over a moderate, rather than high, heat. This ensures the tofu has time to develop a decent crust, which can otherwise stick to the pan




Lemongrass tofu for the bánh mì

Pickled vegetables

To assemble the bánh mì


Cut the tofu into slices approx. 1.5cm thick and lay on a kitchen paper lined plate in a single layer. Cover with more kitchen paper then cover with something heavy such as a wooden chopping board and leave for 20 minutes
Remove the chopping board and towel and transfer the tofu to shallow dish
Blitz the remaining ingredients in a food processor. Cover the tofu with the marinade, taking care not to break it. Marinate for a couple of hours or overnight
Meanwhile, pickle the vegetables. Dissolve the sugar and salt in the vinegar in a saucepan over a medium heat and pour the liquid over the vegetables in a shallow dish. Leave while you make everything else, stirring occasionally
To cook the tofu, heat a griddle pan over a moderate heat and brush it well with oil. Brush the excess marinade from the tofu and reserve it
Fry the tofu until a golden crust has developed on both sides, taking care not to break it. Brush lightly with the reserved marinade when still hot from the pan
Assemble the sandwiches by splitting the baguettes, spreading with mayo, adding the tofu, pickled veg, herbs, chilli and cucumber
First published in 2017

Helen Graves is Head of Content at Great British Chefs. She's also the author of the cookbook LIVE FIRE: Seasonal Barbecue Recipes and Stories of Live Fire Traditions, Old and New, and the editor of Pit, an independent magazine with roots in live fire cooking.

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