Think Outside the Bun with These Cauliflower Bành Mì Bowls

Hailing from Vietnam, the bành mì sandwich has seen a big spike in popularity these last few years. “Bành mì” actually translates to “bread, but it’s come to be synonymous with a delicious pork belly sandwich made with cilantro, cucumber, and pickled carrots. This recipe for Cauliflower Bành Mì Bowls gives the pork-centric sandwich a vegetarian spin (sans bread), topping a bed of rice with roasted cauliflower and sweet potato, pickled veggies, fresh herbs, and spicy mayo.

Be sure to evenly space the vegetables apart on the baking sheet so they roast in the oven instead of steam.

¾ cup jasmine rice
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
4 teaspoons Sriracha hot sauce, divided
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, divided
12 ounces cauliflower
9 ounces sweet potato
½ English cucumber
3 ounces red radishes
⅛ ounce cilantro
½ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup shredded carrots
1½ ounces mayonnaise

2 teaspoons canola oil
1¼ cups water
kosher salt
2 6″ small pots, 1 with lid
aluminum foil
baking sheet


Cook Rice:

Preheat oven to 450°F. In a small pot, combine rice, 1¼ cups water, and ¼ teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until water is fully evaporated, 10-12 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let stand, still covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork, then cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

Prepare Ingredients:

While rice cooks, in a large bowl, whisk together soy sauce, up to 2 teaspoons Sriracha (or skip if you don’t want any spice), all but 1 teaspoon brown sugar, and 2 teaspoons canola oil. Rinse all produce. Cut cauliflower into ½-inch pieces and cut sweet potato into ½-inch dice, then add both to bowl with soy sauce mixture and toss to coat. Quarter cucumber lengthwise and thinly slice crosswise. Thinly slice radishes. Pick cilantro leaves and discard stems.

Roast Cauliflower and Sweet Potato:

On a foil-lined baking sheet, arrange cauliflower and sweet potato in a single layer and roast until tender and caramelized, about 20 minutes (see Recipe Tip).

Pickle Vegetables:

While vegetables roast, in a separate small pot, heat rice wine vinegar and remaining brown sugar over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved, 2-3 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Add carrots, cucumber, and radishes to pot with pickling liquid and stir to combine. Set aside to pickle until ready to serve.

Make Sriracha Mayo:

In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise and 2 teaspoons Sriracha to combine. Set aside for serving.

Plate Bánh Mì Bowls:

Drain pickled vegetables. Divide rice between serving bowls and top with cauliflower, sweet potato, pickled vegetables, and cilantro. Drizzle over Sriracha mayo and dig in!

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