Tofu Bánh Mì

  • 14 ounces extra-firm or firm tofu, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slabs
  • Salt
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 cucumber, optional (see notes), peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced thin
  • Zest of 1 lime plus 1 tablespoon juice
  • tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 48-inch baguettes or sub rolls, split lengthwise
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  1. Spread tofu over paper towel-lined baking sheet, let drain for 20 minutes, then gently press dry with paper towels and season with salt. Spread cornstarch in shallow dish. Dredge tofu in cornstarch and transfer to plate.
  2. Meanwhile, zest the lime into a small bowl. Add the mayonnaise and Sriracha and stir to combine. In a separate bowl, combine carrots, cucumber (if using), lime juice, and fish sauce and let sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick (or not) skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add tofu and cook until both sides are crisp and browned, adjusting heat as necessary (I turn it down to medium), about 4 minutes a side. Transfer to paper towel-lined (or not) plate.
  4. Spread mayonnaise mixture evenly over cut sides of each roll. Assemble 4 sandwiches by layering ingredients as follows between prepared rolls: tofu, pickled vegetables (leaving liquid in bowl), and cilantro. Press gently on sandwiches to set. Serve.


Mario Batali’s Vietnamese Shrimp Cups

For the Shrimp:
2 pounds large Shrimp (peeled; deveined; tails off)
2 Limes (zest and juice)
1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
Kosher Salt

For the Shrimp Dressing:
1-inch piece Ginger (peeled; grated)
2 tablespoons Sambal
1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
2 tablespoons Sweet Soy Sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons Fish Sauce
2 Limes (juiced)
1/4 cup Thai Basil leaves (loosely packed; chopped)
1/4 cup Cilantro leaves(loosely packed; chopped)

For the Noodles:
1 package Vermicelli Noodles (cooked to package instructions)
2 Carrots (shredded or julienned) 5 Scallions (thinly sliced)
1 tablespoon Honey
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For the Peanut Relish:
1/4 cup roasted salted Peanuts
2 Serrano Peppers (sliced)
1/4 cup Mint leaves (loosely packed)
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt

For the Shrimp: Preheat a grill or grillpan over medium-high heat. In a large bowl, whisk together the lime zest, lime juice, vegetable oil, sesame oil, and a generous pinch of salt. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Grill the shrimp for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side, or until opaque.

For the Shrimp Dressing: In a large bowl, combine the ginger, sambal, sesame oil, sweet soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, thai basil, cilantro, and whisk together. Toss the cooked shrimp in the dressing.

For the Noodles: Whisk together the honey, soy sauce, and extra virgin olive oil. Toss the carrots, scallions, and noodles in the dressing. Season with salt.

For the Peanut Relish: Combine the peanuts, serrano peppers, mint, and salt in a mortar and pestle and crush into a coarse relish. Or combine in a food processor and pulse.

For Serving: Serve the dressed shrimp and dressed noodles with a platter of the butter lettuce leaves, mint, basil, and cilantro. Assemble as desired and garnish to taste.

Helpful Tips:
1. Be careful with the fermented fish sauce, too much ruins a dish!
2. Customize your lettuce cup with the garnishes of your choice.