Tofu enriches this riff on Vietnamese street food banh mi with plenty of plant-based protein, while a wasabi spread gives the dinner-worthy sandwich some nose-clearing kick.


  • 1 block extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 1/3 cup sliced radish
  • 1/2 cup English cucumber, sliced into thin matchsticks
  • Juice of 1⁄2 lime
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • 1/2 tsp wasabi paste
  • 2 small baguettes or sub rolls, halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup cilantro


  1. Line a cutting board with a couple of paper towels. Top with tofu and more paper towels. Press gently to extract excess liquid. Slice tofu along its width into 2 slabs, then cut each in half.
  2. Whisk together 1 tbsp canola oil, soy sauce, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger in a large container. Place tofu flat in container in a single layer. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to overnight. Flip once.
  3. Place cabbage, carrot, radish, and cucumber in a bowl. Whisk together lime juice, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, sugar, and salt, then add to vegetables, stir, and let sit at least 30 minutes.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Remove tofu from marinade and let excess drip off. Add tofu squares to pan and heat until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes. Flip and heat until golden on other side.
  5. Stir together cream cheese, lime zest, and wasabi paste.
  6. To assemble each sandwich, spread cream cheese mixture on bottom half of baguette. Top with 2 pieces of tofu, vegetables, and cilantro. Spread more cream cheese on bread top and place on sandwich.
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