I love living in the most multicultural city in Canada. I love strolling down the Danforth and reading the Greek writing, skipping over to Kensington Market and Chinatown and checking out the cool markets, going to the Ukranian festival at Bloor West Village (oh my gosh, did I just list off every white North American cliché idea of “multiculturalism?”).
Here’s the thing: Toronto’s multiculturalism manifests itself a lot in food. And for the most part, that food is not vegan-friendly.
My ex used to go on and on about Bahn Mi sandwiches. Of course, by the time I even knew what these delightful things were, I was off animal products entirely. Last weekend while I was sick, I started semi-coherently babbling to my partner about how I had regrets about never trying bahn mi sandwiches (yeah, I get weird when I’m sick).
So he had an idea.
This isn’t really an overly complex “recipe” since it’s really just an assembly of various things, but it does incorporate my shiitake bacon marinade.
Another recipe we used was Thug Kitchen’s pickled carrots from their cookbook. (Seriously, order their cookbook)! You don’t have to use carrots. You could pickle anything — cabbage, radishes, you could even just make pickles if you want! (For some reason. I hate pickles. Why would you do that to a cucumber)?
Finally, we also used hummus as a spread for the bottom loaf. You can use any hummus recipe you liked — we used my pizza hummus!
So here’s what we needed did to assemble these bad boys:
- One brick extra-firm tofu, drained and sliced into 1/8″ strips lengthwise (like extra-rectangly bacon)
- 2 recipes smokey maple bacon marinade
- One recipe pickled veggies (home pickled or store-bought — we used homemade carrots!)
- Vegan mayo (or if you want to get colourful, avocado spread, but I liked the tangy taste of my vegan mayola)
- Sliced radishes
- Sliced cucumbers
- Red onion, sliced thin
- Baguette, ciabatta buns or Scottish baps (which is what we used)
For preparing the tofu:
- Press the tofu for 20 minutes while you make the marinade
- Carefully slice the tofu in strips, length-wise, about 1/8″ thick (they’ll plump up a bit in the marinade)
- Space the tofu out in a deep bowl or food storage container. It can’t be too big because you need to be able to submerge the tofu in the marinade.
- Pour the marinade over the tofu and cover for 4-8 hours.
- Grill or bake the tofu. Pour any extra marinade on top after you’ve finished cooking.
- Pile on your sandwich toppings and enjoy.