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Vegetarian Bahn Mi – A Challenge And I’m Bringing To Fiesta Friday #63

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The Wynn Resort in Las Vegas teamed up with famous vegan chef Tal Ronnen to create exquisite menus of vegan and vegetarian cuisine for every restaurant at the Wynn. 

The challenge was to pick an item off the the amazing menu and make it my own, in other words I could pick any item and change it, putting our own spin on the dish. I am always up for a challenge and looking at the menu it was hard to decide from all the amazing dishes that Chef Ronnen created for Wynn.

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I chose the Gardein “Vegan” Meatballs with Tomato Sauce and Creamy Polenta.  So you wonder what Bahn Mi has to do with this right, well I took creative license and took the meatballs and created an entirely new dish, Vietnamese not Italian.  I appreciate and love vegetarian food but am not vegetarian, I have never cooked with a “meat substitute” before, therein lies the challenge. I wanted to make meatballs and to stay somewhat true to the dish I found Gardein “Meatless” meat. I was happy to see that Gardein is non GMO and has very few ingredients, I can pronounce all of them. My dish is Vegetarian not Vegan, I needed egg to hold the patties together and wanted to use Mayonaise on the sandwich. This could easily be veganized I am sure by using flax seed egg substitute and a vegan mayo.

I’m bringing a bunch of these Vegetarian sandwiches with me to the party today. Our host, Angie@The Novice Gardener is making good use of our new digs throwing a great party with our wonderful co hosts, you can party with Julianna @Foodie On Board and Hilda @Along The Grapevine.

 

I thought I could take this product and form it into meatballs, it didn’t work very well. I added some corn starch and egg along with some ginger, soy sauce and chili paste. They would not form a ball so I made a patty and fried them. Honestly, they were very tasty.

Gardein Patties

Gardein Patties

I pickled some vegetables, whats Bahn Mi without pickled veggies. I used cucumber, carrot, and watermelon radish which I made into thin strips by using my vegetable peeler, then you simply mix rice wine vinegar, sugar, sesame oil and salt and pepper together and pour it onto the vegetables. Let it sit for a little while, about 30 minutes.

Pickled vegetables

Pickled vegetables

Next you clean your cilantro, make spicy mayo. I used garlic chili paste and mayo, cut a piece of a baguette approximately 6 inches long, slice it in half and hollow out the middle. Slather with the spicy mayo, place some cilantro, then the patties and top with the pickled vegetables, drizzle some of the vinegar onto the top inside half of the bread and put your sandwich together.

Vegetarian Bahn Mi

Makes 4-6 sandwiches

The patties

2 cups meatless meat (I used Gardein brand)

2 eggs lightly beaten

2 tbs corn starch

1 tsp minced fresh ginger

2 spring onion the light colored part chopped finely

1 tbs soy sauce

1 tbs chili paste

salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything together and let sit for about 15 minutes. Heat skillet with some oil, place a spoonful of the mixture into the hot pan, flatten a little with your spoon and fry until nicely browned. Flip over and fry the other side. Set aside.

Pickled Vegetables

1 watermelon radish

1 large carrot

1 cucumber peeled

1/3 cup rice wine vinegar

1 tsp sugar

2 tsp sesame oil

Juice of 1 small lime

handfull of cilantro

1 jalapeno pepper seeds removed and thinly sliced

Using a vegetable peeler peel off thin slices of the vegetables and place in a bowl, Mix the vinegar, sugar, oil and lime juice and pour over vegetables and let it sit while you prepare the bread and mayo.

Putting the sandwich together.

Hollow out both halves of the baguette, mix some mayo with chili sauce and spread on the bottom half, place some cilantro and jalapeño pepper on the bread, lay seveeral patties on and top with some of the pickled vegetables. Drizzle some of the vinegar from the veggies on the other half of bread and put it together. Enjoy!

Bahn Mi

Bahn Mi

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77 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’m curious about the Gardein. Partly as it’s impossible to find anything meatless here that doesn’t have odd additives. Like, yeast extract! That and citric acid seems to be in everything. The latter is even used in jam.

