A hearty Banh Mi style spicy sweet Gochujang sandwich! A perfect summer lunch! It has an amazing flavor from the gochujang baked tofu, sweet mango, cilantro and zesty pickled cucumber carrots jalapeño.
This is a banh mi-style summer sandwich with a delicious gochujang marinade. I love this marinade for tofu, and the sandwich is topped with lots of fresh, crunchy vegetables that are marinated in the same gochujang marinade with some extra vinegar for tang.
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It makes a fabulously fresh summer sandwich! You can also make it into a wrap or a salad bowl.
Because we use a modified version of the tofu marinade to quick pickle the veggies, this sandwich comes together in a flash with fewer dishes! but is still packed with flavor. I like to serve any remaining marinade on the side for dipping the sandwich! Trust me you will want to lick all of that. It’s a quick lunch that your family will make again and again.
Why You’ll Love this Sandwich
- Easy to make
- Super flavorful with a gochujang marinade
- Hearty and satisfying banh mi style sandwich
- Two words: pickled veggies!
- summery fresh crunchy sandwich
More Vegan Gochujang Recipes
- Gochujang Lentils
- Gochujang Noodles
- Miso Gochujang Tofu Stir Fry
- Baked Gochujang Cauliflower Wings
- Peanut Gochujang Ramen
Gochujang Tofu Sandwich
For the marinade:
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari for gluten-free
- 2 tablespoons gochujang
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
For the tofu:
- 14 ounces (396.89 g) firm or extra firm tofu pressed for at least 15 minutes, then sliced into 1 1/2-2 inch squares or 1/2″ cubes or any other size that you like
For the vegetables:
- 1/2 of a cucumber thinly sliced, you can peel it a little bit and then slice, as well.
- 1/2 cup (80 g) thinly sliced onion
- 1/2 cup (64 g) julienned carrots
For marinating the veggies:
- remaining marinade from above
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar or rice vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons of water
For the sandwich:
- 4 ciabatta rolls or soft rolls
- lettuce chopped, as needed
- 1 ripe mango peeled and sliced
- 1/4 cup (4 g) or more chopped cilantro
- 1 jalapeño thinly sliced, optional
- Preheat the oven to 400° F Fahrenheit (205° C).
Make the gochujang tofu:
- Add all of the ingredients listed under marinade to a large, shallow bowl and mix really well. Add a tablespoon of water if the marinade. You might need another tbsp water depending on your gochujang sauce consistency so that the marinade is not too thick. Then add your sliced tofu to the marinade, tossing gently to coat all the sides of all the slices. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes, then transfer the tofu to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crisp and dry to preference.
Marinate the veggies:
- There will be some marinade left in your bowl. If there isn't enough marinade, you can add in another tablespoon of soy sauce and gochujang. Add the vinegar, salt, sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of water to the bowl to make enough marinade mixture to coat the veggies. Add all of the sliced and julienned veggies to this bowl and toss to coat. Let the veggies sit to marinate for 5-10 minutes while the tofu is baking.
Assemble the sandwich:
- Prep your bread by slicing it. You can toast the bread if you like. then add a layer of lettuce to the bread. Remove the tofu from the oven, and use as many slices as can fit on your sandwich over the lettuce. Add a layer of mango or any other fruit that you like.
- Add the marinated vegetable mixture on top. Pile it really well, because you want the sandwich to be nice and juicy. Then top it with with jalapeño and cilantro and the other bread slice and serve. Serve with any remaining marinade on the side for dipping.
To make it gluten free, make this entire sandwich on gluten free bread or make it into lettuce wraps. Use tamari and make sure to use gluten-free gochujang. It’s really difficult to make this soy-free, because gochujang in general will have some soy, even if you don’t need the soy sauce.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- marinade ingredients – The marinade is a mix of gochujang paste, soy sauce, maple syrup, sesame oil, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
- tofu – Tofu is the “meat” in this sandwich. It’s marinated in the flavorful marinade and then baked to chewy perfection.
- pickled vegetables – Thinly sliced cucumber, julienned carrot and onion combine with more of the marinade plus vinegar, salt, and sugar to make the quick pickles.
- ciabatta rolls or soft rolls – You want this sandwich on hearty bread, because it is very saucy! Ciabatta or soft rolls will hold up to all of that sauce without getting too soggy. Gluten-free ciabatta or rolls are fine to use or serve in lettuce wraps
- mango – Thinly sliced mango brings a lovely sweetness to this recipe. You can use other fruit, if you can’t find ripe mango
- cilantro and lettuce – Zesty cilantro and crunchy lettuce bring so much freshness to this sandwich!
- jalapeno – Sliced jalapeno ups the heat. You can remove the seeds or omit the jalapeño for a less spicy sandwich.
- To make this sandwich gluten free, use gluten free bread or lettuce wraps. Make sure to use gluten-free gochujang and tamari
- This gochujang sandwich is very saucy, so it will get soggy if it sits. Assemble it just before serving.
- You can make the pickled veggies and bake the tofu up to a day ahead, if you want to.
- Serve any leftover gochujang marinade on the side for dipping!
How to Make a Gochujang Tofu Sandwich
Mix up all of the marinade ingredients in a large, shallow bowl. Add a tablespoon of water to get a nice, smooth sauce.
Add your sliced tofu to the marinade, tossing gently to coat all the sides of all the slices.
Marinate the tofu for at least 15 minutes, then fish out the tofu and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 400° F (205° C), or until crisp and dry to preference.
There will be some marinade left in your bowl. Add the vinegar, salt, sugar and two to three tablespoons of water to the bowl to make enough marinade mixture to coat the veggies.
Add all of the sliced and julienned veggies to this bowl and toss to coat. If there isn’t enough marinade to coat the veggies, you can add in another tablespoon of soy sauce, water and gochujang.
Let the veggies marinate for five to 10 minutes while the tofu is baking.
Slice your bread and toast it if you like, then add a layer of lettuce to the bread.
Remove the tofu from the oven, and use as many slices as can fit on your sandwich over the lettuce. Add a layer of mango or whatever fruit you are using.
Add the marinated vegetable mixture on top. Pile it really well, because you want the sandwich to be nice and juicy. Then top it with with jalapeño and cilantro and the other bread slice.
Serve your gochujang banh mi immediately with extra marinade on the side for dipping.
Frequently Asked Questions
Gochujang is a spicy-sweet sauce that’s a great marinade for plant-based proteins like tofu, seitan, and tempeh. It’s also great with veggies like cauliflower or eggplant!
It’s safe to eat gochujang paste raw, but I don’t recommend it. The flavor is very strong and is best when combined with other ingredients to make a pourable sauce.
Yes! Gochujang is made from fermented rice and soybeans with spicy red chili. Always check ingredients, but in general, gochujang is vegan friendly.
Gochujang is a spicy-sweet-savory chili paste. It has a strong flavor on its own and is a delicious addition to sauces and marinades!
This recipe is nut-free. To make it gluten free, make this entire sandwich on gluten free bread or make it into lettuce wraps, and use gluten-free tamari and Gochujang. It’s really difficult to make this soy-free, because gochujang in general will have some soy, even if you don’t need the soy sauce.