Spicy Lemongrass TofuThis recipe could not be easier, so why was I hesitant to make it? I know my way around the kitchen, but when it comes to traditional Asian or Indian cuisine, I can get intimidated. It’s not so much the cooking technique, it’s the unfamiliar ingredients that make me shy away…so many curries and chili pastes, which do I choose?…hoisin or sambal oelek, which should I use?
Last week, there was an impromptu potluck at work. Van-Ha, a colleague, brought the most fantastic meatless dish. While eating, I got lost in the fantastic flavors, my mind wandering, trying to discern the ingredients in each morsel. Is that lemongrass I taste? Another bite. Indeed it is, but what other ingredients are in this? Obviously tofu…soy sauce…Instead of continuing the internal guessing game, I asked Van-Ha for the recipe. She happily rattles off the ingredients and explains how to make it. And then she mentions the chilis and the intimidation sets in. I think to myself, “There have to be a thousand different chilis, how am I supposed to know which type to buy?”
Apparently Van-Ha could read my mind. The next day, she shows up with tiny red chilis from her garden. These are the ones to use! I’m still not certain exactly which chili she shared with me, but from my search, I’m guessing they might be the bird’s eye Thai chili or at least a close cousin.
Now armed with the ingredients and confidence, I recreate Van-Ha’s Spicy Lemongrass Tofu. And now I present it to you. Enjoy!
until next time...
Spicy Lemongrass Tofu
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemongrass, thinly sliced (I found in frozen section at Trader Joe's)
- 1 or 2 (or 3!) Thai chilis
- 12 ounces tofu, drained
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. onion powder
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- cooked rice (we used Martin Rice from Bernie Missouri)
- Drain tofu, pat dry with paper towels, then cut into 3/4 inch cubes.
- Heat oil in wok or large skillet. Add lemongrass and chilis, stir-fry about 2 minutes. Add tofu, garlic and onion powder, stir-fry about 2 more minutes. Add soy sauce.
- Serve over rice.