This Vietnamese banh-mi sandwich has a sweet, tangy spin

Oct 2, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. ET

Try saying banh-mi three times fast. Just do it. I guarantee you'll end up saying bahi mahi mahi! Even though this Vietnamese classic is hard to say (especially after a few beers), it's much easier to make. This sandwich is often made with chicken or pork, but I opted for some crispy tofu and tart 'n' tangy cherry sauce instead.

If you've never had one of these iconic sandwiches, you need to remedy that immediately by whipping up this one. It's the perfect use for those bags of cherries you bought on sale and it's a very easy way to get your carnivore husband to enjoy some tofu.

Lemongrass, Thai basil and roasted cherry banh-mi topped with crispy spiced tofu recipe

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 (14 ounce) packages of extra firm tofu cubes, drained
  • 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cherries, pitted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 baguette cut into 4 long pieces
  • Handful of kale
  • 4 tablespoons shredded zucchini
  • 4 tablespoons shredded carrot
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, chopped
  • Handful Thai basil, chopped
  • 4 slices white cheddar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spread the tofu into the pan.
  2. Whisk the hoisin sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil together in a bowl. Pour over the tofu and liberally toss to coat. Place in the oven and roast for 40 minutes, or until crispy, stopping to stir every 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the cherries, sugar and cornstarch together. Pour into a greased baking dish and bake, at 400 degrees F, for about 20 minutes, or until cherries are bubbling and juicy.
  4. To assemble the sandwich, spread 2 tablespoons of the roasted cherries over 2 of the baguette sides. On the other 2 sides, add a handful of kale, roasted and crispy tofu, 2 tablespoons of shredded zucchini, 2 tablespoons of shredded carrots, chopped lemongrass, chopped Thai basil and 2 slices of cheese.
  5. Serve immediately and enjoy.

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Vietnamese caramelized spicy chicken (ga kho)
Lemongrass shrimp skewers

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