The last week I've spent at home, in York, resolutely downing mint tea and juices at breakfast, not quite sure why my normal total excitement for Christmas hasn't kicked in yet, but not as worried as I would think I would be either. Maybe you do get older at 25. Who knows. Here's a sandwich I decided to make myself in the middle of the week as a kind of antidote to roasting everything and boiling everything else. It uses some homemade Bloody Mary Tomato Ketchup, which doesn't really have a Christmas link to it unless you've seen the gallons my parents make every year for their friends around this time, but I guess most people have a few spare carrots going at this time of year, and along with the coriander and lime juice, you're sort of halfway there already to making this.
Bánh mì is a wonderful comfort food. You get to eat baguette, the clean crunch of the carrot and a lot of spice. If you've got any vegan mayonnaise hanging around, it's also great to add a layer. I could argue the coriander and chilli are good for your nervous system and protecting you from colds, but you know what, it tastes too good to require a reinforcement. Scoff with beer or mint tea, depending on which side of Christmas.
Vegan tofu bánh mì
Makes one big ass sandwich
1 carrot, julienned
1 inch of cucumber, sliced into discs
3 spring onions, julienned
1 tsp white wine or rice vinegar
1 baton-style baguette, or half a standard baguette
Slather of ketchup/ vegan mayonnaise, mustard/ whatever you want
Handful of coriander
1 red chilli, chopped small
1/3 pack of smoked tofu, sliced into strips
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Heat the vinegar in a pan with about 1 and 1/2 cups of water, until it comes to the boil. Take off the heat and pour over the carrots, cucumber and spring onion, and cover. Leave this for as long as it takes you to make the rest of the sandwich, but the more leisurely the better.
Warm the baguette in a hot oven at about 150°C for just a few minutes, until the crust is hot and the bread inside is just warm. Slice in half, then lengthways, and spread on ketchup, mayonnaise or anything else you fancy. Drain the carrots, cucumber and spring onions, and begin to pile them into the sandwich, along with sprigs of coriander, the slices of tofu, the odd bit of chopped chilli and a squeeze of lime.
Eat straight away with extra condiments, lemonade, beer, green tea, whatever you like. Happy pre-Christmas.