In this recipe, the amazing flavors of a banh mi sandwich are transformed into a salad. Pickled beets, carrots, and radishes sit on a bed of shredded purple cabbage, giving this delicious meal an eye-catching vibrancy. It's then topped with garlicky baked tofu and a creamy, spicy dressing. The dressing is light enough to complement the flavors of the pickled vegetables and soy sauce.

Tofu Banh Mi Salad With Pickled Vegetables [Vegan]

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Ingredients

  • 1 14-ounce package of extra firm tofu
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 1/2 cup radishes, julienned
  • 1/2 cup beets, peeled and julienned
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper seeds
  • 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce
  • 1 cucumber, peeled
  • A bunch of cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • 1 head of purple cabbage
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Preparation

To Pickle the Vegetables: 

  1. Pickle the vegetables by placing the carrots and radishes in a 16 ounce jar with 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Place the beets in an 8 ounce jar with 2 cloves of garlic, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
  2. Combine water, sugar, vinegars, and salt in a small saucepan over low heat until sugar and salt have dissolved.  Distribute vinegar mixture over the vegetables in the 2 jars.  It should fill both, covering the vegetables in each jar.  Refrigerate over night.

To Make the Tofu:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare the tofu by rinsing it and draining it.  To drain it, you can either use a tofu press, or if you don’t have one, you can set a small plate upside down on a large plate. Place the tofu on the bottom side of the small plate and place another small plate on top of the tofu. Then place something of substantial weight on top of that plate.  Let the excess moisture drain onto the large plate.
  3. After about 15 minutes, cut the tofu in half crosswise (essentially butterflying it into two thinner pieces), then cut each half into uniform size cubes. Put the cubes in a bowl and season with garlic powder and black pepper. Toss gently until coated. Pour 1/4 cup soy sauce over tofu, tossing occasionally to coat until ready to bake.
  4. Lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil and arrange tofu on the sheet. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, flipping once during cooking, until tofu is crisp and firm, but still slightly tender.
  5. While the tofu is cooking, prepare cabbage by cutting it into thin shreds. You can slice a circular piece off the side and then cut that slice into strips. Continue until you have enough for the salads.

To Make the Dressing and To Serve:

  1. Prepare the dressing by combing 2 tablespoons soy sauce, rice vinegar, light brown sugar, and sesame in a small jar.  Shake together vigorously until combined.
  2. Use a vegetable peeler to slice cucumber into thin strips, peeling all sides until seeds are reached.
  3. Prepare sriracha-mayo by combining vegan mayonnaise and sriracha.
  4. Prepare salad by topping cabbage with pickled veggies, cucumbers, cilantro, jalapeño, and tofu.  Dress cabbage with soy sauce dressing and top tofu with sriracha-mayo.  Serve.
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