Monday, June 24, 2013

Banh Mi, My Way.

So, I've been out for dinner a few times lately and had a vegan/vegetarian Banh Mi and thought "NAGAM" (Not as good as mine.) I make no claims to being anything but a decent home cook. I doubt that I could earn a living as a line cook at a decent restaurant, though, given enough reps, anything is possible.

But I do make a tasty Banh Mi at home and I thought I'd show my method. Here is the start, Central Soyfoods' Hickory Smoked Tofu, Portabello Mushrooms, Daikon Radish, Carrots and  Baguette from Farm to Market Bread
Mince a  good sized clove of garlic or a few small ones and  put into a shallow bowl or baking pan. Get a piece of lemongrass and beat it with the dull side of a cleaver or chef's knife. I once told a team member to use the back of a knife and found him holding the knife by the blade. Anyway, put the beaten lemongrass into the pan/bowl. Peel a knob of ginger and grate about the thickness of 3 nickels into the baking dish.

Slice the tofu as thin as you can, between a quarter and a half inch. Put the slices in the baking dish and sprinkle with tamari sauce. Stem and clean the mushrooms and sprinkle them with tamari too. You don't have to drown them. They'll manage to absorb the sauce and garlic and ginger and flavors. Grate a little extra ginger over the top of everything. Let it set at room temperature for the length of an album, go do something else for a while. If you want to let them go all day, put the dish in the refrigerator, covered, unless you want everything to smell like a

Chinese restaurant for a long time.

You should make the slaw or pickle at this time. I like the daikon and carrots grated on the large grater, not the one you used for the ginger. Add something green and cabbage-y, like cabbage or collards or kale. We had homegrown bok choy, so that went into mine. Chop it into small julienne strips, like you would for slaw. I also had some kohlrabi, so I grated that into the pickle. Sprinkle some plain rice vinegar or lime juice onto the mixed vegetables and let it chill for 
Split your baguette and spread on the top slice a mixture of Veganaise and Sriracha or hot sauce of your choice. Spread some Earth Balance on the bottom. Besides being tasty, they keep the bread from getting too soggy.
Grill the tofu and mushrooms over a hot grill until the mushrooms go soft. Slice them into thin slices as soon as you can handle them.

Put a layer of tofu and a layer of cooked mushrooms on the baguette. Top that with as much of the pickle as you like. A few sprigs of cilantro are nice, but not required, as are a few slices of jalapeno.

As you may observe, I couldn't wait to dig in before I took a picture. Enjoy.