These vegan-ified Bahn Mi bowls served with a sriracha ‘mayo’ are a perfect meal to prep for a week of healthy lunches! Each component can be made in advance and then packed together the day of or the night before for a crave-able lunch that left me reaching for every last grain of rice.
Mushrooms replace the usual pork or chicken found in Bahn Mi sandwiches. The mushrooms are pan fried until golden brown (= mad flavor) in a sauce made with coconut aminos, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and Chinese five spice.
Bahn Mi traditionally comes with a liver pate in liue of mayo. Americanized versions are more mayo-centric. The type of mayo varies from the japanese variety, to plain, to sriracha mayo. Being ever the flavor hound, I went for the sriracha variety. Although they make vegan mayos (which you could certainly sub) I opted to make my own using cashews! It is super simple, and just takes some planning to soak the cashews the night before. The cashews are then blended with extra virgin olive oil, lime juice, rice vinegar, salt, a little onion powder, and of course sriracha. When blended until smooth this mayo is silky smooth, a bit acidic, and perfectly spicy. I think you could slather it on anything and serve it to even the most anti-vegan people and they would eat it up. It will keep for about a week.
The pickled veg is traditionally carrots and daikon radish. They did not have daikon at my local co-op, so I went for watermelon radish instead, which added a pretty pink color to the dish. The brine for the pickled veg is extremely simple: equal parts water and rice wine vinegar plus 3 tbsp. of honey for sweetness.
Mushroom Bahn Mi Bowls with Vegan Sriracha Mayo
Servings: 1 large bowl
Time: 15 minutes
- 2/3 cup of cooked brown rice (or other rice of choice)
- 1/4 cup of pickled radishes and carrots (recipe below)
- 2 tbsp. of cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup of cucumber, cut into matchsticks
- 1 jalapeño, sliced
- 8 ounces of mushrooms, cut into thick slices (I used crimini)
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp. coconut aminos
- 1/2 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp. five spice powder
- 1/4 tsp. of fresh ginger, shredded on a microplane
- 1 clove of garlic, shredded on a microplane
- vegan Sriracha mayo (recipe below)
- Heat a skillet on medium. When skillet is hot, add sliced mushrooms and some cooking oil.
- Leave mushrooms to sear on one side until brown, 3-5 minutes.
- While searing, combine soy sauce, coconut aminos, sesame oil, five spice powder, ginger, and garlic.
- Flip mushrooms over and pour the soy sauce mixture over mushrooms. The sauce will thicken, reduce, and coat the mushrooms.
- The mushrooms are done when browned on the second side and sauce has reduced, about 5 minutes.
- Place rice in a bowl and top with cooked mushrooms (as well as any sauce from the pan), pickled radish and carrots, cilantro, cucumbers, and jalapeño slices (if using). Serve bowl with vegan sriracha mayo on the side.
Note: Adjust ratios of toppings to your taste!
Pickled Radishes and Carrots
Servings: makes about 6 cups – can easily be halved
Time: 20 minutes to make, plus an 8 hour pickling time
- 1/2 pound of carrots
- 1 bunch of radishes (daikon are traditional; I used watermelon)
- rice wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp. of honey
- Shred the carrots and radishes. I used a mandolin slicer for this task, but a processor with a shredding attachment or a cheese grater would also work.
- Add shredded carrots and radishes to a half gallon jar or other large container.
- Mix 3 tbsp. of honey with 1 tbsp. vinegar and 1 tbsp. water. Stir or shake in a small jar until honey dissolves.
- Pour honey-water-vinegar mixture over the shredded carrots and radishes.
- Cover the shredded carrots and radishes with equal parts rice wine vinegar and water until veggies are completely submerged.
- Place in the refrigerator and allow to sit in brine over night for best flavor. Veggies will keep for a week or longer.
Note: This makes a lot, feel free to halve if you prefer less pickled veg in your bowls.
Vegan Sriracha Mayo
Servings: makes about 1.5 cups
Time: cashews soak overnight, takes 5 minutes to make
- 3/4 cup of cashews, soaked in water and a pinch of salt overnight
- 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp. lime juice
- 1/2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp. sriracha
- 1/4 tsp. onion powder
- 2 tbsp. water (or more, to blend until smooth)
- a pinch of salt
- Blend all ingredients in a food processor or with a hand blender until completely smooth. Add more water if needed until desired texture is reached.
- Taste and adjust seasoning.