Tofu Bahn Mi and The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook

This tofu bahn mi ranks up there with the best of the best veggie sandwiches of all time. 

Vegetarian Tofu Bahn Mi Sandwich

While there are a few different components to this recipe they're all extremely simple to execute and absolutely worth your time (which isn't too long!). 

This recipe came straight from the brand new release, The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook, from America's Test KitchenI was lucky enough to get an early edition of this cookbook and ATK is generously giving away a copy for one of you!

It has over SEVEN HUNDRED (shouting is necessary) vegetarian recipes, many of which are vegan (250) and gluten-free (500). This just may be the end all be all vegetarian cookbook. It has you covered from the very basics to more complex recipes and will keep you feeling confident in the kitchen as you learn new techniques and become a veggie cooking pro.

Vegetarian Tofu Bahn Mi Sandwich

This cookbook is an invaluable resource for anyone. Whether you're vegetarian, vegan, or just looking to learn how to incorporate more veggie-style meals into your diet. From simple sauces to all types of ethnic food, there is no category left behind.

Vegetarian Tofu Bahn Mi Sandwich

Now let's talk about this sandwich. 

This was quite possibly the best tofu I've ever eaten. I've seen the method of coating tofu in starch before but had yet to try it myself. 

Game. Changer.

Crispy on the outside. Tender on the inside. Absolutely perfect in a sandwich.

Vegetarian Tofu Bahn Mi Sandwich

Then there are the quick-pickled vegetables, sriracha mayo, and a giant fluffy bun. 

And basil instead of cilantro because I just can't do cilantro. 

Crunch, chew, sweet, spice. This Tofu Bahn Mi has got it goin' on.

sidenote: If you're looking for the BEST gluten-free rolls in the entire world you can order them from Kim and Jakes bakery in Boulder, CO. Even better news, they're also vegan, non-GMO, and have a stellar ingredient list. (I can't find the ingredient list on the site, but I'm sure you can email them for details.) You will not believe the texture! (This is not a paid plug!)

Vegetarian Tofu Bahn Mi Sandwich

I could eat this sandwich for all the days.

Vegetarian Tofu Bahn Mi Sandwich

Print Recipe!

Reprinted with permission from: Cook's Illustrated and directly from The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook

Tofu Bahn Mi makes 4 sandwiches (GF + vegan subs specified below)

  • 14 ounces firm tofu, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slabs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest plus 1 tablespoon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce substitute (recipe to follow)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 (8-inch) Italian sub rolls, split lengthwise and toasted
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1. Spread tofu over paper towel-lined baking sheet, let drain for 20 minutes, then gently press dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Spread cornstarch in a shallow dish. Dredge tofu in cornstarch and transfer to a plate.

2. Meanwhile, combine carrots, cucumber, lime juice, and fish sauce in a bowl and let sit for 15 minutes. Whisk mayonnaise, Sriracha, and lime zest together in separate bowl.

3. Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add tofu and cook until bottoms are crisp and browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

4. Spread mayonnaise mixture evenly over cut sides of each roll. Assemble 4 sandwiches by layering ingredients as follows between prepared rolls: tofu, pickled vegetables (leaving liquid in bowl), and cilantro. Press gently on sandwiches to set. Serve.

Ashley's notes: 

  • I used avocado oil instead of vegetable oil and used a cast iron pan for cooking the tofu.
  • I used arrowroot starch instead of cornstarch. Make sure the tofu is just lightly coated with starch. Tap to knock excess off.
  • To make vegan simply sub your favorite vegan mayonnaise and make sure your Sriracha is vegan.
  • I used basil instead of cilantro.

Vegetarian Fish Sauce Substitute

Makes about 1 1/4 cups - In order for this recipe to be gluten-free you must use gluten-free soy sauce or tamari.

  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 ounce dried sliced shiitake mushrooms

1. Simmer all ingredients in large saucepan over medium heat until mixture is reduced by half, about 20-30 minutes. Strain liquid and let cool completely. (Fish sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 months.)

Ashley notes:

  • I found the dried shiitake mushrooms in the bulk spice section. I kept them whole (missed the slicing step) and used 1/4oz, which equaled 5 dried mushrooms.
Vegetarian Tofu Bahn Mi Sandwich

GIVEAWAY! America's Test Kitchen was kind enough to offer a copy of The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook to 1 lucky Edible Perspective reader.

