A banh mi is one of the best sandwiches on earth. So as a salad? I’m so here for it!
I just don’t like mayo. My potato salad uses lemon and olive oil instead of mayo, my egg salad has as little as possible, I don’t need gobs of it coming out of my BLT. And yet there is a strange exception. On a Banh Mi the creamy, tangy mayonnaise is just delicious. In fact, when it’s a gooshy bite with (dare I say) a little too much mayo? Well, those are the best bites. I savour them and close my eyes. WHO AM I?
Part of it is that the mayonnaise is mingling with the sriracha, blending with the crunch and light sweetness of the pickled carrots and daikon, the crisp cucumbers and the savory squish of your filling of choice. Drool.
Let me back up quickly. For anyone unfamiliar, a Banh Mi is a vietnamese sandwich. It’s served on baguette bread and it has cold cuts traditionally, but there are other offerings as well like roasted lemongrass chicken, pork, sardines or tofu. The basic filling is interchangeable, but what makes it a Banh Mi is the toppings, pickled carrots and daikon, cucumber slices, cilantro and mayonnaise. Then if you like it spicy (which you should) you can add jalapeño and sriracha (or another chili sauce).
So back to my mayo awakening or whatever it is. Basically I thought that the way the mayo and sriracha brings all the vegetables together is really the best part of the sandwich and that I would recreate that in a big salad at home and you know, get lots of fiber and a big, filling, hearty salad which I’m always looking for. This actually turned out even better than I thought and it was very difficult to wait for my sister to come home so we could eat it together. I may have snuck a bit.
This has a few steps to it, but none are hard. Marinate the tofu, grate and then toss the carrots and daikons with vinegar and sugar. Fry the tofu and then chop the veg and toss it up. Pretty easy for a summery (or Springy) weeknight dinner. I hope you’ll give it a try.
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
- 2 Tbsp rice or apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 4 large carrots shredded (about 2 cups)
- 1 daikon radish shredded (about 1 cup) (optional)
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 small red cabbage shredded
- 1 cucumber chopped
- 1 jalapeno finely diced (optional)
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp sriracha
- 1/2 bunch cilantro chopped
- 1 lime cut into 4 pieces