Lemongrass Tofu Bánh Mì Recipe

Lemongrass Tofu Bánh Mì

The freshest sandwich for the warmer months! Vietnamese inspired Bánh Mì recipe, with lip-smackin’ Lemongrass, glazed baked tofu, a cool Thai basil aioli, a quick zingy pickle (or quickles, as Derek calls them), sliced red onion and avocado, and a sprig of punchy cilantro, in a soft Vietnamese baguette (not to be mistaken for the crunchy French kind!). It’s worth going the extra mile to find these squishy rolls, with a light crust; head to any Vietnamese shop, or restaurant and see if you can source some! Note: You’ll have to whip up a batch of Baked Tofu to make this, so be sure to factor this into your cooking time. This Lemongrass Tofu Bánh Mì Recipe is worth it.

The Bánh Mì sandwich was brought into the world back in the late 1950s, with Saigon named as its original birthplace. This now globally popular street food creation was the idea of Mr. and Mrs. Le, whose family still runs a small restaurant to this day! Learn more about the rich cultural history behind the Bánh Mì sandwich here.


  • Baked Tofu (recipe here)
  • x2 Vietnamese baguettes sliced partway through
  • Green onions, finely sliced
  • Red onions, finely sliced
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Glaze:
  • 1 shallot, roughly minced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, finely minced
  • ½ a large red chili, sliced
  • 1 cup of orange juice
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup agave
  • 2 pinches salt
  • Thumb of fresh ginger, finely sliced
  • 1 ½ TBSP cornstarch
  • Aioli:
  • 1 cup Vegan mayo
  • 1/4 cup Thai basil, finely chopped
  • 2 TBSP green onion, finely sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, microplaned for a fine grate
  • Juice from 1/4 of a lime
  • Pinch of salt
  • Quick pickles:
  • 1 Jalapeno, finely sliced
  • 5 baby cucumbers, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 TBSP maple sugar, agave is fine as well
  • 2 large pinches of salt


  1. Start by making the glaze. Warm-up a pan on medium heat, add oil and saute shallot, garlic, and lemongrass. Lower heat. Add sliced chili and ginger and stir to saute.
  2. Pour in lemon juice, mirin, and agave, with a pinch of salt. Simmer to reduce for 8 minutes.
  3. Make your aioli! Combine mayo with Thai basil, green onion, garlic, lime juice, and salt. Mix well.
  4. Make your quick pickles: whisk rice vinegar, maple sugar, and salt together, combine with jalapeno and cucumber slices. Transfer to a jar – they’ll keep for a week (if you have any left!).
  5. Take glaze off the heat and use a stick blender to mix until smooth. Return to burner and bring to a simmer. To thicken, stir cornstarch with a little water and whisk to a paste in a bowl, then slowly add to sauce and whisk throughout. Set aside when thickened into a glaze-like consistency.
  6. Place Baked Tofu slices on a hot cast-iron pan on medium heat, pour a layer of glaze over the slices, turning to coat in the sauce. Sprinkle with green onion, stir through and turn off the heat.
  7. Prep the red onion and avocado for the sandwiches and start to assemble! Take your Vietnamese baguette and spread a layer of aioli, add tofu, pickles, sliced red onion, avocado, and fresh cilantro. There you have it! Your Lemongrass Tofu Bánh Mì Recipe is all ready.


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