This recipe for a Tofu Banh Mi Sandwich features crusty French bread that’s piled high with tender slices of pan-fried tofu, pickled vegetables and fresh herbs for a hearty meal that’s full of flavors, colors and textures!

We love a good sandwich and this Vietnamese Tofu Banh Mi Sandwich is a step up from your typical turkey or peanut butter and jelly, but it’s surprisingly easy to make. This is not a 100% authentic version of the traditional recipe, which is made with liver pate and pork, but it’s one that’s a hit with anyone who tries it!

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I honestly didn’t know what a Banh Mi sandwich was until a couple years ago and I must say that I’m pretty into it. Who can resist a toasty baguette, pickled veggies, fresh cilantro & jalapeño, and some deliciously marinated tofu? Not me!

Skip the local sandwich shop and make this vegan Tofu Banh Mi at home. You won’t be disappointed!

Ingredients needed

Tofu Banh Mi Sandwiches include an explosion of flavors and textures. Here’s what you’ll need to make them:

  • Pickled vegetables. We’re keeping things pretty simple and pickling matchstick carrots and julienned cucumber with salt, rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar and sugar.
  • Marinated tofu. The tofu is marinated in a tasty mix of fresh ginger, minced garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil, and sprinkled with sesame seeds after it’s cooked.
  • Cilantro. For freshness, flavor and a pop of color.
  • Jalapeño. Add some sliced jalapeños for a subtle spiciness. Remove seeds, if you’re sensitive to spice.
  • Sriracha mayo. A mix of sriracha and mayonnaise is the perfect way to finish these off! Feel free to use just plain mayo, if preferred.
  • French bread. Toast your bread for a delicious crunch!

How to make this recipe

This sandwich recipe is quick & easy to make. Although, there are a few different steps: the veggies, tofu, and assembly — each element is simple and comes together with very little effort. Here’s the process:

  1. For the pickled veggies. In a large mason jar or other container with a lid, add the carrots and cucumber. Pour in the salt, sugar, vinegars, and water. If your jar isn’t filled up all the way, you can add in a bit more vinegar and/or fill it the rest of the way up with water. Set in the fridge until ready to use.
  2. Marinate the tofu. Pat the tofu dry and make sure to remove any excess water. In a shallow dish, whisk together the ginger, garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil. Place the strips of tofu in and let it marinate for 10 minutes on each side.
  1. Cook the tofu. Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot but not burning, add in the tofu and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until it’s a nice golden brown color. Once done, take off of the heat, sprinkle with the sesame seeds, and set aside.
  2. To assemble the sandwich. Toast the bread and spread the sriracha mayo on each side. Top with a hefty portion of the veggies, about 5 slices per sandwich of the tofu, and finish off with a few slices of jalapeño and a bit of the cilantro. ENJOY!!
Banh Mi Sandwich on French bread.

Expert tips

  • For best results, prepare the pickled vegetables up to 24 hours in advance.
  • Traditionally, the pickled veggies in these sandwiches have carrots, cucumber, and daikon in them, but I went to two different stores and couldn’t find daikon. So, I just went with some multi-colored carrots and cucumber instead.
  • Omit the jalapeños and sriracha mixed with the mayo, if serving kids or if you’re sensitive to spicy foods.
  • This sandwich is meant to be enjoyed on crusty baguettes, so be sure to toast them so the toppings and spread doesn’t make the bread soggy.
  • Serve your sandwiches immediately after you prepare them.

Frequently asked questions

What is a traditional Banh Mi sandwich?

The classic version of this Banh Mi sandwich is served on a French baguette roll with pickled veggies and usually contain pork, pate or a combination of the two. It’s always spread with some type of mayonnaise and often contains cilantro and a spicy element such as thinly sliced chilies or jalapeños.

What does banh mi mean in Vietnamese?

Bánh Mì (pronounced BUN-mee) is the Vietnamese term for “bread”, but it also refers to the traditional sandwich.

Variations

We love this sandwich recipe as-is, but feel free to change it up and with different ingredients and customize the flavors to your taste preferences. Here’s some options:

  • Tofu. This marinated tofu with ginger, garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil is delicious, but another incredible tofu recipe that would go great in this sandwich is this lemongrass tofu.
  • Vegetables. Add other veggies to the pickling mix, such as red onions or radishes.
  • Herbs. If you’re not a fan of cilantro, try using other fresh herbs, like fresh parsley, mint leaves or thinly sliced green onion.
Woman's hand holding a Banh Mi Sandwich made with tofu and fresh cilantro.

As usual, PLEASE let me know if you make this dish and how you like it! You can come back here and leave a comment or tag me on instagram (@foodwithfeeling).

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Tofu Banh Mi sandwich on a white plate.

Tofu Banh Mi Sandwich


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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Brita Britnell
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This recipe for a Tofu Banh Mi Sandwich features crusty French bread that’s piled high with tender slices of pan-fried tofu, pickled vegetables and fresh herbs for a hearty meal that’s full of flavors, colors and textures!


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the pickled veggies:

  • 3 carrots, peeled and julienne
  • 1 English cucumber, julienned
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of water- the rest of the way up with water
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar

For the tofu:

  • 1 inch of ginger, peeled and finely minced
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1/2 package of extra firm tofu (you want ~7 ounces), sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds

For the sandwich:

  • Handful of cilantro, lightly chopped
  • 1 jalapeño thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of mayo mixed with 1/2-1 tablespoon of sriracha
  • 2 pieces of fresh French bread (baguette)

Instructions

For the pickled veggies:

  1. Ideally, you will make these veggies the day before or even a few days before, but you can make them the same day you make the sandwiches.
  2. In a large mason jar or other container with a lid, add the carrots and cucumber. Pour in the salt, sugar, vinegars, and water. If your jar isn’t filled up all the way, you can add in a bit more vinegar and/or fill it the rest of the way up with water. Set in the fridge until ready to use.

For the tofu:

  1. Before starting, pat your tofu try and make sure to remove any excess water.
  2. In a shallow dish, whisk together the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Place the strips of tofu in and let it marinate for 10 minutes on each side.
  3. Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot but not burning, add in the tofu and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until it’s a nice golden brown color.
  4. Once done, take off of the heat, sprinkle with the sesame seeds, and set aside.

To assemble the sandwich:

  1. Toast the bread if you wish (I didn’t).
  2. Spread the sriracha mayo on each side of the bread.
  3. Top with a hefty portion of the veggies, about 5 slices per sandwich of the tofu, and finish off with a few slices of jalapeño and a bit of the cilantro.
  4. ENJOY!!

Notes

Add any leftover tofu to an airtight container and place it in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. Rewarm in a skillet on the stovetop or pop it in the microwave to reheat. Reheating tofu in the skillet will crisp it up the best.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Sandwich
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vietnamese