Tofu Banh Mi Recipe | PBS Food

This easy plant-based banh mi only takes about 15 minutes to make and yet it's packed with so much flavor you won't miss the meat. (Recipe Credit: Marc Matsumoto of Fresh Tastes.)


Yield: Makes 2 x 10-inch sandwiches



  • 4.2 ounces daikon radish
  • 2.6 ounces carrot
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 large clove garlic (grated)
  • 1/4 teaspoon five spice powder
  • 12.4 ounces firm tofu
  • 2 small loaves French bread (10-inches long)
  • 1 Persian or Japanese cucumber (cut into sticks)
  • 10 sprigs cilantro
  • 1-2 chili peppers (thinly sliced)


  1. Peel and julienne the daikon and carrot and toss them with the salt. Let this sit for about 10 minutes to release some liquid.
  2. When the vegetables start sweating liquid, add 1 tablespoon of sugar and the cider vinegar, and massage together to help everything mingle.
  3. Meanwhile, make the sauce for the tofu by whisking together 1 tablespoon sugar, the Shaoxing wine, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, garlic, and Chinese five spice in a small bowl.
  4. For the tofu, drain it, and place it in the middle of a clean piece of cotton muslin. Gather up the corners and twist them together to squeeze the excess water out of the tofu. When no more water comes out, open up the bundle, rearrange the tofu, and repeat.
  5. Add the vegetable oil to a frying pan and heat over medium-high heat until hot.
  6. Add the squeezed tofu and crumble into big chunks using a spatula. Let the tofu brown on one side, and then flip and brown some more.
  7. Where the tofu is thoroughly browned, add the sauce and toss to coat evenly. The tofu is done when the sauce has caramelized around the outside of the tofu and there is no liquid left in the pan.
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