Bahn Mi Tofu Taco | Nutrition Stripped
Eat Well Dec. 11. 2018

Bahn Mi Tofu Tacos

Dec. 11. 2018
McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

If you love, Bahn Mi, you’ll love these Bahn Mi Tofu Tacos.

We go to Asheville, North Carolina at least once a year to go hiking, eat the amazing food, and it’s a quick (and beautiful) drive from Nashville.

When we’re there, we always make a stop at White Duck Taco. I typically order the same thing, including Bahn Mi Tofu Tacos which are so delicious — so much so that I had to attempt to make them at home so we could enjoy them anytime!

The Slaw

Honestly, this slaw is so good you could eat it as a salad. First up, an important part of Bahn Mi is the pickled vegetables (carrots and radishes) — they add a crunch with a slightly tangy and slightly sweet flavor that only pickles can give.

To top it off, pun intended, is the slaw with thinly sliced red cabbage, fresh cilantro, fresh lime juice, a little drizzle of olive oil, toasted sesame oil, and soy sauce. Toss to combine and you have a delicious cabbage slaw.

Typically Bahn Mi recipes are served with a toasted baguette, but we’re using corn tortillas with this Bahn Mi Tofu Taco recipe. Bahn Mi is a classic sandwich and hand-held meal in Vietnamese cuisine typically filled with savory meats and vegetables with delicious sauces like spicy chili sauce.

The Tofu

These Bahn Mi Tofu Tacos are a great introduction to this top plant-based protein you should try. If you’re not into tofu, you can make this recipe with any animal protein you enjoy or cooked lentils. The sauce in this recipe is delicious and can easily translate into any other protein you enjoy.


Soy-containing foods such as tempeh, tofu, and edamame all offer a complete plant protein containing all amino acids.

It’s one of the strongest, most animal-like protein in terms of chemical makeup. Some research says that soy has a high concentration of BCAAs or branched-chain amino acids, which are beneficial to athletic performance (1). 

Often these soy-based sources of plant protein also carry fiber and healthy fats as well as the protein. Tempeh is the most nutritious out of this bunch, as it contains naturally-occurring healthy bacteria from the fermentation process.

However, read up about what you should know about soy before adding a ton of tempeh, tofu, or edamame to your diet.


Cabbage is one antioxidant-rich ingredient we always have stocked in the fridge, mainly because it’s so versatile to use and gives any dish a fresh flavor, crunchy texture, and a boost of the health benefits cruciferous vegetables have.

From polyphenols that help reduce inflammation in the body and protect the body against free radical damage to the fiber content for promoting healthy digestion, it’s a win!

The Recipe

Serves 4


For the tofu

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon minced red onion

1, 15-ounce package of firm tofu (padded dry to reduce excess moisture), cut into long strips

1/2 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon peanut butter

2 tablespoons organic soy sauce

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon sriracha

14 teaspoon of each onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper

For the slaw

1/2 cup water

14 cup rice vinegar

14 cup coconut sugar

1 medium carrot, julienned

4 large radishes, julienned

Sea salt

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon olive oil

Juice of 1 lime

12 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage

12 medium English cucumber, diced

8 organic corn tortillas (or more depending on servings, 2 corn tortillas is one serving)

Step 1

To make the slaw, in a large saucepan add the vinegar, sugar, and ½ cup water and bring it to a boil.

After it’s reached a boil, pour this mixture into a medium bowl and add the sliced carrots, salt, and radishes. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.

Step 2

While the vegetables are pickling, make the tofu in a large skillet on medium heat, add the olive oil and onion. Cook for 2 minutes until onion is fragrant.

Add the cut tofu flat on and evenly on the skillet, to ensure each side gets golden brown. Cook for 5 minutes.

Step 3

To the tofu, add the soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, sriracha, and all the spices. Stir to coat the tofu and cook for another 7-10 minutes on low-medium heat, or until brown.

Step 4

To complete the slaw, take the pickled carrots and radishes and add to a large mixing bowl with the olive oil, sesame oil, lime, red cabbage, cilantro, and cucumber. Toss to combine.

Make it!

To assemble, add a couple pieces of tofu per taco and top with the slaw. Top with additional cilantro and hot sauce as you like.

Have Leftovers? Here’s What To Do With Them:

As always, store in an airtight glass container that we recommend from the NS Shop, store all separate part (tofu and slaw) in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Can’t wait to see you try it!

Did you know that you can submit your own photo of whatever recipe you make from NS? Scroll down to the bottom right and you’ll see a section for you to show off your creations from home!

Can’t wait to see how you make these and share your meal with me! Tag us on Instagram @nutritionstripped #nutritionstripped

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