Friday, November 11, 2011
Personally, I love tofu. I enjoy the texture, the mild flavor, the versatility, and during the down years, the great economy of it. At East Asia market in Tacoma, I think it's about $1.30 for enough tofu to feed 3-4 people as part of a meal with rice.
This recipe comes from one of my favorite Vietnamese chefs- Mai Pham. I had the pleasure to work with her a few times during my time at the CIA and learned many tips about the Vietnamese kitchen. The following recipe is a quick, satisfying dish that will delight the taste buds and bring the aroma of the Vietnamese kitchen to your home.
Spicy Lemongrass Tofu
yield: 4 servings
2 lemongrass stalks, outer layers peeled, bottom white part thinly sliced and finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons chopped Thai bird chilies or another fresh chili
1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces tofu, drained, patted dry and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 yellow onion, cut into 1/8-inch slices
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts
10 la lot, or pepper leaves, shredded, or 2/3 cup loosely packed Asian basil leaves
**If you have the opportunity, pressing tofu that has been packed in water is a good habit to get in to. Place the tofu between two plates and weight it with a can of tomatoes (or similar) for about an hour. You'll be surprised by how much liquid comes out!! At the very least, be sure to pat the tofu dry before marinating it.
**East Asia Market
602 S 38th St
Tacoma, WA 98418
**Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table by Mai Pham on Amazon