janet @ the taste space

Bahn Mi Collard Wraps with Star Anise Pickled Daikon and Carrots

In Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) on April 29, 2014 at 6:54 AM

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.

Bahn Mi Collard Wraps with Star Anise Pickled Daikon and Carrots
Adapted from Vegan Eats World (original recipe here)

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
cilantro, chopped
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.

Serves 4.

  1. This looks wonderful! I’m thinking about incorporating more greens-as-wraps into my life (instead of bread), so I’m glad to see this!

  2. This looks really delicious – I love how you prepare the tofu. Wind was the theme of my runs this weekend too, and it’s really putting a ton of pressure on my quads! I love hearing about your biking – it’s inspiring me to do some cross-training on mine when the weather clears up!

  3. Word to everything tasting better after a hard workout. Especially that bike ride- yikes you guys are awesome. And yum to those pickled vegetables! I’m so lazy when it comes to that stuff but it must really step up all your meals. Give me some of your motivation please!

    • It helps that we can make a batch and just leave it in the fridge until we want it (and we make ti before our bike rides!). That reminds me, I still have kimchi and sauerkraut in there, too! T minus 2 months! 🙂
      Then we can cook together! 🙂

  4. Correct. Best sammich ever.

  5. I love banh mi- I make them with seitan, but your tofu version looks scrummy. Like the collards idea, too; will replicate that with some of our homegrown young tender kale leaves-thanks 🙂

  6. I have been so super busy I haven’t made any new recipes lately. But things are looking better and this one looks goooood. I like the wrap idea. I have been trying to eat more greens. As a matter of fact, I made some pasta from Nava Atlas’ greens cook book last night. So I am ready to go.

    • Nice to hear back from you again, Bill. For the uninitiated collard wraps can seem daunting and very raw. You can try to lightly steam them beforehand, too, but I rather like the crunch (and kind of lazy, hehe). 🙂

  7. that sounds intriguing – I don’t eat much vietnamese – especially since my favourite vietnamese shop closed a few years back but it always seems light and bright with lots of flavours – though I think I would need a few slices of bread with mine if I had cycled 180 km – sounds like you are doing great with your cycling

  8. Looks utterly tempting, I will be trying this one out x

  9. You guys are incredible!

    I love Vietnamese flavours so this really appeals to me – and it’s different to anything I’ve had before too.

    • It is funny because banh mi is Vietnamese street food and you can even find cheap sandwiches here in Houston. Although Rob says ours tastes better.. with a bit of forethought, it isn’t too hard to make

  10. […] Do you have a hankering for Vietnamese food too? These banh mi wraps would really hit the […]

  11. This sandwich sounds amazing! Lots of fresh veg and a protein infusion so sound like they’d be especially good after a long bike ride, too. NOM.

  12. I choose wind over hills any day! Well, it depends how cold it is. But in general. My stomach is growling looking at this sandwich! Totally understandable why you inhaled it.

  13. […] The Taste Space shared Bahn Mi Collard Wraps […]

  14. 180km biking? Wow – that’s pretty awesome! I love how you and Rob bike together. Now… if I could just get my hubby to run with me… 😉
    This sounds like a great way to shake a up a collard wrap lunch!

  15. This look fabulous, whether wrapped in a bun or collard leaves. 😉 I love the flavor of star anise.
    Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week.

  16. I LOVE Bahn mi – what a fun and healthy take on it!

  17. Once when I tried to research collard leaves and to what they would correspond in Germany I only came up with animal food. I think it’s a shame that nobody grows these leaves here. Do you think kohlrabi leaves would make a good substitute?

  18. I made this one last night for the two teens and me. Wife was working. So Bill made this and it was enjoyed by the three of us. My son really liked it and he is not as adventuresome. But we all love tofu and this had veggies and the wrap. My son loves green vegetables, which is funny because he could live on cheese pizza. However, as he pushes up to 14, he eats everything. And lots of it. So being the good veggies we are, he is consuming a lot of plant matter. Since he liked this, he inhaled it. I loved it too. The only struggle was the wrap. Son and I loved the taste, but it was messy. We still ate it, the son copiously. Daughter liked it a lot but for her second serving she ate it in a bowl. Next time I will offer the baguette roll option. Daughter has a friend whose family has a French bakery so great baguettes are there to be had. I do a big shopping there every Saturday because I am trying to stay more whole grains. One day a week is good.But the kids were very pleased with this so I am thrilled with the two yes votes.

  19. […] Mushroom Soup (Shchi) is still one of my favourites we both really like the breakfast spin on bahn mi, I thought it was great to share a quick and easy way to add more greens to your meals. I have only […]

  20. […] – Fastlane Kimchi (cut down on the red pepper flakes, please, half is still plenty) – Breakfast Banh Mi Sandwich with Star Anise Pickled Daikon – Double Mushroom Glass Noodles with Baby Bok Choy (Jap Chae) – Fresh Noodle Soup in […]

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: