Words and image Amber Bremner

A Vietnamese banh mi on the side of the road in Hanoi will win your heart. A DIY banh mi made at home won’t be exactly the same without the ethereally light yet crisp Vietnamese bread, but trust me when I say you can still pack a bright and tasty Kiwi style banh mi made with whatever baguette you can get your hands on. These are filled with marinated tempeh (make the day before if you like) and a zingy slaw dressed with my take on nuoc mam.



1 x 250g pack of tempeh

2 cups vegetable stock (optional)

oil for frying

Tempeh marinade

3 tbsp barbecue sauce

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tsp finely grated garlic

1 tsp finely grated ginger

1 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp ground black pepper

¼ tsp chilli flakes


1 carrot, peeled and shredded

⅛ cabbage, shredded

2–3 radishes, thinly sliced

1 spring onion, thinly sliced

1 fresh chilli, thinly sliced (optional)

handful of fresh mint and coriander, roughly chopped

Nuoc mam dressing

2 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp water

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp soy sauce (or fish sauce if you enjoy it)

1 tsp finely grated garlic

1 tsp finely grated ginger

¼ tsp chilli flakes

To serve

4 x mini baguettes or 1 x large baguette cut into four portions

Mayonnaise (optional)

Sriracha (optional)

Thinly slice tempeh. Next is an optional step – simmer tempeh in veggie stock for five minutes. This isn’t essential but I think it improves the flavour and texture of the tempeh.

While the tempeh is simmering, mix together marinade ingredients. Drain tempeh and add to marinade while still hot. Ensure all pieces are coated, and set aside to marinate for at least an hour (or more).

Heat a good splash of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Reserving the marinade, fry tempeh on both sides until browned, sticky, and fragrant. Brush with some of the reserved marinade and turn off the heat.

Combine slaw ingredients in a mixing bowl (leave out the fresh chilli if you want your banh mi mild). Combine nuoc mam dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jar, pour over the slaw and toss to combine.

Assemble banh mi by spreading the inside of a cut baguette with mayonnaise and a squirt of sriracha (if using). Pack in a handful of slaw and 3–4 slices of tempeh. Tightly wrap each banh mi and pack into a sealed container for travel (pop it in a chiller if lunch is a long way away).


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