Our Low FODMAP Banh Mi Tofu Bowl is comprised of cooked rice, tofu, quick pickled carrots and daikon radish, red cabbage, cilantro and a little bit of spicy mayo. Easy to make and perfect for plant-based eating. Low fat and protein packed, too.
What Is Banh Mi?
Banh mi, a Vietnamese dish, is typically a baguette split and filled with meat, such as pork (sometimes pork pâté as well), and pickled vegetables, often carrots, daikon radish and/or cucumber. Fresh herbs such as cilantro and mint typically make an appearance as well. It is always juicy, and the combination of fatty and crunchy, rich and fresh ingredients is what makes this sandwich so popular.
The pickles are always a simple-to-make quick pickle that are a little salty and a little sweet, with a nice hit of vinegar.
In this recipe for our Low FODMAP Banh Mi Tofu Bowl we have taken the flavors of the classic dish and swapped in tofu for the pork (making our version vegetarian, and vegan if made with vegan mayo) and arrange it as a rice bowl with rice in lieu of using bread.
Why Does The Recipe Call For Either 14-ounces to 16-ounces Of Tofu?
I love tofu and at dinner time, the more protein the better for me. The reason why the recipe provides a range is because while this recipe will work with 16-ounces (455 g) of tofu, most packages nowadays (at least in our neck of the woods) are 14-ounces (400 g). Use whichever amount is more convenient for you.
Rice & FODMAPs
White Rice: According to Monash, cooked white rice at 1 cup (190 g) is low FODMAP.
Brown Rice: According to Monash, cooked brown rice at 1 cup (180 g) is low FODMAP.
Red Rice: Monash has lab tested red rice and it is low FODMAP in amounts of 1 cup cooked (190 g). FYI: FODMAP Friendly has lab tested and certified as low FODMAP Laiki Rice Crackers made with red rice.
Black Rice: FODMAP Friendly has lab tested black rice and says a low FODMAP serving is 125 g cooked. Note that this is less than white or brown rice.
Glutinous Rice: According to Monash, cooked glutinous rice at 1 cup (190 g) is low FODMAP.
Basmati Rice: According to Monash, cooked basmati rice at 1 cup (190 g) is low FODMAP.
Ingredients For Low FODMAP Banh Mi Tofu Bowl
Let’s take a look at what you need for this simple recipe. Are you getting hungry? The various colors and textures in the finished dish are incredibly satisfying.
Sriracha, Hot Sauce & FODMAPs
Folks who like hot sauce, LOVE hot sauce. Sriracha, green habanero sauce and red habanero sauce have been lab tested by Monash and have low FODMAP amounts. Sriracha is low FODMAP at 1 teaspoon (which is plenty for many) and Monash lists the green habanero sauce as low FODMAP in 88 g amounts (no volume given). They have also tested Mexican red habanero sauce and it is low FODMAP in amounts of 1 teaspoon (10 g).
Here is the thing to keep in mind: while spicy peppers and hot sauces might be low FODMAP, they can also trigger digestive upset in many people. Use to your tolerance, please!
Read our article All About Chile, Chili and Chillies for more information.
Not All Garlic-Infused Oil Is Created Equal
I love olive oil – but not in dishes such as this (or my Mexican-inspired dishes, either). Many commercially prepared garlic-infused oils are made with olive oil and the strong flavor of olive oil just doesn’t belong in our banh mi bowl. Make your own with a neutral vegetable oil, or we also like Tourangelle very much.
How To Make Our Banh Mi Bowl Vegan
Our Low FODMAP Banh Mi Tofu Bowl is all about assembly. Note that we call for rice that is already cooked and ready to go. It can be room temp, or we like it to be a little warm, which provides contrasting temperatures in the finished dish.
Shredding the red cabbage is easy, but sometimes julienning vegetables can be a chore. “Julienne” is a size of cut. Just as a true “dice” is about a 1/4-inch (6 mm) square (did you know that?), “julienne” is a long, thin shape. Think long matchsticks. While not necessarily hard to do, it can be tedious to cut even one carrot into julienne.
Luckily for all of us there is a julienne tool that can do it for us! Seen below this tool is used like a vegetable peeler (just scrape it along your veggie) and it makes the long thing strips for you – in a flash! Perfect for our carrot and daikon radish.
Once everything is prepped, you get to be creative and arrange everything in a bowl in whatever way you like. We make individual mounds of this and that. You could drizzle with the spicy mayo before serving – or let, diners drizzle to their liking at the table.
Make It Vegan
If you are eating vegan, it is easy to make this dish suitable for your diet. The only part of the recipe that needs tweaking is the spicy mayo; simply use a vegan mayo.
Now, it is easy to find commercially prepared vegan mayo – but you have to read labels. Many that we have seen contain aquafaba (chickpea water) which most likely is packed with FODMAPs. “Natural flavors” and garlic can make appearances as well in various vegan mayonnaise products.
One caveat: remember that if an ingredient (even garlic) is 2% or less it will probably not trigger symptoms. This is because the amount of the FODMAP rich ingredient is very small in the amounts usually consumed when it comes to condiments.
You might be interested in our article, How To Decipher “Natural Flavors” & “Spices” on Food Labels for the Low FODMAP Diet.
