Our obsession with Banh Mi started in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with one bite of the tofu version from Nha Toi tucked away on Havemeyer Street. Easily passed by yet known by most as the best in the ‘Burg. Sandwiches from Nha Toi were at least a weekly treat if not daily. Once we left Brooklyn for the summer, to the hills of Vermont, we had to have our Banh Mi fix and created our own.
Sorrel was up in our garden, which has a delicate lemon flavor so we decided to use this as our tofu flavoring. Once fried, the crispy sorrel leaves were delicious surprise!
Sorrel Tofu Banh Mi
1 package extra firm tofu
1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons soy sauce (Or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos) save a small amount
for the baguette
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup sorrel or lemongrass
Black pepper to taste
3 crisp French baguettes at least 6” long
Mayonnaise (or Follow Your Heart’s Vegenaise, which we prefer)
Drain tofu and place in a flat bowl with a weighted plate on top for
at least 15 minutes to squeeze out excess water. Meanwhile, crush
together the sorrel and garlic until smashed. Mix oils, soy sauce,
garlic, and sorrel in a bowl. Slice tofu into 1/2” thick slices and
lay one layer thick in a square baking dish or cookie sheet. Pour
mixture over tofu coating both sides thoroughly. Marinate for an
hour, turning a few times. Bake in oven at 400 for 30 min turning
once, or fry in a pan till crisp. Let cool.
Slice open baguettes, scoop out the centers and discard (or as Shane
likes to do make bread balls out of it). Lightly toast the baguettes.
Spread a small amount of soy sauce or Bragg’s and mayo on both sides,
layer in the tofu, cilantro, pickled carrots, and cucumbers (recipe below). Enjoy!!
Quick Pickled Carrot and Cucumber
3 large carrots – sliced in thin match-like strips, using a mandolin
slicer is easiest.
1/2 cucumber – sliced in 1/2” thick by 3” strips
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar, or more depending on how sweet you want your pickles
1 tablespoon salt
Mix warm water, vinegar, sugar and salt till dissolved. Pack the
carrots and pickles tightly in a glass jar. Pour liquid in jar till
carrots and pickles are covered. Let sit for at least 1 hour, will
store up to a week in fridge.
Abby Lutz & Shane Walsh
Switching gears from the fast-paced hullabaloo to the bucolic countryside, comes our new foodie team, Abby Lutz & Shane Walsh. A clothing designer and photographer respectively, this couple traded in their edgy Brooklyn address for a bit of paradise on a farm in rural Vermont. With a slower paced life now (though they still both work and turn out insanely gifted work), Abby and Shane have found themselves lingering in the garden and creating in the kitchen. The result? Mouth-watering, inventive concoctions crafted from the very food they grow. Whatever is ready to be picked is what goes on the plate… the very reason why they are The Accidental Gourmands.