Monday, March 22, 2010

Spicy Lemongrass Tofu

Another success from the Flavors of Asia cookbook, this dish brings Vietnamese food home without ordering takeout. If you know you'll be short on time in the evening, dice the tofu and marinate it overnight in the refrigerator which will make dish preparation that much easier.

To make this dish more health conscious I think you could bake the tofu instead of pan frying it in vegetable oil. To make this adjustment I suggest baking the tofu at 350°F until it is golden brown, gently stirring occasionally. Then, sauté the onions, garlic, and shallots as described below and toss in the baked tofu at the end.

Spicy Lemongrass Tofu

1/4 cup lemongrass stalks, finely chopped (white center only)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons serrano chiles, chopped (1-2)
1 teaspoon dried chili flakes
2 teaspoons ground tumeric
4 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
~1 pound firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup Thai basil leaves
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

-Mix the finely chopped lemongrass, soy sauce, chopped chiles, chile flakes, tumeric, sugar, salt.
-Dice tofu into ~1/2 inch cubes and gently toss in the marinade and let sit for 15+ minutes.
-Add 3 tablespoons of the vegetable oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the tofu so it has space to brown (you may need to do this in two batches) stir gently until the tofu is lightly browned, about 4 minutes.
-Remove the tofu from the pan, add the other 3 tablespoons of oil to the pan and sauté the onion until it has softened, about 10 minutes. Add the shallots and garlic, cook for 30 seconds, add the tofu and stir gently until it has reheated. Add the Thai basil, half of the peanuts and serve, garnishing each serving with the remaining peanuts.
-Serve with rice.

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