To enter: Leave a comment below telling me about a recent kitchen disaster and why you need this book in your life!

Ends: 4/5/15 12pm EST


Easy Broccoli Stir Fry

I have this problem when I make stir fry.

Easy Broccoli Stir Fry | #glutenfree #vegan
Easy Broccoli Stir Fry | #glutenfree #vegan

It’s never that good. Okay, it’s edible, but it’s nothing to write home about.

Easy Broccoli Stir Fry | #glutenfree #vegan
Easy Broccoli Stir Fry | #glutenfree #vegan

The main reason is because I always think I can just whip it together without a recipe. Add a bunch of fresh veggies, cook some rice noodles, add a little sauce…stir fry!

So what’s the problem? The problem is with the sauce—or lack thereof.

And not enough sauce leads to bland stir fry. And really, I wouldn’t even call it “sauce.” I totally wing it, throwing some of this and some of that in the pan while the veggies cook. Clearly not enough of either this or that.

Easy Broccoli Stir Fry | #glutenfree #vegan
Easy Broccoli Stir Fry | #glutenfree #vegan

So now that I’ve told you how I’m the worst stir fry maker ever, are you ready for me to convince you that you need to make this stir fry recipe tonight?

Reason being: I actually made sauce and there was plenty of it.

So much in fact that the broccoli ended up juicy. Not mushy. Juicy.

Stir fry problem solved. I’ve made this for dinner 3 times in 2 weeks, which is a complete rarity since I’m always testing and making new things.

Easy Broccoli Stir Fry | #glutenfree #vegan
Easy Broccoli Stir Fry | #glutenfree #vegan

Another great thing about this recipe is that it will work with whatever protein you like. We’ve been enjoying it with grilled tofu that I stir in with the carrots and garlic at the end of cooking. But even without a protein, it’s incredibly filling all on its own.

Feel free to add fun things like water chestnuts, snow peas, edamame, bean sprouts, etc. Peanuts + cashews are definitely welcome as well.

Easy Broccoli Stir Fry | #glutenfree #vegan
Easy Broccoli Stir Fry | #glutenfree #vegan

Or, just keep it nice + simple.

Easy Broccoli Stir Fry | #glutenfree #vegan
Easy Broccoli Stir Fry | #glutenfree #vegan

Print this!

Easy Broccoli Stir Fry

gluten-free, vegan // yields 3-4 servings

  • 1, 8oz package Asian rice noodles
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 large heads of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2 medium red/orange bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, julienned
  • optional toppings: sriracha, green onion, sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil, peanuts

for the sauce: This makes just under 1 cup of sauce and trust me, you’ll use it!

  • 3 tablespoons tahini, or peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons gluten-free tamari, or soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons mirin, or other rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 4 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 4 teaspoons grated ginger

Prep all veggies, garlic, and ginger before starting. Boil water for the noodles and prepare according to package directions.

Add all sauce ingredients to a jar, seal with a lid, and shake vigorously until combined. Set aside. Shake before pouring.

Heat a wok or a large sauté pan [at least 12-inches] over medium-low/low heat with 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the garlic and cook for about 3-4 minutes until light golden brown. [If it browns quickly or burns your heat is too high.] Stir frequently. Remove garlic with a spoon, allowing the oil to drain back into the pan, and place garlic in a bowl.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon [or so] of oil to the pan and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the broccoli florets and cook, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes. Broccoli should turn vibrant green and just start to brown.

Place noodles back in their pot over medium-low heat with about 1/4 of the sauce. Stir every minute until hot then reduce heat to low. [Or, if you’d like to serve the noodles plain on the side heat in the pot with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.]

Add the red pepper to the pan and stir for about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and stir in the garlic and carrots. Pour about 1/2-3/4 of the sauce in the pan and let cook for about 1-2 minutes, until hot. Serve with noodles and pour remaining sauce left in the pan over each portion.

notes: This recipe moves quickly so be sure to have everything prepped and ready to go before you start.


I highly recommend a huge drizzle of sriracha over top.