Being married to a Vietnamese-American means that I get the low down on all of the restaurants that have authentically made Vietnamese dishes. My husband is a hard critic of Vietnamese food and rightly so. I’ve had a few Vietnamese hoagies (the good, the bad, and the ugly). Yeah, I called them “hoagies.” I’m originally from New Jersey. Got a problem?
I was inspired after having a Vietnamese hoagie for lunch one day at a fine vegan dining establishment in Philadelphia called Milah Vegetarian. I whipped up my own recipe inspired by their creation and have made it countless times since. I’m not sure that it’s quite “authentic” but this white girl likes it.
The key to a good bánh mì chay is the roll itself. When we are in Philadelphia we’ll pick up a pack of rolls from Ba Le Bakery. Feel free to pick up your favorite hoagie rolls to use.
Here is my version:
Vegan Vietnamese Hoagie
1 good hoagie roll
1 block of extra firm tofu
1/2 carrot sliced thinly or shredded
1/2 cucumber sliced thinly
1 jalapeno sliced thinly
several sprigs of fresh cilantro
1/2 cup soy sauce, tamari, or Braggs Liquid Aminos (I prefer the latter)
1/4 cup olive oil
2-4 TB Sriracha (more or less depending on how much heat you can take)
salt & pepper (to taste)
Mix the ingredients together for the marinade. Slice the tofu into 1/2 inch slabs. Place tofu in a shallow bowl or rectangular glass or plastic container and pour the marinade on top. Let the tofu marinate for at least 1 hour (flipping the tofu at the halfway point). When finished marinating, remove tofu from mixture and fry in a skillet, slightly browning both sides. Either save the marinade for another batch or feel free to pour the rest of it over the tofu while it’s frying in the skillet.
Prepare your veggies and toast your hoagie roll. Spread Vegenaise on the inside of the sliced hoagie roll. Lay down your finished tofu pieces. Top with cukes, carrots, jalapenos, and cilantro.
In this particular meal, I served the hoagie with sweet potato fries. Just slice up some sweet potatoes into thin wedges, put on a slightly oiled cookie sheet, bake at 400 degrees until browned. Sprinkle with cajun seasoning, Old Bay seasoning, or salt and pepper and serve!