vietnamese tofu bun

September 10, 2012

It's no secret that Austin has some amazing restaurants, and one of my more recent favorites is Elizabeth Street Cafe.  Definitely one of those love-at-first-sight / I-just-met-you-and-this-is-crazy stories.   

This French-Vietnamese joint clearly has award-winning pho, but the bun is what captures my heart each and every visit.  It's a rice noodle salad of sorts that's packed with spice and interesting flavor combos with cilantro, mint, scallions, carrot, cucumber and dotted with salty peanuts. Sounds like a party to me.  So, I decided to make my own home version.  Let me just say, I'm glad you have a taste for adventure, too.

Also, the answer to all life's questions is sriracha.  Always sriracha. 

Tofu Bun

gluten-free, vegan 

For sauce
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 tablespoons gluten-free soy or tamari sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 Thai green chiles
2 stalks lemongrass, finely sliced
1/4 cup water

For salad
14 oz vermicelli, cooked
2 small cucumbers, shredded
2 carrots, shredded
mint, chopped
cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup salted peanuts
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
scallions, chopped
tofu, sliced

  1. Bring water to a boil in medium-sized pot.  
  2. When the water boils, pour over the noodles and let sit about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the ingredients for the sauce in a heated skilled and cook. 
  4. Brown the tofu in a hot frying pan. When it is fully browned, remove from the pan.
  5. Strain and rinse the noodles. Chop the peanuts, mint, cucumber, scallions, cilantro, carrots and lettuce. 
  6. Place the lettuce in the bowl first and arrange the rest of the ingredients around the noodles in the bowl.
  7. Serve with the sauce on the side and add lots of sriracha if you know what's good for you.