    April 10, 2015
    • Well Johnny Gardein does have yeast eztract but not citric acid. It’s non GMO which is good, the list of ingredients are pretty straightforward, I recognize everything and can actually pronounce it. I wish I could have made meatballs but it wouldn’t hold together. Oh well the patties were still good. Thanks so much.

      April 10, 2015
  2. I have tried the “chicken tender” Gardein before. They were okay but not like chicken. Your sandwich is intriguing and I am guessing since you made it…delicious!

    April 10, 2015
    • It did taste really good, the flavors were bright and lively, the patties were good, adding the ginger et al gave them a real Asian flavor. All together it was a really good sandwich. Thanks Michelle.

      April 10, 2015
  3. As a mostly vegetarian, I confess I haven’t tried many meat substitutes, and the ones I have, weren’t to my taste. My body doesn’t do well with too much soy, and so many of them use that as the base. Is this product soy based? I’ve been wanting to do a vegetarian bahn mi – I just love those sandwiches! And I love the creative approach you took to this challenge!

    April 10, 2015
    • Hi Susan; Yes Gardein is soy based I bet you could do with portobello mushrooms that have been basted with ginger,sesame soy maybe. This was tasty, the gardein is my first time tasting a meat substitute. I hope they don’t mind my creative approach. Thanks so much.

      April 10, 2015
  4. Exciting how you did all that Suzanne. It sounds good too. Wish i were in Nevada, if not necessarily the Strip. 🙂

    April 10, 2015
    • I’ve never been to Vegas, well I did have a layover in Vegas on my way to California once but never got outside the airport. This was a fun challenge taking me outside my comfort zone, I like that. Thanks Teagan.

      April 10, 2015
  5. Nice! I actually buy “fake meat” often and make taco’s. I really like it spiced up Mexican style. It’s great for a change. I love how you made your own pickles and your spicy mayo sound fabulous. Great challenge Suzanne!

    April 10, 2015
    • Thank you, I have never had fake meat before this. Adding the ginger and other stuff really did make it taste good. All in all I really liked the sandwich.

      April 10, 2015
  6. Reblogged this on TLF | Tho Loves Food.

    April 10, 2015
    • Thank you so much.

      April 10, 2015
      • You welcome! Because Banh Mi is always yummy! The recipe is interesting, I forward it to a Vietnamese friend who lives in US now and push her to make it 😉

        April 10, 2015
      • I love Bahn Mi, never had vegetarian version and the flavor here was good. There is a Vietnamese restaurant near my house that has awesome Bahn Mi, it is one of my favorites. Thank you so much.

        April 10, 2015
  7. Oh, my mouth is just watering over all of these flavours and textures, Suzanne! How cool to know that we can make it vegetarian too! Your are so very creative! 😀

    April 10, 2015
    • I love bahn mi and never even thought of a vegetarian version before. It was really nice and a change from the regular. I saw a recipe for meatball bahn mi on Epicurious, my meatballs didn’t work with the meat substitute but the patties are really nice. Thanks so much Juliana.

      April 11, 2015
  8. A good sandwich for me must have some form of pickle, so your pickle mixture fulfils that criterion perfectly. I also like your idea of using portobello mushroom. You have given me some reat ideas.

    April 10, 2015
    • Me too, I love pickled vegetables. So looking forward to summer produce so I can make some. Thanks so much Hilda.

      April 11, 2015
  9. Here I am again Suzanne, innocently doing my mail at 3.06 am when I open one and WHAM it’s no warning food pics again.Now just where am I going t find all those ingredients at this time of the day? Never mind that, what are you doing hanging around my mail box at that time anyway, you should be in bed.
    If you don’t take more care in future you’ll hear my stomach gurgle from there.
    xxx Massive Saturday Hugs xxx.

    April 10, 2015
    • LOL, David you brighten my day every time I see you. Thank you and how I wish I could make you some food for you. You are the sweetest, massive hugs back and thank you.

