There was a place in Hawaii where I used to buy Vietnamese sandwiches … until I watched a lady prepare my sandwich. Let’s just say it wasn’t done in the most sanitary way, which is a no no for a germaphobe like myself. Needless to say, I refused to purchase the sandwich. From that point on, it made me nervous to eat this at restaurants. But making this sandwich at home, as simple as it seems, really is not that easy when you’re trying to replicate that particular flavor that you can’t really pinpoint. There’s also surprisingly many ingredients involved. But we’re on a budget and found a way to make this challenging sandwich with the least amount of ingredients possible.
- 1 bake-at-home baguette (the bread can’t be rock hard)
- 1 firm tofu
- 1 carrot
- 1 cucumber
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- Mayo (pick the healthier alternative) – to taste
- Chili garlic sauce – to taste
- Cut carrots and cucumbers in thin, long strips.
- For carrot/cucumber slaw: Boil water, sugar and vinegar. Let cool.
- Add salt, add carrots and cucumbers, and marinate in mixture for at least 30 min in fridge.
- Cut baguette sideways, spread mayo on both sides of bread.
- Place in 400 degree oven for about 5 minutes.
- Pat tofu dry with paper towel, cook tofu on frying pan with olive oil until slightly browned on both sides.
- Once bread is done, spread chili garlic sauce to bread (to taste).
- Place tofu, carrots, and cucumber in sandwich.
- Serve immediately.
This sandwich tasted great, but since we took shortcuts, it won’t taste like what you might be used to eating at authentic Vietnamese restaurants. But if you’re on a budget like us and trying to reduce meat intake, this is a great alternative. This cost us about $3 per sandwich. In comparison, a Republic’s vietnamese sandwich (in Union Square area of New York City), which tastes great, costs $10. More importantly, we like that we know our sandwich was prepared in the most sanitary way possible. Eat with ease.