Vietnamese Sandwiches with Tempura Sweet Potato and Avocado

Vietnamese Sandwiches with Tempura Sweet Potato and Avocado

(Vegan Banh Mì) 

From our friends at Serious Eats

 

Lightly battered and deep-fried until crisp,
tempura sweet potato makes for an excellent Vietnamese sandwich filling. This
version is flavored with a Hainnanese-style ginger-scallion oil that seeps into
the batter and makes for one helluva messy vegan sandwich.

Note: For even lighter batter, replace
1/4 cup of seltzer with 1/4 cup ice cold vodka.

 

·        
YIELD: Serves 4

·        
ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes

·        
TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes

 

Ingredients:

·        
1 1/2 quarts vegetable, peanut, or canola oil

·        
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

·        
1/4 cup cornstarch

·        
Kosher salt

·        
3/4 cup ice cold seltzer water (See note)

·        
1 sweet potato, cut in half lengthwise, then cut
into 1/4 to 1/8-inch planks

·        
4 Vietnamese-style baguettes, or four soft
hoagie rolls

·        
2 teaspoons liquid aminos, such as Maggi or
Bragg’s

·        
1 avocado, thinly sliced

·        
1 recipe Hainnanese
Ginger-Scallion Oil

·        
1 recipe Vietnamese
Pickled Carrots and Daikon
 (do chua)

·        
1 cucumber, seeds removed, split lengthwise into
8 spears

·        
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and stem removed,
sliced into thin spears

·        
1 bunch cilantro leaves and fine stems

 

Directions:

1.      
Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat oil in a large wok,
Dutch oven, or deep fryer to 400°F. Combine flour, cornstarch, and 1/2 teaspoon
salt in a medium bowl and stir with chopsticks to combine. Add soda water and
stir rapidly to combine. Do not overmix (some lumps are ok). Add sweet potato
slices and working one piece at a time, lift potato slice, allow excess batter
to drip back into bowl, then slowly lower into hot oil. Repeat until all potato
slices are in the fryer. Cook, agitating and flipping slices constantly until
pale golden brown and very crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer sweet potato slices
to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt.

2.     
Place baguettes in oven until crisp, about 4
minutes. Split baguettes. Sprinkle bottoms and tops with liquid aminos, then
spoon on a thin layer of the ginger-scallion oil. Spread half of avocado along
bottom surface os sandwich, then divide sweet potatoes on top of avocado. Top
sweet potatoes with more ginger-scallion oil, then add pickled carrot/daikon
mixture, cucumber spears, jalapeño, and cilantro. Spread remaining avocado on
top half of bun. Season to taste with salt, then close sandwiches, split in
half crosswise, and serve immediately.

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