      April 11, 2015
  10. This a fabulous share Suzanne! I am so intrigued with Gardein Patties. Loved the pickled Veges. I am so inspired. Will try a version soon.

    April 10, 2015
    • Gardein is something I’ve never tried, it’s good and I think there is a lot that can be done with it. Not meatballs unless you add something like potatoes or something to bind. Thanks Sonal.

      April 11, 2015
  11. So, I order that chili sauce online! Love it. And a bahn mi – such a wonderful sandwich. Nice intro; the name Tal is a family name that is so gorgeous; it jumped out. No wonder her food wonderful, too. Thank you for being innovative, warm and generous in your blog, comments and recipes.

    April 10, 2015
    • That chili sauce is the best, only one I like to use. So tasty, great mixed with the mayo for the sandwich. Thanks Shanna.

      April 11, 2015
  12. I have eaten at the Wynn a few times and partied there more! I think i would prefer yours than theirs.. Yup! Am sure 😄

    April 11, 2015
    • What a nice compliment, thank you. I’ve never eaten there or been to Vegas for that matter. The sandwich was tasty.

      April 11, 2015
  13. What a great challenge, your outcome sounds fab 🙂

    April 11, 2015
  14. What an amazingly creative sandwich – sounds interesting…

    April 11, 2015
    • It was a really interesting challenge, enjoyed it. Love thinking outside my little box. Thank you so much.

      April 11, 2015
  15. Wow, loving all the ingredients in this sandwich that you’ve put together. Hmmmm, I may have seen the beefless ground somewhere, but I’m not quite sure where. A great, creative recipe, thanks for sharing and Happy FF!

    April 11, 2015
  16. Ohh… I love Bahn Mi! I always think of it like a Vietnamese hoagie 😉 What a creative idea to make it meatless. I’ve always been curious about using meat substitutes in the kitchen but have never tried it out before. You sure make it look delicious!

    April 11, 2015
  17. I absolutely love Banh Mi! This looks divine, Suzanne! Love the vegetarian option! 😀

    April 11, 2015
    • Me too, have never made one before. Now I want to make one that is more traditional. I frequent a Vietnamese restaurant near my house that has killer Banh Mi. Thanks so much.

      April 11, 2015
  18. Wow love the idea and flavours used in there Suzanne. … am just droooooling at your pickled mixture…. yummmm

    April 11, 2015
    • Thanks Chitra, it was a really nice sandwich. Love the Asian flavors.

      April 11, 2015
  19. Great work Suzanne… I love how you’ve enhanced this dish and created something a little new and different! I’ve not had Bahn Mi before, but with those beautiful flavours, I’m definitely tempted to try it now… though not entirely sure that I could go with the fake meat. Hmm, food for thought!

    April 12, 2015
    • Bahn Mi is traditionally made with meat usually pork. It’s delicious, I love to use glazed and caramelized pork, with the pickled veggies and spicy mayo it’s really a beautiful and delicious sandwich. Thanks so much.

      April 12, 2015
  20. What a good looking sandwich Suzanne! Good job! Im sure you completed the challenge successfully. Iv never seen much of meat substitutes here, i think iv seen veggie hotdogs somever. I think i mus research on that here, n must try. 🙂

    April 12, 2015
    • Thank you, it’s a good sandwich. I don’t know if they liked my creative approach to their menu but we’ll see. As a general rule I don’t use meat substitutes since I eat meat but it’s nice for a change.

      April 12, 2015
  21. That’s very interesting Suzanne! Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe!

    April 12, 2015
    • Thank you, yes I would definitely classify it as an interesting challenge, it was fun.

      April 12, 2015
      • Doing things, and accept new cooking challenge just because it’s fun! That’s what I love the most of bloggers like you….

        April 12, 2015
      • Thank you, thats important to me. There was no compensation for doing this. I simply chose to do it because of the challenge. In cooking if we don’t challenge ourselves it can become boring. I love a challenge, it’s important to keep our ideas fresh and get creative. You are very very good at that!!

        April 12, 2015
  22. Such a cool challenge and the sandwich looks just mouth watering!

