I know, I know. Banh mi literally means "bread" in Vietnamese. But we mostly steer clear of bread as a staple food, and we love banh mi. So I came up with this.

I've read that in Vietnam banh mi sandwiches are stuffed with all kinds of things. Even ice cream. Whereas I'm sure the usual filling, served as a salad, has a name of its own. But I don't know it, so.

Whatever, this is delicious.

Ingredients

  • 2 heads lettuce, chopped
  • 3-4 stalks of green onion, chopped
  • A chopped garlic scape (green stalk) or two, if you have 'em
  • 1 sliced carrot
  • 1 14 oz box firm tofu, cubed
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Fistful of arugula
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Fresh basil, if you've got it
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 6 tablespoons rice vinegar (it matters)
  • 2 tablespoons Bragg's liquid aminos (or a smaller amount of soy sauce)
  • 1 date, chopped (to balance the acid; or use hoisin sauce and ditch the Bragg's)
  • A generous shake of paprika
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Toss in some sesame seeds

Combine and serve.

Rice vinegar seems to be the real "I am eating Vietnamese food" taste signal here, along with the cilantro.

Feel free to sub in actual onions, actual garlic, jalapenos, etc. according to your digestive capabilities.

The above would also be bangin' on actual baguette I'm sure, particularly with a little mayo. Also I haven't tried cucumber yet, which is definitely canonical.

    MORE
    A) This sounds ridiculously good.
    B) I miss Vietnamese food and OMG why do I not just make it?
    C) Fistful of Arugula is the name of my next album. :)
    This sounds deeeeeelish.
    YUM
    I’m jazzed about this.
    Rice vinegar is MAGIC, not just for Vietnamese recipes. It's so yummy.
    True facts.
    Also, YES CUCUMBER. Always cucumber.
    For some reason my beloved local produce store only has gigantic English cucumbers, but this dish might be the use for that.
    Thanks, Tom. This was EXACTLY what I wanted to eat today!

    I happened to have cucumber, so in it went.

    Used 2/3 regular rice vinegar and 1/3 seasoned (sweetened) rice vinegar; I have a choking trigger sometimes if things are too acidic, so I was being cautious. It's not actually dangerous, but my epiglottis SLAMS shut if something is too vinegary.

    Oh! And I didn't have any garlic scapes, so I buzzed a small clove of garlic with the date, vinegar, and Bragg's in a food processor. Chopped everything tiny and made a nice blended dressing.
    Anne Mollo 3/15edited
    Outstanding!