BANH MI STYLE GRILLED TOFU SANDWICH WITH CHIPOTLE PEANUT BUTTER SAUCE
Slices of grilled seasoned tofu, a creamy chipotle peanut butter sauce, a generous pile of crunchy quick-pickled veggies, lots of fresh cilantro and a few drops of sriracha sauce, all layered between two slices of soft baguette bread. This is our version of the classic vietnamese Bánh mì sandwich. Sweet, salty, slightly spicy, crunchy; this one is an absolute favourite.
Notes : Most of the components can be prepared ahead of time : the pickled veggies, the tofu marinade and the peanut sauce – simply grill the tofu and assemble when comes lunchtime.
Makes 2-3 portions
For the quick-pickled vegetables
- 1 cup julienne carrots (about 1 large carrot)
- 1 cup thinly sliced lebanese cucumber (about 2 small cucumbers)
- 1 small jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp organic cane sugar (or sugar of your choice)
- 1 ½ tsp sea salt
For the tofu
- 1 block (454 g.) extra-firm tofu
- 2 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
For the peanut sauce
- ¼ cup Chipotle Peanut Butter
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- 1 clove garlic, pressed or chopped
- The zest and juice of 1 lime
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp tamari (or soy sauce)
- Sea salt, to taste
For the sandwiches
- Soft baguette, cut and sliced lengthwise
- Fresh cilantro
- Optional: Sriracha sauce
1. Place the julienne carrots, sliced cucumber and sliced jalapeño (if using) in a large glass jar, pressing lightly to pack them. In a bowl or measuring cup, combine the warm water, rice vinegar, sugar and salt and mix well to dissolve. Pour over the vegetables, making sure they are all covered with liquid. Let cool and pickle for at least 15-20 minutes before using. The pickled veggies can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge; their flavor will develop even more after a few hours, even after a day or two.
2. Wrap the block of tofu in a clean tea towel and place on a plate. Then put something heavy on top (a heavy pan or pot works well) and let it press to remove excess moisture while you prepare the marinade. In a small bowl, combine the tamari, maple syrup, rice vinegar and garlic. Slice the tofu into ½-inch thick pieces. Place in a shallow dish and cover with the marinade. Let marinate
while you prepare the peanut sauce, tossing and flipping the pieces occasionally.
3. In a blender, combine the Chipotle Peanut Butter, coconut milk, garlic, lime zest and lime juice, sesame oil and tamari, and blend on high until you get a smooth and creamy sauce. Taste, season with salt if needed and blend again. Transfer the sauce in a small bowl and set aside in the refrigerator.
4. Set a large pan over medium heat. Grill the marinated tofu pieces until browned and even charred on some parts, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Set aside.
5. Use the same pan to lightly toast the bread, about 1-2 minutes.
6. To assemble the sandwiches, spread each piece of bread with the peanut sauce. Add a few pieces of grilled tofu, a pile of the crunchy pickled vegetables, and a generous handful of cilantro. If desired, add a few drops of sriracha sauce. Serve immediately.