Bahn Mi Collard Wraps with Star Anise Pickled Daikon and Carrots
We traded hills for wind this weekend.
Blustery wind. Gusty winds.
It was kind of humbling to cycle 100-km hilly routes outside Houston, and then find ourselves so pooped we could barely finish our rides.
Even though we’re aiming for 160 km, our odometers have been stuck at 100-km for a while. This weekend, we decided to shun the hills (and the 2-hour commute to get to them) and opt for distance. The wind was a pleasant (or unpleasant), unplanned surprise. A flat tire was also a surprise and likely cost us an hour of cycling time. We pushed through 127 km of city-riding on Saturday.
On Sunday, we aimed to add hills to our windy resistance. We did an “urban hill” loop where we tried to climb as many highway overpasses as possible. The wind was relentless. If we thought Saturday was windy, it was even windier on Sunday. Southeast winds of 30km/h with gusts over 50 km/h. Rob rerouted it to include a stopover at Mi Tienda #2, our favourite Mexican grocer. We weren’t going to skip out on our aguas fresca ritual! This week they had mamey, which was a hard choice over the guanabana.
Even though we were out and about on our bikes most of the weekend, we actually had more energy. I guess we’re better at tackling wind than hills.
We ended up (ok, just me) stockpiling veggies when we finally ended up at an Asian market for our weekly grocery run. We put them to great use in this vegan spin on bahn mi sandwiches. Banh mi is a Vietnamese sandwich, which I associate with the pickled vegetables and cilantro. Here, tofu and mushrooms are scrambled as the base. The veggies, with Terry’s spin of adding star anise, make this a nice and bright wrap.
Rob thought it was his best sandwich ever. I thought it nice, too, and opted to eat it in a collard wrap.
Maybe everything tastes better after biking 180 km?
I am sharing this with Souper Sundays.
1/2 lb daikon radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 cup rice vinegar
1 tsp Aleppo chile flakes, or taste
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 tsp whole peppercorns
4 whole star anise (optional)
1 tbsp coconut oil or oil of choice
1/2 lb mushrooms, thinly sliced
3/4 cup shallots, thinly sliced
4 green onions, white and green parts divided, thinly chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 lb extra firm tofu, drained
1/2 cup vegetable broth
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground white pepper (or to taste)
1 tsp curry powder
collard leaves to make wraps or sandwich baguettes
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 cup bean sprouts
sriracha, if desired
mayonnaise, if desired
1. Start with your pickled vegetables: After cutting your daikon and carrots, place in a clean, dry 1-quart glass jar. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the vinegar, chile flakes, salt, peppercorns, and star anise to a boil. Stir until all dissolves and pour overtop the vegetables in the glass jar. Add additional water to completely submerge. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes. Keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
2. For the sandwich, in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add mushrooms and saute until tender, around 4-6 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add the shallots, sprinkle with a touch of salt and saute until browned, around 4 minutes. Add the white parts of the scallions, garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Crumble in the tofu and add the cooked mushrooms back to the pan and stirfry for 2 minutes more.
3. In a small cup, combine the vegetable broth, soy sauce, lime juice, coriander, white pepper and curry powder and pour overtop the tofu. Cook until the liquid has been absorbed and the tofu is golden, around 10 minutes. Stir in the green tops of the green onions and remove from heat.
4. To assemble your sandwich, spread mayonnaise and/or sriracha on the bread (if desired). Top with cucumber, tofu, pickled vegetables, cilantro and bean sprouts.