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banh mi taco close up

I’ve been experimenting with flavorful (flavorsome?) tofu tacos and this combination of Vietnamese flavors with the corn tortilla works really well. You can even prepare the filling ahead of time as these are delicious at room temperature–no need to keep the tofu warm. For a vegan version, leave out the mayo or use a vegan mayo of choice.

Prep and cook time: 20 minutes
Makes 4-6 banh mi tacos

soft corn tortillas
1 block firm tofu
1 large jalapeno, thinly sliced
4-6 radishes, thinly sliced
2 small persian cucumber, sliced
1 carrot, julienned (or pickled carrots and daikon radish)
thinly sliced red onion
mayo (optional)
fresh cilantro (coriander), chopped
2-3 limes
sriracha or other chili sauce

For the tofu marinade:
good quality soy sauce (or mushroom soy sauce, found at Asian market)
1 stalk lemongrass
2 birds eye chilies
1 tbs fresh grated ginger
2 fat garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
sesame oil
olive oil
pinch of sugar (optional)


tofu with carrot and cucumber

banh mi tacos from above

1) First, prepare the marinated tofu. Cut the tofu into small cubes or strips and set aside.
2) Peel the outer layer off the lemon grass stalk and then whack it a few times with the back of a knife or a wooden spoon. Cut the lemongrass into 3 or 4 pieces. Cut a slit into the birds eye chilies.
3) Add the lemongrass pieces, chilies, garlic, ginger, and pinch of sugar to a large bowl. Whisk in 1 tbs of sesame oil, 1 tbs of olive oil, and about 3 tbs of soy sauce (or 1 tbs of mushroom soy sauce, which is stronger).
4) Mix in the tofu strips. Stir a few times and leave to marinate while prepping the other veg.
5) Prepare the vegetable toppings. If you don’t have pickled carrot and daikon radish, mix julienned carrot with a splash of rice vinegar and set aside. Mix the sliced cucumber and radish with a 1-2 tbs of mayo.
6) After the tofu has marinated for 20 minutes or so, heat up a wok and fry the mixture (including the marinade) on a high heat. Stir frequently to keep anything from burning, but long enough to give the tofu a nice color. When cooked and heated through, discard the stalks of lemongrass. They are tough to chew on!
7) Assemble the tacos. Fry each corn tortilla till golden on both sides (no oil is necessary) and fill with the fried tofu, the cucumber and radish with mayo, the pickled carrot, a bit of red onion and sliced jalapeno (if you like spice) and the fresh cilantro.
8)Top it all with a splash of soy sauce, a drizzle of sriracha and a generous squeeze of lime.