Vegan banh mi with smoked tofu

Vegan banh mi with smoked tofu / Serves 1


  • 1 small carrot, cut into thin batons
  • 80g cucumber, core removed and cut into fine strips
  • 150ml white wine vinegar
  • 150ml rice wine vinegar
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • Generous pinch of sugar


  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 small piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • Half a red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup


  • 100g tofu (I used smoked tofu)
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • Vegan mayonnaise (I use this)
  • A generous handful of mint, coriander and basil, roughly chopped
  • 15cm baguette (I chopped a portion off a full length baguette)
  • Half a lime

Prepare the pickle and the marinade at least an hour in advance. Before doing so, press the tofu for fifteen minutes or so with kitchen towel and a weight to remove some of the moisture.  

For the pickle, mix all the ingredients together in a jar and shake well to combine. Add water to cover the vegetables, if needed. Store in the fridge for the time being. Pound the marinade ingredients together in a pestle and mortar. Slice the tofu into 1cm strips, then lay on a plate and pour over the marinade. Leave to rest for an hour or so. 

When ready, get together all your remaining ingredients. Heat a small frying pan, then lift the tofu from the marinade and place into the pan. Sear for around 2-3 minutes on each side, then pour in the marinade from the plate along with the sesame seeds and fry for a further 2-3 minutes on each side until nicely sticky. Once ready remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, slice the baguette lengthways, leaving a hinge on one side. Spread mayonnaise on the bottom and top insides, then arrange some of the drained pickled vegetables on the bottom of the baguette. Place the fried tofu over the vegetables, then scatter the mixed herbs on top. Squeeze the lime over the filling, then serve right away.