Jason always orders better than me. When we go out to eat, almost without fail, I muse stress over the menu while he makes a quick decision.  I struggle to narrow down my options nearly numb from this looming decision, and right as I’m about to make up my mind, I see something new on the menu and a few more minutes of my life are wasted in worry.

And then our food comes and immediately I am drooling over Jason’s plate and working to convince him he wants to split our meals in half and share. Meanwhile my meal looks sad, dry, and disappointing.

Okay so I may be exaggerating slightly. But hey, it’s my story to tell.


My first experience with a Banh Mi Sandwich was on the streets in downtown Portland, shoveling huge bites of the sandwich into my mouth before Jason took it back. He was the one that ordered it, after all. I am not one to learn from my mistakes, apparently, because the next time we hit up the same Vietnamese food cart I ordered yet another mediocre dish while Jason ordered the Banh Mi sandwich.  Once again I watched wistfully as Jason enjoyed his sandwich.

So the other day it was time to take matters into my own hands. I went to work recreating those few delicious bites I had tried awhile back. As I’ve been enjoying a bit of Ethnic Fusion recently (see Palak Paneer Pizza) I choose to turn the traditional Banh Mi Sandwich into a taco. The results: will be making again tomorrow night!


Banh Mi Tacos

6-8 small flour tortillas
fresh cilantro

Marinated Tofu
8 ounces extra firm tofu
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup
pinch of salt
1-2 tsp fresh grated ginger

Cucumber Carrot Slaw
2 carrot
1 small cucumber
1/2 small red onion
1/2 red pepper
1/2 jalepeno
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp soy sauce
pinch of salt
juice of 1/2 lime

Spicy Mayonaise 
1/4 cup veganaise
2-3 tsp siracha


Preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Very thinly slice tofu and lay the tofu strips in a single layer on baking sheet. Mix together the ingredients for the marinade and brush a layer over each tofu slice. Bake for 10 minutes. Flip tofu, brush on another layer, and baker for another 8-10 minutes until browned and crispy around the edges.  Remove from oven and let cool. Slice lengthwise into thin strips and set aside.

To make the cucumber carrot slaw, cut all vegetables as thin as you can. Set in small bowl. Mix together remaining slaw ingredients and pour over vegetables. Toss to combine. Cover and place in refrigerator to marinate for at least an hour.


Assemble the tacos by laying a few tofu strips down the center of a tortilla. Top with a small handful of cucumber carrot slaw and a few leaves of cilantro. Add desired amount of spicy mayonaise, fold over and enjoy.


And believe me, you will.

How do you order at restaurants? With ease or full of doubt? And are you usually happy with your choices?