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 | plantcrush.co

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. Continue reading

Vietnamese Inspired Mock Tuna Salad

Vietnamese Inspired Mock Tuna Salad | plantcrush.co


I’ve had this one on my mind for a while–a vegan “tuna” salad infused with Vietnamese flavors, like nước mắm! This is not traditional from my experience, and I tried to find some examples but couldn’t find that much online. However, I was particularly inspired by this account and recipe from Andrew Zimmern, influenced by his experience on a Vietnamese island. It sounded legit, so I decided to give it a try, with a plant-based twist! Can you guess what I used in place of tuna? Continue reading

Vegan Vietnamese Fish Dipping Sauce | Nước Mắm Chấm Chay

Cleaned Up Flatlays-5There’s no way around it–you can’t do Vietnamese food without nước mắm (fish sauce).
It’s the main base in nước chấm, a light dipping sauce that accompanies most Vietnamese dishes. You’d think this would be an issue for Vietnamese vegans and vegetarians, but it’s actually the easiest thing, especially for those of us who grew up around the spiritual traditions of vegetarianism.  Continue reading

Shredded Mushroom + Tofu Bánh Mì

I threw some things together to make bánh mì for my dad and myself last weekend, not thinking too much about it. The sandwiches turned out so beautifully that I had to photograph them and share a recipe with you!

Shredded Mushroom + Tofu Bánh Mì

When it comes to bánh mì, the fixings really make the sandwich, and silly things like measurements are not necessary. The quantity of fillings just depends on how hungry you are.

Fixings I used:

  • paprika mayo (I just whisked together some Just Mayo, smoked paprika & garlic powder)
  • cucumber sticks
  • fresh cilantro
  • fresh basil
  • jalapeño slices
  • Đồ chua (Vietnamese pickled carrots & daikon–available at Asian markets, or you can DIY!)
  • Sriracha

Continue reading

4th Annual Texas Veggie Fair | A Yummy Roundup

I despise and try to avoid crowds most of the time, but you can bet I always make an exception for the Texas Veggie Fair. I would choose this one-day event over the regular Texas State Fair any day, and that’s not just because admission to the veggie fair is free. I go for the awesome food, and to support the wonderful vegan community of activists, businesses, educators, and more.The event organizers do an awesome job.

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I’m always amazed at how crowded it gets, and it seems to just keep getting bigger every year. The lines are INSANE (especially the line for the vegan corn dogs), but it’s very exciting to see how many people are interested in the veggie trend, especially in a place like Texas. This year’s event was said to be the biggest yet, with over 7,000 attendees. That’s wonderful news to me! Continue reading

Vegan options at PhoXpress are available and expanding

6/10/13: Dear readers, the vegan options at PhoXpress are somewhat limited now, as of late Spring 2013–please scroll all the way down for the detailed update!

I must say that I am extremely picky about my phở, and most Vietnamese dishes in general. I blame the fact that I grew up in a Aulacese (Vietnamese) household full of food enthusiasts. 

I have heard horror stories about vegan phở at non-vegan establishments. The worst case scenarios recounted to me often resembled the following description, more or less: a bowl of rice noodles in salty broth, laden with MSG and some lettuce. To call that sad scene “phở” is a culinary crime and an insult to the taste-buds. I can’t even process the lack of effort–a complex, aromatic broth is the key to any phở, vegan or not.

PhoXpress set up

Phở condiments!

Based on such descriptions alone, let alone my Viet foodie background, I decided long ago that I would avoid eating phở outside my own home altogether. However, in the past month, I have tiptoed, quite warily, might I add, into giving a couple of places a chance.

Continue reading