Bánh Mi Arepas

Banh Mi Arepas | Our Four Forks | #vegan #glutenfree #recipeWhen I was an undergrad living in New York City, inexpensive, delicious food was important. There were only so many dining hall omelettes, midnight waffles and Quiznos subs I could eat, so my friends and I were always on the lookout for cheap meals. Aside from Moaz, Vietnamese bánh mi sandwiches and Venezuelan arepas were two quick East Village standbys that fit the bill. Ever since moving out of NYC, I’ve been meaning to make both bánh mi and arepas at home. It’s been seven (holy shit!) years since college, but I finally got around to it by making them both with these bánh mi arepas.

Arepas are gluten free, round, chewy flatbreads made out of precooked cornmeal, traditionally eaten in both Colombia and Venezuela. There are very serious debates on the difference between Colombian and Venezuelan arepas (it seems Venezuelan arepas are more likely to be stuffed), but I’m pretty sure this version isn’t traditional to either country. The filling is based on the flavors of the Vietnamese bánh mi sandwich though “bánh mi” technically refers to the type of bread this sandwich is usually served on, which is like a baguette. The Vietnamese filling of these arepas is highly adaptable to be vegan, vegetarian or traditional with meat. If you’re vegan, the main flavor components to include are the cilantro, pickled veggies, sriracha mayo (vegan if needed) and jalapeños; the protein is completely up to you. I used pulled pork for mine, but omitted the pâté. Baked tofu or tempeh would also work well.

Banh Mi Arepas | Our Four Forks | #vegan #glutenfree #recipe

 

Banh Mi Arepas | Our Four Forks | #vegan #glutenfree #recipeBanh Mi Arepas | Our Four Forks | #vegan #glutenfree #recipeBanh Mi Arepas | Our Four Forks | #vegan #glutenfree #recipe

Bánh Mi Arepas
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Bánh mi arepas combine the flavors of a traditional Vietnamese bánh mi sandwich with chewy, gluten free arepa flatbreads. Full of flavor, easily made vegan.
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Serves: 6-8 arepa sandwiches
Ingredients
For quick pickles:
  • ½ cup of daikon radish, cut into matchsticks
  • ½ cup carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • pinch of salt
For the arepas:
  • 2 cups masarepa flour (pre-cooked yellow corn flour - I used Goya brand)
  • 2 cups warm water
  • salt
  • coconut oil for frying
For the bánh mi and assembly:
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise (I like vegan "Just Mayo" by Hampton Creek)
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 2 cups cooked protein of your choice (pulled pork, pressed and baked tofu, shredded chicken, etc.)
  • ½ cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño thinly sliced, seeds removed if desired
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro
  • pork pâté (optional, omit for vegan)
Instructions
For the quick pickles:
  1. Put all ingredients in a bowl or jar and let sit in the fridge at least an hour. Drain before using.
For the arepas:
  1. Mix the flour, warm water and salt together until well incorporated. Let stand 5 minutes so the flour absorbs the water.
  2. Form 3 level tablespoons of dough into 1 ball and flatten between your palms, gently pressing to form a ¼ inch think patty, about 4 inches wide. Transfer to a wax paper lined surface and continue to form more patties with remaining dough.
  3. Heat oil in large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Fry arepas in batches, turning over once until deep golden in patches, 4-5 minutes per side.
Bánh mi and assembly:
  1. Mix the mayo and sriracha in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Smear one arepa with the mayo sriracha mixture, top with pulled pork (or other protein), some quick pickles, cucumber slices, jalapeño slices and cilantro. Smear the second arepa with the mayo mixture, if desired and place on top, making a sandwich. Repeat for remaining arepas.
Notes
You may have extra arepas. Anything tastes good on an arepa, so get creative!

 

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