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  • Tempting Tempeh Banh Mi

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

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    Ok. I admit I am late…very late to the Banh Mi trend. Having recently moved from a very small New England town, where our idea of exotic fare consisted of various wild game meats (i.e. moose, bear, and other creatures of our  northern forests) made into egg rolls, the Banh Mi was simply a legend, spun rather maliciously by city folk.

    Fast forward one year, and a move to a city, I have discovered the legendary Banh Mi. And. I. Love. It. Fortunately I have many….I really mean many local purveyors of this delicious, herb laden, Vietnamese sandwich. Food carts, tiny family restaurants, even the local Whole Foods carries a pretty good interpretation. So, when The Recipe Redux issued a challenge to it’s recipes contributors (which I have recently joined the ranks of) that involved fermented foods I immediately thought of Kimchi  (a  spicy cabbage salad) and tempeh (a soy product that has a somewhat meaty texture–perfect for a sandwich), both fermented foods that I love. But how to use them? In the same recipe? My twist on a Banh Mi.

    Tempeh and Kimchi Banh Mi

    Though new to the Banh Mi, I have quickly learned that the bread is a critical component that brings an ordinary sandwich to a stellar star of your next lunch box. I found some amazing rolls at one of my favorite local grocers– if I hadn’t found exactly what I needed there, I would not have been shy at all about going to the Vietnamese restaurant around the corner of my house (you know, the one with the AMAZING Banh Mi?), and asked them if I could purchase a couple of theirs.

    So, if you haven’t discovered the Banh Mi….you’re welcome :). If you have….let me know what you think of this version!

    © 2012 Kindred Kitchen / Nancy Granada

    Tempting Tempeh Banh Mi

    servings: 2 | time: about 30 minutes

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    1″ piece of fresh ginger, grated
    2 TBSP low sodium tamari or soy sauce
    1 TBSP. toasted sesame oil
    1 TBSP. mirin
    1TBSP. rice vinegar
    Juice of 1 lime
    1 scallion, chopped
    8 ounces organic tempeh
    10 sprigs of cilantro
    10 basil leaves (preferably Thai)
    2 small French rolls (or other crusty bread)
    10 thin slices of fresh cucumber
    1/2 cup prepared kimchi (you should be able to find this in most Asian markets or at Korean restaurants)
    4 TBSP. prepared Yuzu or Ponzu sauce


    1. Make the tempeh Marinade: Combine the ginger, ponzu sauce, toasted sesame oil, mirin, rice vinegar, lime juice and scallion in a large shallow dish. Whisk to combine

    2. Slice the tempeh into 4 equal portions. Pour the marinade over the tempeh and turn a couple of times to coat. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes

    3. Pull the cilantro and basil leaves from the stem and set aside

    4. Slice the sandwich rolls in half. Set aside

    5. Spray a non-stick pan with canola oil non-stick spray. Heat the pan over medium heat for 5 minutes. You want the pan to be pretty hot.

    6. Remove the tempeh from the marinade and add to the hot pan. Saute for about 5 minutes on each side, until a deep golden brown on each side.

    7. Place 2 pieces of the tempeh on one side of each roll. Top with sliced cucumber and kimchi. Drizzle 2 TBSP. of the Yuzu sauce over the other half of each sandwich. Top with the cilantro and basil. Top the tempeh half of each sandwich with the herb half and press firmly. Enjoy!


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