Banh Mi Bowl

Fun fact about me; my husband and I lived in Vietnam for a short time a few years back. One of the things I loved most about it was how many veggies are in the daily diet. Vegetables were always the star of every dish. We would go to the market and the isles would be lined with bins overflowing with brightly covered fruits and veggies. It changed the way I cook and I am forever grateful for that. 

The other day I was missing our beautiful little apartment in Saigon and the flavors of the city. I threw together my take of a banh mi. A banh mi is a sandwich, usually eaten for breakfast or a snack. This version is deconstructed, vegan and served on a bed of pad thai noodles. 

For the Bowls:

  • 1-8 oz package rice noodles 
  • 1 package extra firm tofu (my favorite is Hodo soy)
  • 3 T corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced

Noodle Sauce:

  • 3 T Tamari
  • 2 T rice wine vinegar
  • 1 T toasted sesame oil

Cashew Sriracha Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for several hours or overnight
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 2 T sriracha
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1/2 T nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cup water

Cook noodles according to package instruction. Drain and toss with a bit of raw sesame or avocado oil. 

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Drain the tofu and wrap with clean kitchen towel, place a plate on top of the cake and let sit for about 30 minutes. If you are using Hodo Soy Tofu, you can skip this step. Slice the tofu into 1/4 inch slices. Place corn starch and salt in a bowl and toss until coated. Heat a pan on medium to high heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan (I like to use a cast iron). Place tofu in the pan and let cook until golden brown (3-4 minutes on each side). Remove tofu from the pan and place on a paper towel.

Prepare the veggies.

To make the noodle sauce combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

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In a high speed blender add all ingredients and blend on high until creamy (about 30-60 seconds). If you want it to be thinner, add a bit more water. If it gets too thin, add a small handful of cashews. 

Assemble the bowl by placing the noodles in a bowl. Drizzle a couple spoonfuls of the noodle sauce over the noodles. Arrange the tofu and veggies to your liking. I like to bunch them together around the side of the bowl. Drizzle with cashew sriracha sauce and sesame seeds. Dive in!

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