Tempeh banh mi recipe

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Freshly pickled vegetables, a spicy sauce, and savory marinated tempeh all combine to create layers of spicy, pickley, sourish-sweet, umami wonder and one of our favorite sandwiches.

  • Yield: 4 sandwiches


  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) tamari
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) seasoned rice vinegar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 8 ounces (227 g) tempeh, simmered, cut in half laterally, then vertically to form 4 thin patties
  • ½ cup (72 g) daikon matchsticks
  • ½ cup (112 g) cucumber matchsticks
  • ½ cup (56 g) grated carrots
  • 2 tablespoons (10 g) minced scallion
  • 1 tablespoon (9 g) minced jalapeño, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon agave nectar, or to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup (56 g) vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha, or to taste
  • High heat neutral-flavored oil, for cooking the tempeh
  • 4 (5-inch, or 13 cm) pieces of French bread, sliced in half laterally, some insides removed, toasted
  • Handful fresh cilantro leaves
  • 8 leaves romaine lettuce
How to Make It
  1. Combine the tamari, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vinegar, the onion powder, garlic powder, ginger powder, and cayenne pepper in an 8 x 11 inch (20 x 28 cm) baking dish. Put the tempeh patties into the marinade. Marinate for 1 hour or cover and refrigerate up to 12 hours.
  2. Stir together the daikon, cucumber, carrots, scallion, jalapeño, remaining tablespoon (15 ml) vinegar, lime juice, agave, garlic, and fresh ginger in a medium-size bowl. Season to taste. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Longer refrigeration (up to 2 days) will lead to a more pickled flavor.
  3. Stir together the mayonnaise and sriracha in small bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
  4. Heat a thin layer of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the tempeh for 3 to 5 minutes until browned. Turn over to cook the second side for 3 to 4 minutes also until browned.
  5. To assemble the sandwiches, spread the inside tops and bottoms of the bread evenly with the spiced mayonnaise. Place a piece of tempeh on each bottom. Using a slotted spoon, top the tempeh with one-quarter of the pickled vegetables, a few pieces of fresh cilantro (to taste), and two lettuce leaves. Put the tops on the sandwiches and serve.

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