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Vietnamese-Style Tofu Hero

(recipe, Tal Ronnen)


This hot sandwich is a little more complicated than some of the others, but worth the time because it's so delicious. Based on a popular Vietnamese baguette sandwich called a bánh mi, it brings together sweet vegetables and spicy-savory tofu. The layering of flavors and textures makes it a sort of exotic comfort food.


    For the tofu
    1. 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    2. ¼ tsp. white pepper
    3. ¼ tsp. ground cayenne
    4. ½ tsp. sweet paprika
    5. 1 tsp. dry mustard
    6. 1 tsp. ground ginger
    7. ¼ cup soy sauce
    8. 2 Tbsp. minced chives
    9. 1 lb. extra-firm tofu, cut into 8 (¼-inch) slabs
    To assemble
    1. 4 French demi-baguettes, split
    2. 4 Tbsp. vegan mayonnaise
    3. 4 Tbsp. chile oil
    4. 4 fresh cilantro sprigs
    5. ½ English cucumber, cut lengthwise into 4 slices
    6. Asian Slaw


    1. Make the tofu: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients except for the tofu. Pour into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Place the tofu slabs in a single layer in the baking dish. Turn over to coat with the marinade. Bake for 20 minutes, turning the tofu over halfway through.
    2. Assemble the sandwiches: Spread half of each baguette with 1 tablespoon of the mayonnaise and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the chile oil. Layer 1 sprig of cilantro and 1 cucumber slice (cut to fit, if necessary).
    3. Place two pieces of the tofu and a spoonful of the Asian Slaw on each baguette half. Top with remaining baguette halves and cut sandwiches in half. Serve immediately.