    April 12, 2015
  23. Well done on rising to the challenge in such a creative fashion. 😉

    April 13, 2015
  24. Fantastic Suzanne I just love it!!! Great Job for sure!!! I just want one now 🙂

    April 13, 2015
  25. Wow Suzanne you are awesome. I must try vegetarian version soon

    April 14, 2015
  26. Love these sandwiches. Great post!

    April 14, 2015
  27. This looks so good! For the past few weeks I’ve been having meatless burgers for lunch and can’t get enough! Great job making that dish vegetarian and delicious!

    April 14, 2015
  28. I look for the Chili Garlic Sauce and see if I can find it here, if not I order it. I like vegetarian sandwiches and yours looks fantastic, especially the pickled veggies. In my vegetarian days I used to make a Reuben Sandwich using baked and marinated tempeh.

    April 14, 2015
    • It’s worth seeking out, it’s delicious, I find it locally in the specialty supermarket near my home.
      The Reuben with tempeh sounds amazing!!!

      April 14, 2015
  29. Oh, I just love a Bahn mi sandwich. And I think you just solved my dilemma of what I should eat for lunch right now lol. You did a wonderful job with this.

    Kay of Pure & Complex
    http://www.purecomplex.com

    April 14, 2015
  30. I love sandwiches with lots of pickled vegetables on them, this is one of my favorites. I have only had with meat but must say the vegetarian version was really good, thanks so much Kay.

    April 14, 2015
  31. What a fantastic sandwich Suzanne. Made my mouth water.

    April 14, 2015
  32. This looks absolutely divine! I would never have guessed this product wasn’t beef, and I have a thing for Bahn Mi, especially the vegetables.

    It was very interesting that you went from a normally meat sandwich to vegetarian, but even more interesting that you went from Italian, which I’m sure is a no brainer for you (Yes, I am remembering your gorgeous meatball sub!) to Vietnamese!

    Way to knock it out of the park!

    April 14, 2015
    • Lol, I was going to make it Indian, using the gardein to make kofta but it is a strange consistency and you can’t make balls, maybe if I had whizzed in the processor to break it up. I still wonder what they think of my taking it from Italy to Vietnam, thanks so much.

      April 15, 2015
  33. I love Bahn Mi, especially those with lots of cilantro. Your vegetarian version looks really interesting, how I wish I can have a try!

    April 15, 2015
    • Thanks it was really good, the vegetables really made it special but I am such a big fan of Bahn Mi.

      April 15, 2015
  34. A really interesting experiment, Suzanne – I am definitely a carnivore so I do not get all that excited about meat substitutes, but on the other hand I love Vietnamese and Thai cuisines and I especially like *your* cuisine 😉 so I am pretty sure I would love your Bahn Mi too! 🙂

    April 19, 2015
    • Me too Stefano, I like my bahn mi made with meat but like you I love Asian flavors and this sandwich was really good. Thank you so much,

      April 19, 2015
  35. Looks delish Suzanne!! I haven’t cooked plant based meat either, but have eaten it. Do you have Native Foods restaurants (fast food) by you. They do a nice job– it’s all so colorful and makes you feel good to eat it! You’re expanding our horizons! thanks.

    April 20, 2015
    • Thanks Rhonda, no I have never heard of Native foods but any restaurant that makes you feel good about what you eat is alright by me. It was a good experience cooking with plant based faux meat, with the spicing it tasted really good.

      April 20, 2015
  36. Waw, Suzanne! Your meatless bahn mi looks like the real deal! I love making your special sandwich soon but I also love the real bahn mi!! You can’t tell the difference between them: really fascinating! 🙂 xxx

    May 4, 2015
  37. that was one good sandwich Suzenne 🙂 it would be difficult to find one at vietnamese restaurant thank you for this recipe i might try this at home.

    May 6, 2015
  38. wow this is a nice sandwich suzanne! it would be difficult to find one at Vietnamese restuarants thanks for this recipe i will try this at home 🙂

    May 6, 2015

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