Bahn Mi-Less Bahn Mi Bowl
2 cups julienned daikon radish
2 cups julienned carrot
2 small jalapeños, sliced
1 cup water
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup agave syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
One 14-ounce block of extra firm tofu, drained, sliced into 4 rectangles (chop the block in half widthwise and then slice each half lengthwise, so you have 4 flat rectangles), and pressed for at least 1 hour
2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon sriracha or other hot sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 cups cooked white or brown rice (or other grain)
2 cups chopped kale
1 cup shredded red cabbage (use a mandoline, if you have one)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
1/2 cup thinly sliced radish
1 avocado, chopped or sliced
fresh, chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
chopped green onions for garnish (optional)
jalapeno slices for garnish (optional)
sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
sriracha aioli mixed with 1 tablespoon of water and 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar (the added liquid thins it out to a more dressing-like state)
pickled jalapeño, carrot & daikon salad
A day prior to serving, make the pickled jalapeño, carrot & daikon salad. Combine the carrot and daikon shreds with the jalapeño slices in a large jar or airtight container. In a large measuring cup, stir together the water, vinegar, rice vinegar, agave syrup, and salt. Pour over the veggies in the container, and cover with lid. Shake the container to fully mix together and then refrigerate for at least 1 day. The salad will keep for two weeks.
Combine the tamari, lemon juice, maple syrup, sriracha, liquid smoke, and garlic powder in a 8x8-inch baking dish. Add the 4 pressed tofu rectangles and place them in the marinade. Flip them to make sure they are fully covered. Let them marinate for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping them once halfway through. While the tofu is marinating, you can prepare your veggies for the bowl (see instruction below under "bowl assembly."
After the tofu has finished marinating, heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Add the tofu rectangles and let them cook for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until each side has a crisp, golden exterior. Drizzle half of the leftover marinade to the pan and let the tofu cook in the sauce for 1 minute or until the liquid has been absorbed. Flip the tofu and repeat with the remaining marinade. Once the liquid has been absorbed, remove the pan from the heat.
While the tofu is marinating, you can chop your veggies (cucumber, radish, kale, red cabbage, avocado) for the bowl. Place the chopped kale in a large bowl. Add the lemon juice and sesame oil and massage the kale for at least 3 minutes or until the kale is tender. Stir in the red cabbage and set aside.
To assemble the bowls, add some of the kale salad to each bowl. Top with cooked rice (or grain of choice). Add pickled salad, cucumber and radish slices, and chopped avocado. Top with two tofu steaks per bowl. Garnish with ingredients of choice (fresh cilantro, chopped green onion, sliced jalapeño, sesame seeds). Serve immediately.