How does a gal in central PA make a Vietnamese sandwich? With cabbage of course! Not bok choy, not nappa cabbage but that regular ol’ stuff the locals make cole slaw out of. I even decided just to grab a bag of the pre-shredded stuff because it was more colorful with the red cabbage and carrot in it. Sure, it was dry but I had plans for it that would really brighten it up.
A block of extra firm tofu, whole wheat rolls and bag of almost fresh cabbage mix is what I started with in the morning. I had a few things to marinate by lunch time. Inspired by the Taco Slaw from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowtiz, I started marinating the cabbage into an awesome filler for my…
Dutchified Bahn Mi Chay
3 heaping Cups bagged shredded cabbage mix
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 pickled jalapenos in thin slices
1 tsp salt
fresh grated black pepper, to taste
Mix all the ingredients in a large glass or plastic bowl. Cover it loosely with plastic wrap and press the wrap down on top of the slaw. Weigh it down with something heavy, and allow it to press for at least an hour. Before using, squeeze out all of the extra moisture (discard that) and the Spicy Cabbage is ready to add to your sandwich.
1 pkg of extra firm tofu
1/2 Cup peanut oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
zest of 1 lemon
Drain Tofu and gently press dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Slice into about 1/4 ” slabs.
In a large plastic ziplock bag, combine oils, garlic, soy sauce, lemon zest, and pepper. Mix the marinade well, carefully add slabs of tofu. Lay tofu slices in gently so that they don’t break. Make sure all marinate coats each slab of tofu.
Let marinade for at least 1 hour, carefully turning the bag occasionally or until all tofu slabs soak up the marinade.
Heat up a cast iron skillet. No need to add oil, the tofu is well oiled. Fry slices of tofu until both sides are golden brown with a nice firm crust.
Allows slabs to cool on paper towels to absorb extra oil before making your sandwich.
Assembling your Bahn Mi Chay
6″ Whole Wheat Rolls
1 Carrot in matchsticks (you may choose to pickle them too, I used a hot sauce and a vegan ponzu)
1 Cucumber in thin slabs
Spicy Cabbage (recipe above)
Marinated Tofu (recipe above)
Like a Hoagie, slice the rolls open and slather on some Veganaise before sliding in the cucumber, carrot and Marinated Tofu. Traditional Bahn Mi Chay called for hot pepper slices but they are already in your Spicy Cabbage. Stuff that sandwich to bursting with Spicy Cabbage and slice in half! We served it with a side of Kimchi, mixing ethnic cultures on our plate even more.
Jim reminded me that we had enjoyed a similar sandwich in November. We were with the Green Street Vegetarian group at Espresso Yourself where they kindly adapted a special of the day by using Tofurky. My idea of using cabbage, it turns out, wasn’t original at all. I had just been hungering for it so badly that I recreated it as best as I could! Jim said it was a good job and he liked the tofu, as did I, very much.