There is nothing more satisfying than cooking and eating a meal that has been grown, created and cooked by people within a bike ride of where you live. I’ve been so lucky to have so many beautiful ingredients at my fingertips lately, that I’m finding it hard to use anything that isn’t local. Hence, I haven’t really been cooking with meat. I’m not vegetarian, vegan or celiac, but I know many who are and love to be able to cater for everyone. Give this Bahn Mi to a hardcore carnivore and I’m pretty sure they will eat it; and maybe even enjoy it immensely (even if they don’t admit it).
I’ve been buying traditional Bahn Mi rolls at the markets on the weekends here. They are beyond delicious. Traditionally made with a smoky lemongrass laden pork mince sausage, fresh coleslaw, pate, and mayonnaise, on a freshly baked vietnamese baguette. It’s a mix of cultures, bound to tantalise the senses.
Here, I’ve challenged myself to a vegan version. Sorry to the traditionalists. It’s just delicious though.
Aside from the mouth-filling flavour of the mushrooms, the vegan mayo and the mushroom pate are stars on their own. They can be used in many other scenarios and you will have leftovers from this recipe to do just this!
I hope you appreciate this humble looking sandwich as much as I did.
On a side note. It is so hard to take photos of food in this heat, along with flies….near impossible. So, please excuse the haphazard photos!
1 cup raw cashews (soaked in water, in the fridge, overnight, drained and rinsed)
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1 tsp vegetable stock powder
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
20g dried mixed forest mushrooms
3 tbs light olive oil
1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
250g mixed mushrooms (I used button and shitake)
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup dry roasted walnuts
salt and pepper
3 tsp olive oil spread
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tbs peanut oil
2 large or 4 smaller portobello or field mushrooms
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs dark soy
1 tsp sesame oil
1 birds-eye chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, white and first part of green part, finely chopped
1 clove garlic
Thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and grated
pinch of pepper
1 small baguette, halved vertically into 2 serves, each half cut in half horizontally
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
handful each of thai basil leaves and coriander
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
For the lemongrass mushrooms, cut the mushrooms into quarters or halves, depending how big they are. Place in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Leave in the fridge for at least an hour, stirring every so often to marinate, but be careful not to break up the mushrooms.
For the pickled carrot, place all of the ingredients in bowl and stir to combine. Leave in the fridge for at least an hour, stirring every so often.
For the mayonnaise, place all of the ingredients in a small food processor, or a bowl deep enough to use a stick blender. Blend until very smooth. It will take a while, but you want it to be really smooth, no grainy bits. Keep in the fridge until needed.
For the mushroom pate, place the dried forest mushrooms in a bowl with 1/2 cup hot water, leave to soak for at least half an hour. Remove the mushrooms from their soaking liquid. Reserve liquid.
Heat 2 tbs of the olive oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Cook the onion, garlic and mushrooms, stirring constantly, until cooked, about 5 to 10 mins. Remove from pan and set aside to cool slightly.
Place the drained forest mushrooms, cooked mushroom mixture, parsley, walnuts and remaining olive oil in a small food processor, or a bowl deep enough to use a stick blender. Blend until very smooth. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
Place into one large dish or 2 small ramekins, smooth the tops and place in the fridge to chill for at least 20mins.
Meanwhile, melt the olive oil spread and add 3 tbs of the reserved mushroom soaking liquid. Pour on top of the mushroom pate and keep in the fridge to set.
Once everything is ready to go, its time to assemble the sandwiches.
To cook the lemongrass mushrooms heat the peanut oil in a pan to high heat. Add the marinated mushrooms, and cook, stirring for about 5 mins, or until cooked and slightly caramelised. Set aside.
To assemble the sandwiches, spread the bottom halves of the baguettes with a good layer of mushroom pate, and the top halves with the vegan mayonnaise.
Top each half with the cooked mushrooms, pickled carrot, sliced cucumber, herbs, spring onions, and chilli. Top with the mayonnaise half of the baguettes.
Eat and enjoy!
Tip: they are also delicious, assembled and toasted in a pan, sandwich press, or bbq.