Shaker Gourmet: Vegan Banh Mi

This recipe comes courtesy of Shaker RachelB who noted that: "this recipe requires either a food processor with a shredder blade or a box grater and mortar and pestle. It should make three servings."
Pesto for banh mi

If you’re using a large food processor, the pesto will mix better if you double the quantities.

1 ½ inch piece ginger, peeled
1 shallot, peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large jalapeno (or 2 smaller medium-hot chili peppers); more to taste
cilantro, one generous bunch, including stems, washed and dried as best as possible
a few leaves of basil
a few leaves of spearmint
peanut oil or neutral vegetable oil
juice of ½ lemon (or more to taste)
salt to taste (I undersalt the pesto, using about ¼ tsp. so the boyfriend, who likes fish sauce, can use fish sauce on his sandwich without getting salt overload)

Place the ginger, shallot, and garlic in the food processor or mortar and pulverize. Add chili(s) and pulverize. Add cilantro, basil, and spearmint and pulverize. Pour in, little by little, enough oil to make a paste. Mix in lemon and salt, adjusting to taste.

Banh mi

2 carrots, or 1 carrot and 1 daikon
rice wine vinegar
1 baguette
soy sauce (or fish sauce if you prefer)
pesto (see above)
1 pkg. baked tofu (if you can find something marinated with chili and lemongrass, that’s the way to go)

Shred the carrot and/or daikon using a grater or food processor. Set aside in a bowl and toss with a splash of rice wine vinegar.

Cut baguette into desired portion size. (Basically, I cut a length that will fit in my toaster; if you are using a toaster oven and want a longer piece, go to town.) Then slice the baguette piece in half the long way. Pop in toaster.

While the baguette is toasting, slice the marinated tofu thinly enough so that everyone can have some.

Spread the cut side of the toasted baguette with pesto and dot on some soy sauce if necessary. Place tofu slices on top of one piece, mound on some marinated carrot/daikon shreds, and add the top half.

We usually have pesto and carrot/daikon shreds left over, but we eat up all the tofu. In this case, leftover pesto and carrot/daikon shreds are also good on rice (or good in spring roll wrappers with some crushed peanuts).
If you have a recipe that you'd like to share with the Shaker community, email it to me at: shakergourmet (at) -- include a link to your blog, too, if you have one!

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