The classic Vietnamese sandwich made healthy, gluten-free, & vegan. Grilled Eggplant Banh Mi Sliders are a hearty, spicy, & veggie-packed recipe you can serve up for lunch, dinner, or a party!
I had to make sure I got out my last grilled recipe before Labor Day! And if you’re into the trends, you’d know that any type of Asian dish is a wide-reaching favorite of many. You know I’m a fan, and a failed fan at that! I never made it to that Thai restaurant I told you about. Summer bucket list FAIL! At least we’re expanding our Far East taste buds to Vietnam this time!
I was kind of blown away when I did some research into the classic Banh Mi sandwich. “Bánh mì” is actually a term used for Vietnamese bread, usually a wheat baguette. Now-a-days, in the Western world, when we say Banh mi, we’re 90% of the time referring to the classic, spicy, “meat-filled”, street food sandwich. Now if you might have guessed, this classic sandwich, usually with pork, mayo, and wheat bread, leaves us Strength and Sunshine eaters in a bit of a pickle.
I never leave you hanging, though! Recreate, remake, reignite! Caveat, I’ve never had a real Banh Mi, but with my pre-recipe development research, I think I nailed this one down pretty well! It’s all about some good bread, pickled veggies, some “meatiness”, and that spicy “not” mayo sauce! No to mention we’re busting out the grill pan for this one! (Grilled food = good food…always!)
For out “meatiness” what better ingredient to use than eggplant! Grilled eggplant is one of my favorite ways to serve it up and its texture is so hearty, creamy, and delicious. A perfect stable base for this killer plant-based Banh Mi!
For the “quick” pickled vegetables I used some crunchy carrot sticks and celery just soaked in some seasoned vinegar while prepping the rest of the sandwich ingredients. Daikon radish is commonly used in the Banh Mi, but confession, I actually don’t care for daikon very much. Celery does the job much better in my opinion and this is the Strength and Sunshine Banh Mi anyway…so we’re rolling with it!
The other essential veggie components used in a Banh Mi sandwich are cucumbers, cilantro, and jalapenos! I’ve always loved this combination of vegetables in the sandwich. The cucumber (and pickled veggies) balance out the heat of the raw jalapeno slices. It’s what I’d call a well thought out sandwich! If you can’t handle too much heat, you can cut super thin slices of the jalapeno or thicker if you want to bring the fire!
Last component and maybe the most important. The “mayo” sauce! Since we are not mayo people here, I channel my inner tah-ayo (i.e. tahini mayo)! Just mix some tahini, sriracha, and coconut aminos together and you have a perfect sauce for the sandwiches! So with all of these components together you get one fantastic vegan Banh Mi. Let’s not forget the bread, though! I used some Bread SRSLY sourdough sandwich rolls! Yes, we even brought sourdough into this recipe! I grilled the buns a bit to give them some crunch and WOW, your first bite of these sandwich sliders will turn you into a Banh Mi fan, however unconvential this recipe may be!
Grilled Eggplant Banh Mi Sliders
- 4 Bread SRSLY Sourdough Sandwich Rolls
- 1 Medium Cucumber (8 round slices about ¼ inch thick)
- 1 Jalapeno (8 round slices about ⅛ inch thick)
- 4 TB Fresh Chopped Cilantro
- Pickled Vegetables:
- 2 Celery Stalks (julienned)
- 2 Carrots (julienned)
- ¼ Cup Rice Vinegar
- 1 Packet of Stevia (or 1 Tsp Sugar)
- ¼ Tsp Sea Salt
- Grilled Eggplant:
- 1 Large Eggplant (8 round slices about ¼ inch thick)
- 1 Tsp Chili Paste
- 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
- ½ Tsp Onion Powder
- Spicy "Mayo" Sauce:
- 2 TB Tahini
- 1 TB Sriracha
- 1 TB Coconut Aminos
- In a small bowl, combine the pickled vegetable ingredients are let sit for 45-60 minutes.
- For the grilled eggplant, rub the sliced rounds with the chili paste and spices. Grill on an oiled non-stick grill pan for 5 minutes on each side.
- You can also grill the sandwich rolls at this time. Slice them and grill sliced side down for 5 minutes.
- For the spicy "mayo" sauce, combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
- To assemble the sliders, in this order, take a bottom grilled roll half, spread on some of the sauce, 2 slices of the grilled eggplant, 2 slices of cucumber, 2 jalapeno slices, some of the pickled veggies, 1 tablespoon of cilantro, and then spread another thin layer of the sauce on the top grilled roll half before closing up the slider.
- Repeat for the rest of the sandwiches!
Lunch, dinner, or even for a party if you make a large batch, these sliders will be a huge hit! They’d also make a fantastic tailgating, football season dish to serve up in the next few months! Labor Day is next Monday so that maybe the time too! Actually no, the time is NOW! Make these NOW! I want to see you grilled these Banh Mi sliders up! I know these will make you a new fan of the Vietnamese cuisine if you’ve never tried it before. Gotta start somewhere and these sliders are where to start!
So tell me:
+ Ever have a Banh Mi? What kind?
+ Any favorite Vietnamese dishes?
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