I’m trying to figure out why our Summer here seems to have gone on vacation. The weather forecast for this week is cold and rainy even though it’s freaking July. I guess it’s better than the alternative of scorching heat, but it’s kinda depressing. What’s not depressing though, is this recipe….
Ok, before you say anything, I’m completely aware that this bowl doesn’t make a huge amount of sense. Bahn mi actually means “bread” in Vietnamese so not having bread is a kind of like missing the point and insulting this Vietnamese classic. In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t do well with rules and I just don’t feel like following any when it comes to my creations.
I like to tailor recipes to what I, or whoever I’m cooking for, like. I have two small issues with a bahn mi. Firstly, I’m honestly not a huge fan of bread. I know, I know, you’re probably judging me so hard right now. Most people are obsessed with their bread and can’t imagine life without it. And believe me, it’s not because I have a problem with gluten or anything, I just much prefer rice or pasta for my carbs.
Secondly, mayo is disgusting, ok? Change my mind of you want but even in my many years of eating “normally” I hated it. That’s why I decided to make a simple spicy tahini “mayo” to go with this instead. It takes all of a minute to stir together and you can use it on everything.
Obviously you can switch out the rice with some bread and build a delicious, more traditional, bahn mi sandwich but I think you should definitely give this a try.
Vietnamese Bahn Mi Bowls (Vegan+GF)
These bowls are inspired by a classic Vietnamese favorite and are perfect for lunches to go or meal prep dinners.
- 1 cup carrots, julienned
- 1 large cucumber, seeded and julienned
- 1 cup radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 16 ounce block extra firm tofu, cubed
- 1 teaspoon ginger, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup soy sauce (use coconut aminos or tamari if gf)
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 4 cups cooked white or brown rice
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 Serrano peppers, thinly sliced (optional)
- 1 tablespoon black or white sesame seeds
Stir together the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add all the veggies and stir to coat. Store in an airtight container for at least 4 hours before servings.
Stir together the ingredients for the tahini mayo. It might seem thin at first but as you stir it will begin to thicken. Set aside until ready to make up the bowls.
Whisk together the ingredients for the marinade and toss the tofu to coat. Set aside to marinade for at least 20 minutes. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-mow heat. Add the tofu and cook for 10 - 15 minutes, turning to brown all sides.
To make the bowls warm your rice (or serve cold if you prefer) and scoop desired amounts into bowls along with the pickled veggies, fresh cilantro, and tofu. Drizzle tahini mayo over bowls as desired or serve along side. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy.
The pickled veggies can be made as little as 4 hours before you finish this recipe but I highly recommend trying to give them at least 24 hours for the best results.