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  • Writer's pictureRobin Ankerich

Bánh mì Inspired Bowl

This recipe is not meant to be traditional or authentic. It is inspired by our love for Bánh mì sandwiches. For anyone who does not know what Bánh mì mean, the term actually is the Vietnamese word for bread, but it has come to refer to a submarine style sandwich. Common components of Bánh mì are: a savory meat, sausage, or pâté; with cucumber, pickled carrot and daikon radish, cilantro, mayo, and chili or hot pepper. That combination of ingredients is why I love the flavors of Bánh mì. You have savory, sweet, sour, and spicy all in one bite.

So, while Bánh mì literally refers to the bread, a few weeks back I started taking the ingredients within the sandwich and combining them onto a bowl when we did not have any bread. It went over so well with my husband, that we repeated it again the next week and again the next. Now I am passing it along to you because it is too good to keep to myself.


Bánh mì Inspired Bowl

Yields: 4 servings


5-8 c Mixed Cooked Grains (Rice, Quinoa, Barely, Farro)*

16-20oz Soy Sauce Marinated Protein*

6-8 c Mixed Salad Greens or Arugula

Half a lime

Quick Pickled Vegetables (Some or all: carrot, radish, cucumber) (Recipe Below)

1 Cucumber (thinly sliced)

1 Bunch of Cilantro

1/3 c Mayo (tested with Just Mayo)

Hot Sauce of Choice (tested with Sriracha)

Optional: Sliced Red Onion, Sautéed Mushrooms, or Sliced Jalapeno

*I use Quinoa and Brown rice. Quinoa and Farro can be additional protein sources.

**We tested with soy marinated tempeh, but you could use tofu, tempeh bacon, sausage, chicken – whatever protein you want. Marinate in enough soy sauce to coat for at least 30 minutes but best overnight.


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a small drizzle of oil and crumble or shred your protein. Cook until brown. Remove from heat and reserve for plating.

  2. If grains were precooked and refrigerated, reheat while preparing the other ingredients.

  3. Combine the ½ cup of mayo and a few drops of hot sauce (to personal taste). The add a teaspoon or two of water to thin to a mayo to a drizzlable consistency.

  4. To assemble the bowl, divide the grains among 4 bowls.

  5. Toss the salad greens with the juice from half a lime. Add to bowls.

  6. Top each bowl with a large heap of the drained pickled vegetables, chopped cilantro, sliced cucumber, and protein.

  7. Finish the bowl with a drizzle of the spicy mayo.



Quick Pickle Vegetables

Yields: 3 small or 1 large mason jars worth


3-4 Carrots (medium to large)

2 Cucumbers (medium)

4 Daikon or Purple Radishes (small or 1 large)

1 ½ c Rice Vinegar (or white vinegar)

1 ½ c Water

6-8 Tbsp Raw Sugar

1 ½ tsp Salt


  1. Julianne the vegetables. This can be with a knife or a julienne style peeler. Place in a heat proof glass jar. Each vegetable can be in the same large jar or three separate smaller jars to preserve their different colors.

  2. Heat the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a saucepan or the microwave. Once it almost reaches boiling and the sugar is dissolved, carefully pour the liquid into the jars. Take care that the vegetables are submerged completely.

  3. Cover and allow to cool on the counter for 30 minutes to an hour, before refrigerating for a few hours. They can be eaten after 30 minutes of pickling, but I suggest letting them chill down for at least an hour or two. The contrast between the warm ingredients and cold pickled vegetables is nice.

Quick pickled vegetables should store in the refrigerator for a few weeks as long as the vegetables stay submerged.

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