The Tofu Meatball Banh Mi is a vegetarian or vegan version of the traditional Vietnamese banh mi sandwich. It features meatballs made with tofu, mixed with sweet and sour sauce, and served on a baguette. This Banh Mi is a delicious, healthy, and flavorful option for anyone who loves Vietnamese food or wants to try something new.
These tofu meatballs are perfect for making ahead of time in batch, as they become more flavorful over time. These meatballs can also be enjoyed with rice or noodles.
What is Tofu Meatball Banh Mi?
If you're a fan of Vietnamese cuisine, you've probably heard of Banh Mi.
Banh Mi is a Vietnamese-styled sandwich with a lot of savory flavors, sauces, fresh herbs and veggies. It has influences from the French colonials. Traditionally, Banh Mi uses a mixture of Vietnamese mayonnaise, paté and hot sauce as the sauce base. Then, the Banh Mi is topped with some types of meat or egg, cucumber, pickled carrots, and fresh herbs.
To keep this recipe completely plant-based and simple, I use vegan sriracha mayo and tofu meatballs. The other toppings of the banh mi, such as pickled carrot and daikon, cucumber, and cilantro, remain quite authentic. It's a fresh and nutritious food option for lunch, breakfast or food party.
I have made a few other Banh Mi recipes:
Banh Mi is my favorite breakfast option to purchase when running late for school. It has such savory, complex flavors yet is so simple and easy to make at home. In recent years, banh mi has gained more international recognition, which I feel very grateful and proud of.
Ingredients of Tofu Meatball Banh Mi
The tofu meatballs are made of 9 ingredients:
- Firm tofu
- Wood-ear mushroom
- Soy sauce
- Black pepper
- Corn starch
To make the Sweet and Sour glaze, you'll need:
- Soy sauce
For assembling the Banh Mi, the combination of banh mi toppings include:
- Vegan sriracha mayo: I use a storebought sauce product, alternatively, you can combine 2 parts vegan mayonnaise and 1 part sriracha.
- Cucumber: add crunchiness and freshness
- Pickled carrot: this adds the sour taste, you can buy a store-bought pickled carrot or prepare this ahead of time. Find the recipe for this in the recipe note.
- Herbs: I keep this super simple with some fresh coriander, you can also use Thai basil instead.
Make the Tofu Meatball:
Rehydrate the wood ear mushroom by pouring hot water on it and letting it sit for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, crumble the tofu and drain excess water. Finely mince the onion and garlic. Preheat the oven to 200°C (392°F).
Crumble the tofu and drain excess water
Thinly cut the onion
Finely mince the garlic
In a mixing bowl, add the crumbled tofu, minced garlic and shallot, soy sauce, ketchup, sriracha, and black pepper. After the mushroom is hydrated, drain the water and cut into small pieces. Add the mushroom and corn starch into the mixing bowl. Mix well to combine.
After the mushrooms are rehydrated, cut the mushrooms into small pieces
Add the ingredients to make the meatballs
Mix the ingredients together
Shape the mixture into tofu meatballs, this recipe makes about 16-18 meatballs.
Bake the tofu meatballs in the oven for 20 minutes or air fry for 15 minutes, flipping halfway.
Use your hands to shape the mixture into tofu meatballs
Bake or air fry the tofu meatballs until golden brown
Make the Sweet and Sour glaze:
On a pot, heat up the soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, and minced garlic.
After the tofu meatballs are baked until golden, add the sweet and sour glaze to the tofu meatballs.
Heat up and mix the ingredients to make the sauce
Drizzle the sauce on top of the meatballs
Assemble the Tofu Meatball Banh Mi
Thinly slice the cucumber and chili.
Use a bread knife to cut open the baguette, spread a thin layer of sriracha mayo, then add the vegan tofu meatballs, cucumber slices, pickled carrot, chili slices and coriander. Enjoy!
If you have tried my recipe, please let me know what you think by leaving me a review on this page or tagging me on Instagram @veggieanh. I would love to see your creations!