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Extra Firm Tofu: Extra firm tofu holds up well to cooking. Once pressed it can really carry over a ton of flavor once marinated and cooked. Use extra firm when cooking, baking or frying .
Carrots & Cucumbers: Carrots and cucumbers add a really nice color they also add a lot of freshness and crunch to this sandwich
Fresh Herbs: Fresh herbs are a must for banh mi. It really makes this super light sandwich taste even fresher. My go-to herbs are fresh mint and cilantro. You can also add in a little fresh basil if you have it on hand. The perks of making banh mi at home is you can add as much as you like!
Honey Serrano Vinegar: The honey Serrano vinegar is just equal parts honey and rice wine vinegar. I steep spicy Serrano peppers and cilantro in it to extract and enhance alot of that spice. Do not marinade the tofu in this vinegar since the honey runs the risk of burning the tofu.
Soy Sauce: Soy sauce is just a savoriness enhancer. It adds a little salt and depth to every part that it touches. A dash of soy sauce goes a long way. I prefer to finish off my sandwiches with an additional shake of soy.
Hoisin: Hoisin sauce adds alot of color and slightly thickens up the marinade creating a nice glaze that can be both marinade and glaze for the tofu.
Five Spice Powder Five spice powder generally consist of cinnamon, fennel, star anise, and cloves. It adds alot of savory flavor to the dish. A little goes a long way.
press the tofu: press the tofu to release it from some of its water prior to slicing and marinating. to press the tofu remove the tofu from the packaging, place the tofu on a paper towel, top with another paper towel along with a cereal bowl to kind of add a light pressure. let sit for 10 minutes. changing out the paper towel if needed. once pressed, continue with the recipe as follows.
slicing the tofu: slice the tofu at the thickness you’d prefer to eat it at. for this recipe i find thin or medium strips work best. it thick enough to hold together in the air fryer but thin enough to absorb a good amount of the marinade. timing for this recipe will depend on thickness of the tofu. so add more time for thicker pieces and less for thinner slices of tofu.
baking the bread: when buying bread for my banh mi i like to use french baquette or bolillo bread. both breads are baguettes in their own way that bake nicely. they both offer a crisp outside and pillowy inside making it the perfect bread for building sandwiches. bake the bread slightly so it get a nice crust allow it to cool completely then start building.
serving: banh mi can be make in advance as long as its eaten the same day. make sure all the ingredients are cool or room temperature before building.