I love a good sandwich, I mean a really good one though. I’m not talking about a slice of cheese chucked between some wafer thin white bread. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the odd cheese sandwich, but there’s so many more exciting things you can put between bread than that. For a vegetarian the usual suspects for a sandwich when you’re out and about are cheese or egg. If you’re lucky there might be hummus as an option, slightly more inspiring but still not as good as it gets I don’t think.
Rather than sticking to the boring options, I’ve been enjoying some pretty delicious sandwiches lately. My husband still goes on about one I made over a year ago and I haven’t made it since, might have to make them again soon though. It had loads of roasted vegetables, avocado, homemade pesto, goats cheese and a few other bits sandwiched in between some ciabatta.
Anyway, to the sandwich I made last night. I decided to make one inspired by a sandwich I kept stealing bites of from my sister’s last year when she had one at a food market, vegetarian bánh mi. The name comes from the Vietnamese term for bread, it’s a small baguette. They’re usually filled with pork. The one my sister had had was with tofu, which my husband still hates, so I opted to make them with marinated aubergines. So if you aren’t a fan of aubergines then you could use tofu, if you aren’t a fan of either I guess some sort of meat substitute would work. Here’s how I made them…
Makes 2 sandwiches.
2 small baguettes or 2 portions cut from a bigger one
1 aubergine, sliced lentghways, 1cm ish thick
1 red chilli, thiny sliced
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
few sprigs of mint, finely chopped
1/4 cucumber, sliced
3 radishes, thinly sliced
1 avocado, crushed to a spreadable paste
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
handful of coriander, stems finely chopped, leave the leafy bit as it is
sriracha, or whatever sort of chilli sauce you like, mix it with mayo for a milder sauce if you don’t like it too hot
2 carrots, chopped into matchsticks
2 tsp rice wine vinegar, or some other sort of vinegar of lime juice would work
1 tsp sugar
Start by getting everything chopped. Mix all of the ingredients for the pickle in a bowl and leave to one side. Next add the red chilli, spring onion, coriander stems and a little oil to a bowl to make the marinade for the aubergine. Rub into the sliced aubergine and set to one side. Now you’ve got a bit of time on your hands while they do their thing, go read a book or dance around the kitchen for half an hour, or as long as you can be bothered to wait, it’s not an exact science, by which I mean I don’t know exactly how long I left them marinating for!
Now you’ve done reading or dancing, toast your sliced baguette, just to get a little colour on them so they don’t go soggy when you pile all the fillings in. Next get a griddle pan, or a frying pan on a high heat and cook the aubergine, you might need to do this in batches. Once all the aubergines are cooked it’s time to assemble the sandwiches.
I spread the avocado on to the baguette then loaded in the radishes, then the pickled carrots, then coriander, next was cucumber and jalapeños, then topped off with the aubergine. Not forgetting a smearing of chilli sauce on the top piece of baguette. Now attempt to get your mouth round that towering sandwich.
Messy to eat but so delicious!
Don’t ever settle for a boring sandwich again.