This tempeh banh mi features quick-pickled carrots and onions, paper-thin cucumbers, and cilantro. It’s the perfect vegan sandwich! (Updated from its original 2017 version).
For the Quick-Pickled Vegetables
- 3/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar (apple cider or red wine vinegar also work, see Note below)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
- 1 small red onion, peeled and cut into thin rings
For the Tempeh and Assembly
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- One 8-ounce package of tempeh, cut into 1/3-inch-thick strips
- About 2 tablespoons avocado, organic canola, or refined coconut oil, for frying
- 1/2 teaspoon arrowroot starch or cornstarch (optional, see Note)
- 1 baguette, cut into 4 pieces, halved lengthwise, and lightly toasted
- 4 tablespoons conventional or vegan mayonnaise
- 2 Persian cucumbers, shaved into ribbons or thinly sliced
- 2 generous handfuls of cilantro
- Start by pickling the vegetables. In a medium shallow dish, combine 3/4 cup rice vinegar with 1/2 cup water. Toss in the carrots and onions, making sure the vegetables are fully submerged. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Meanwhile, marinade the tempeh. In a medium shallow dish, combine 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon garlic powder with 2 tablespoons water. Stir to combine. Add the tempeh and toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes, tossing again halfway through to make sure it’s marinating evenly.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat and add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom. Add the tempeh in a single layer (reserving the marinade!) and cook until browned, about 3 minutes per side.
- While the tempeh cooks, whisk 1/2 teaspoon arrowroot into the reserved marinade (optional, see Note). When all the tempeh is golden brown, add the reserved marinade and cook just until it thickens a bit, about 30 seconds. Turn the heat off.
- To assemble the sandwiches, spread 1 tablespoon of mayo on each quarter of the baguette. Top with 4-5 tempeh strips, pickled vegetables, cucumbers, and cilantro.
- If you don’t have seasoned rice vinegar, substitute with apple cider vinegar or wine vinegar and be sure to stir about 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons sugar or maple syrup into the brine to make up the difference.
- I like to add a tiny bit of arrowroot (a thickening starch similar to cornstarch) to the reserved marinade to make it thick and shiny, and help it stick to the tempeh. If you don’t have arrowroot, substitute with cornstarch or use double the amount of all-purpose flour. (You can also skip it entirely.)
- Quick-pickled veg will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to about 10 days.
- Serving Size: 1 sandwich
- Calories: 440
- Carbohydrates: 52.9 g
- Fiber: 1.6 g
- Protein: 16.8 g
Keywords: tempeh, banh mi, vietnamese, sandwich, quick pickled vegetables