We recommend Veganaise brand vegan mayonnaise.
For more info on condiments, read our article, The Ultimate Guide to Low FODMAP Condiments.
Substitutions In Our Low FODMAP Banh Mi Tofu Bowl
No daikon (or don’t like it)? No problem! Not a fan of cilantro? We’ve got the solutions.
With this recipe you do have some choices. First of all, as stated before, you can choose your rice. If you are a white rice fan, by all means use it! We used brown for the images.
In lieu of daikon, simply sub in peeled and seeded cucumber.
If cilantro rubs you the wrong way, use fresh mint. Or, you could even use a little of each!
No Sriracha at hand? Any low FODMAP hot sauce can be subbed in.
Other Tofu Recipes:
- Asian Tofu, Noodles & Papaya Salad
- Zoodles & Tofu
- Tofu Stir-Fry with Baby Bok Choy
- Tofu Coconut Curry
Want more quick and easy dinners? Check out our article, Easy Peasy Dinner and Dessert: 20 One-Pan, One Bowl Low FODMAP Recipes for Busy Nights.
Low FODMAP Banh Mi Tofu Bowl
Our Low FODMAP Banh Mi Tofu Bowl is comprised of cooked rice, tofu, quick pickled carrots and daikon radish, red cabbage, cilantro and a little bit of spicy mayo. Easy to make and perfect for clean eating. Low fat and protein packed, too.
- ¼ cup (56 g) mayonnaise; use vegan if following a vegan diet
- Sriracha to taste
Tofu & Rice Bowl:
- 14- ounces to 16-ounces (400 g to 455 g) firm or extra-firm tofu, drained
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce, such as San J Gluten Free Reduced Sodium
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce, such as Red Boat
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon Garlic-Infused Oil, made with vegetable oil, or purchased equivalent
- ½ cup (120 ml) rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 medium carrots, trimmed, peeled and julienned
- 4- ounces (115 g) daikon, trimmed, peeled and julienned
- 2 cups (400 g) warm cooked rice, brown or white
- 1 cup (100 g) shredded red cabbage
- Cilantro sprigs
- Chopped scallion greens
- Sliced serrano or jalapeno; optional
For Mayo: Whisk together the mayonnaise and Sriracha to taste; set aside.
For the Rice Bowl: Cut the tofu block in half lengthwise. Place a triple layer of paper towel on a cutting board, place tofu slabs on top, then cover them with another triple layer of towel. Put something heavy on top, like another cutting board with a heavy pot on top. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes. This technique will remove excess water from the tofu.
Meanwhile, whisk together the toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, 2 teaspoons sugar and garlic-infused oil in a non-reactive bowl large enough to hold the tofu. Once tofu has drained, discard paper towels, cut tofu into cubes, add to marinade and toss well. Allow to marinate for 10 minutes.
While tofu is marinating, make your quick pickles: Whisk the vinegar, remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and salt together in a non-reactive bowl. Add the julienned carrots and daikon and toss together. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
Assemble your bowls: Arrange scoops of rice in each bowl. Use images for inspiration on arranging your ingredients. Make a mound of tofu (with a little of the marinade), pickled vegetables and cabbage. Garnish with cilantro, scallion greens and hot pepper, if using. Drizzle with spicy mayo and serve.
Our recipes are based on Monash University and FODMAP Friendly science.
- Cabbage: Both Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have lab tested various cabbages and reported their low FODMAP serving sizes. According to Monash Green Cabbage is low FODMAP in amounts of 75 g (¾ cup) and Red cabbage is low FODMAP in amounts of 75 g (¾ cup). According to Monash Savoy cabbage is low FODMAP in amounts of 40 g (½ cup). According to FODMAP Friendly Savoy cabbage is low FODMAP in amounts of 75 g (1 cup). According to both Monash and FODMAP Friendly, Napa cabbage is low FODMAP in amounts of 75 g (1 cup).
- Carrots: Carrots have been lab tested and deemed low FODMAP by both Monash University and FODMAP Friendly. According to Monash carrots contain no FODMAPs.
- Rice: Between FODMAP Friendly and Monash University, many different kinds of rice have been lab tested and they have low FODMAP amounts. Cooked white rice, according to Monash, is low FODMAP at 1 cup (190 g). Cooked brown rice, according to Monash, is low FODMAP at 1 cup (180 g). Cooked red rice, according to Monash, is low FODMAP at 1 cup (190 g). FODMAP Friendly has lab tested black rice and says a low FODMAP serving is 125 g cooked. Note that this is less than white or brown rice. According to Monash, cooked glutinous rice at 1 cup (190 g) is low FODMAP and cooked basmati rice is low FODMAP at 1 cup (190 g).
- Scallions: The green parts of scallions are low FODMAP as determined by Monash University lab testing and can be used to add onion flavor to your low FODMAP cooking.
Please always refer to the Monash University & FODMAP Friendly smartphone apps for the most up-to-date lab tested information. As always, your tolerance is what counts; please eat accordingly. The ultimate goal of the low FODMAP diet is to eat as broadly as possible, without triggering symptoms, for the healthiest microbiome.
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.