Chinese 5 Spice BBQ Jackfruit Bánh Mì Bites

Happy 2019, friends! I’m just popping on the blog to share a quick recipe with you today, as I’ve gotten many messages about these jackfruit bánh mì bites on Instagram. I made them for a vegan NYE potluck my friends Christina and Courtney hosted, and they were a hit! The five spice is the lingering aroma that makes this dish epically memorable. I’ve used this warming spice in literally everything, from my go-to peanut sauce, to gingerbread cookies to faux beef stir fries, jackfruit bao bites, and even protein bars! It’s been my recent obsession and also is an homage to a lot of the food I had growing up in a Vietnamese household. This spice holds the ultimate expression of nostalgia for me.Chinese 5 Spice BBQ Jackfruit Bánh Mì Bites |

As I get older, I have really loved leaning into my Vietnamese roots more, after many younger years where I pushed my culture away in order to assimilate/avoid being bullied for being “different.” Now, it always feels so damn good to embrace my family’s heritage and blend it with my own personal experiences/influences. This dish is kind of a fusion dish–5 Spice BBQ jackfruit on bánh mì bites! I’ve made 5 Spice BBQ fusion jackfruit bao bites before, and this recipe is basically the same thing but with bánh mì fixings.

2018 was a truly year of solid inner growth for me, as I spent most of my time pushing through my own self doubt, thinking through, and working on my research for my thesis about landscape architecture and refugee communities. I’m excited to continue to develop my research and share the process with you once I start doing more visual work–right now I’m mostly immersed in the research portion (literature review, methodology, data gathering). I hope you have a year full of new adventures and growth ahead.

Chinese 5 Spice BBQ Jackfruit Bánh Mì Bites

Time: 30 minutes

  • 10 medjool dates, pitted and soaked in water
  • 2.5 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder (or dried onion flakes)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • a pinch of black pepper
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium tamari (or to taste)
  • 2 cans of young green jackfruit, drained (15 oz each)


  1. Blend all the sauce ingredients together in a high speed blender until smooth.
  2. Shred the jackfruit—with your hands or a fork. During this step, you will see that the tips of the jackfruit pieces are not really shreddable—I cut off the tips, set those aside, and slice them thinly.
  3. Toss the jackfruit together with the sauce and saute in a hot pan for a few minutes to warm it up. Taste and add seasoning to your taste, if desired.

For the bánh mì bites, you will need the following:

  • a thinly sliced French baguette (I used Whole Food’s classic baguette! They’ll use their machine to slice the bread for you at the store if you ask!)
  • spicy vegan mayo (I mixed 1/2 a cup of Just Mayo with a few teaspoons of cayenne and garlic powder)
  • thinly sliced cucumbers (I used a mandolin!)
  • quick pickled radishes and carrots (I used a mandolin to thinly slice the radishes and soaked the veggies in quick pickle marinade, loosely based on this one)
  • cilantro

I assembled the bites in the following order:

  • baguette slice
  • spicy mayo
  • cucumbers
  • a dollop of the jackfruit
  • pickled radishes + carrots
  • cilantro


Chinese 5 Spice BBQ Jackfruit Bánh Mì Bites |

Let me know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s