Tag Archive for vietnamese

banh mi at trang bakery and cafe

banh mi

I’ve been to Trang six times this year and have so far failed to blog about it.  Five of those times have been at the Smith St shop and the one other time was at the new shop in the city in Hardware Street. A review is well overdue.

I love banh mi, I make them at home and I eat them out whenever I have the chance,  so I’ve eaten a lot of them. I’m prepared to call these the best banh mi I’ve eaten.

At Trang there are six vegan options on the menu, ranging from lemongrass tofu and a crispy crumbed eggplant to several types of vegan mock meat – duck, chicken, ham and prawns.

There’s almost always a queue at the door, the turnover is huge and the ingredients always fresh.

So far I have tried the lemongrass tofu, the crispy eggplant, the vegan chicken and the vegan duck. I have a hard time choosing between the tofu for its flavour and the eggplant for its texture,  so today I ordered one with a combination of both.

The baguettes are nicely crunchy and come packed with some eggplant and capsicum relish, salad, herbs, whatever filling you choose, some chilli, crunchy fried shallots, crushed peanuts and delicious sauces.

There are a couple of tables outside where you can sit to eat at both shops, but a banh mi is also perfect for eating on the run.

I’ll be back to try all the vegan options, but I think I’ll have a hard time getting past that eggplant and tofu combo.


Trang Bakery and Cafe
382 Smith St,
Collingwood, 3066
03 9416 3988

The city branch is sadly closed.

119 Hardware St
Melbourne, 3000
03 9670 4761

vietnamese rice vermicelli salad

vietnamese rice vermicelli salad with grilled tofu

A Vietnamese rice vermicelli salad would have to be a candidate for one of my favourite dishes of all time. My desert island dish. Well, I lie. I probably have 10 desert island dishes. 🙂

It has so much going for it. It is easy to make, it is fresh and vibrant, it is healthy AND it tastes spectacularly good.

It is just a bowl of vermicelli noodles topped with a variety of raw or lightly blanched veggies, some protein and a sweet, salty and spicy dressing.

The dish varies every time I make it. It really depends what is in the fridge. The only constants are the vermicelli, lettuce and carrot. And the dressing of course.

Today’s bowl contained rice vermicelli, lettuce, carrot, coriander, snow peas, satay flavoured tofu, sliced fresh chillies, spring onions and the chilli, garlic and “fish sauce” dressing.

Today I came home from a walk, hungry and ready to eat so I used some already flavoured tofu. In the past I’ve used crispy fried tempeh or some seitan mock chicken.

Here is the recipe for the dressing. You will need about 1/3 cup per bowl.


dressing for vietnamese rice vermicelli salad
prep time
cook time
total time
cuisine: vietnamese, vegan
serves: 1 cup
  • ¼ cup vegan fish sauce
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 small hot red chilli, finely chopped with the seeds removed (or less if you're scared)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  1. Heat the vegan fish sauce, vinegar, water and sugar in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves completely. Don't let it come to the boil.
  2. Allow to cool, then mix in the garlic, chilli and lime juice;


banh mi

banh mi

I’ll go out on a limb and say that Banh Mi are one of the most delicious things in the world. A happy marriage of french bread and vibrant vietnamese flavours. Crunchy, spicy, salty, sweet, pungent and fresh. I love them.

I got the urge to make them when I saw some people eating them for lunch the other day. I haven’t eaten one since going vegan. There is no reason not to, they’re easy to replicate.

So the next day I set about making some.  Mine are made up of a crusty baguette, filled with some sort of protein, lettuce and cucumber, some vegan mayonnaise, spicy chilli, coriander, spring onion and a mild quick sweet pickle of carrot and onion.

I used some seitan for my protein using a recipe from The Post Punk Kitchen. I don’t know what it is with me and seitan,  but this recipe is the only one I’ve ever made that worked and tasted good.

They are excellent with a beer…. 🙂

banh mi
prep time
total time
recipe type: bread
cuisine: Vietnamese, Vegan
serves: 2
  • ½ cup vinegar (I used apple cider, but any mild vinegar will be OK.)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegan fish sauce
  • 1 carrot (julienned)
  • ¼ red onion (finely sliced)
  • 2 crunchy baguette rolls
  • 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
  • lettuce leaves
  • cucumber (finely sliced)
  • fried seitan (I used seitan. Tofu or tempeh would also be good)
  • sriracha sauce
  • fresh coriander leaves
  • spring onions (finely sliced)
  1. Put the vinegar, water, sugar and 'fish' sauce into a bowl or saucepan and microwave or heat until the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool a bit.
  2. Add the carrot and onion to the vinegar mix and allow to steep for 10 minutes. while you assemble the remainder. This will make enough pickle for 2 baguettes.
  3. Slice the baguettes in half and spread with the mayo.
  4. Add the lettuce, fried seitan/tofu/tempeh, cucumber, pickles, spring onions, sriracha sauce and fresh coriander leaves.
Any type of vegan protein would work well here, so choose your favourite. I had some seitan so that is what I used. I sliced and fried to brown it off a bit. Tofu and tempeh would work well too. Some of the pre seasoned ones would be great.

I got my vegan fish sauce from The Cruelty Free Shop.


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