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Tofu Banh Mi | Vietnamese Tofu Sandwich – Banh Mi Chay

Here’s how you can easily make tofu Banh Mi and enjoy a delicious, healthy, vegan Vietnamese meal! Check out the recipe below. 

Here’s my first Asian recipe for this year’s challenge of ‘veganizing’ popular traditional recipes from various world cuisines.

I love Vietnamese food. Their cuisine is so vibrant, with lots of interesting ingredients and delicious flavors. The recipe I’m sharing with you today is one of my favorites from the Vietnamese cuisine.

tofu banh mi vegan sandwich

Banh Mi is a famous Vietnamese street food, a delicious sandwich made traditionally with veggies and meat. Banh actually means bread and the recipe was inspired by the French baguette that was adopted in their colonial period. Unlike the traditional French baguette, the Vietnamese baguette is made with rice flour combined with wheat flour. I used regular baguettes for my recipe, but if you want an authentic experience, try finding a Vietnamese store, maybe you’ll be lucky and find these!

The Vietnamese way of making Banh Mi is with pork, but I made it vegan and used grilled tofu instead. They actually even have a name for this vegan version with tofu – Banh Mi Chay.

sandwich recipe tofu banh mi vegan

An important part of a Banh Mi recipe is marinating the veggies: Daikon radish (or regular radish if you can’t find Daikon), carrots and coriander. It’s best to marinate them overnight, but 15 minutes are enough too. To spice it up I also added some Jalapeños and cucumbers for some extra moisture.

Choose a whole grain baguette or a baguette with seeds, it makes the sandwich even better. I used a baguette with flax seeds on top. Also, I decided to marinate the tofu with lots of smoked paprika powder, but you can also buy already smoked tofu to skip this step.

Have you heard of coconut aminos? I’m thinking of trying it instead of soy sauce from now on. I read about it online and found out that it’s healthier, gluten-free, fermented and vegan, of course. It helps control the cholesterol, aids in the weight loss process, improves the immune system, reduces the risk of the colon cancer and more. You can also use tamari if you want a gluten-free version of soy sauce.

tofu banh mi vegan

Once considered the food of the poor people, tofu banh mi now became one of the most popular Vietnamese recipes, known worldwide.

It has all of my appreciation for being nutritious and quite low in calories at the same time. It has the large amount of protein, iron, calcium and magnesium and it is perfect for lunch. You can make it gluten-free by simply using tamari instead of soy sauce and a GF baguette.

I hope you will love this recipe as much as I do. 🙂

sandwich tofu banh mi vegan
recipe tofu banh mi vegan cu tofu sandvis

Tofu Banh Mi | Vietnamese Tofu Sandwich – Banh Mi Chay
Here’s how you can easily make tofu Banh Mi and enjoy a delicious, healthy, vegan Vietnamese meal! Check out the recipe below.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main, Sandwich
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4
Calories 475 kcal


For the tofu:

  • 1 block extra-firm tofu drained
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari, or coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

For the sandwich:

  • 1 baguette sliced into 4 pieces and cut in half (use these for a gluten-free version)
  • ½ cup vegan mayo + 2 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 -2 scallions thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro

For the pickles:

  • 1 daikon sliced into matchsticks
  • 2 carrots sliced into matchsticks
  • ½ jalapeño thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 2-3 pinch sugar
  • 2-3 pinch salt
  • 1 dash turmeric optional


  • For the tofu:
  • Drain and press the tofu.
  • Cut the tofu into sandwich-size slices.
  • In a bowl, combine all the marinade ingredients, toss the tofu in them and let this marinate overnight. It could be good enough in 15-20 minutes if you’re in a hurry, but overnight it becomes perfect.
  • Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Grill the tofu about 4 minutes per side until it’s a little crispy.
  • In a small bowl, mix the vegan mayo and sriracha sauce.
  • For the pickles:
  • In a bowl combine the tablespoons of vinegar, salt and sugar and turmeric. Add the carrots, jalapenos and radish and leave them to marinate for at least 15 minutes (again – the longer the better).
  • Spread the mayonnaise mixture evenly over the insides of each piece of baguette. Assemble 4 sandwiches by layering the ingredients as follows: tofu, pickled vegetables, fresh cucumber, top with scallion and cilantro. Press gently on sandwiches to set.


Calories: 475kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 15gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1206mgPotassium: 641mgFiber: 5gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 6092IUVitamin C: 25mgCalcium: 154mgIron: 5mg
Keyword sandwich, tofu
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recipe tofu banh mi vegan
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Thich Nu Tinh Quang

Sunday 14th of January 2018

We eat Banh Mi Chay in the temples in Vietnam. We are vegan in the Buddhist temples.


Thursday 18th of January 2018

Didn't know this! :D