This tofu with lemongrass is rich in flavor and one of my family’s favorite ways to eat tofu, inspired by a popular dish at a renowned local Vietnamese restaurant.
This savory meal is made with fresh lemongrass or lemongrass paste, chilies, and fish sauce.
Why Is This Recipe So Delicious?
- In midtown Memphis, there’s a famous tiny Vietnamese place called Pho Hoa Binh that serves a cheap and brutally delicious (and equally generous) lunch buffet. Their lemongrass tofu is regarded as one of the most delectable dishes in the city. This recipe faithfully recreates that delectable dinner in the comfort of your own home.
- This dish is fragrant with lemongrass and pungent with onion and garlic, as well as spicy with Thai red chili peppers! This thing is really heated. You can lessen the amount in the recipe, however, the slow burn was really painful for me.
- A splash of agave adds sweetness to the lemongrass tofu, which balances off the saltiness of the fish sauce and soy sauce, as well as the heat of the peppers and chili flakes, in a mouth-watering, mind-blowing way. It’s the ultimate sweet-salty combination.
Tofu– Both hard and extra-firm will perform well in this situation, so pick your favorite!
Lemongrass Stalks- Lemongrass is not only delicious, but it’s also healthy! It’s anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal, plus it’s high in antioxidants.
If lemongrass stalks are unavailable, powdered lemongrass can be substituted. I’d start with 2 12 tablespoons and adjust accordingly.
Lemongrass paste would also work in place of 1 lemongrass stalk; use around 1 teaspoon paste instead of 1 lemongrass stalk.
Thai Red Chili Peppers — If you’re new to red chili peppers, start with a smaller quantity. They’re hotter than peppers like jalapenos, and if you use too much, it’s difficult to dial down the heat. However, you can always add more!
If you’re vegan or vegetarian, leave out the fish sauce and replace it with more soy sauce.
- To acquire the perfect lemongrass tofu texture, drain your tofu for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking. Wrap the block of tofu in paper towels and place it on top of a heavy frying pan to squeeze out as much moisture as possible.
- Lemongrass tofu is delicious on its own, but it pairs well with a simple serving of steaming rice. You may also do some stir-fried vegetables or noodles.
- Because both the fish sauce and the soy sauce are salty, use less than the recipe calls for and adjust to taste if necessary. I’m a major fan of salty foods, so I usually go overboard with the fish sauce, adding even more than the 2 tablespoons recommended. But I understand that this isn’t the case for everyone!
Tofu with Lemongrass
|15-minute prep time
15 minutes to cook
30 minutes of marinating
1 hour total
This lemongrass tofu is rich in flavor and one of my family’s favorite ways to eat tofu, inspired by a popular dish at a renowned local Vietnamese restaurant. This savory meal is made with fresh lemongrass or lemongrass paste, chilies, and fish sauce.
- 2 stalks of lemongrass finely minced
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 Thai red chili peppers chopped, see Notes
- ¼ teaspoon dried red chili flakes
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons agave
- 1 large pinch of salt use more or less to taste
- 1 pound firm or extra-firm tofu cubed
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or other neutral oil, divided
- ½ of one onion sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup chopped peanuts divided
- 1 cup steamed rice optional, to serve
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro optional, for garnish
- Large bowl
- Large non-stick skillet
- Paper towels
Directions For Cooking Tofu
- Combine lemongrass, fish sauce, soy sauce, diced chili peppers, chili flakes, ground turmeric, agave nectar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the cubed tofu and toss to evenly coat the tofu. Set aside for 30 minutes to marinate the tofu in the marinade.
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. 1 minute after adding onion and garlic to heated oil, stir until fragrant. Reduce to low heat and simmer for 3 minutes, or until onions are tender. Keep the onions and garlic heated on a dish.
- With paper towels, quickly wipe out the skillet. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add tofu and marinade to skillet once oil is heated. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, turning tofu cubes frequently to ensure even cooking on all sides.
- Toss the onions and garlic back into the skillet. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, uncovered, before adding 18 cups (2 tbsp) of chopped peanuts to the skillet. To integrate, stir well.
- Over steamed rice (optional), spoon lemongrass tofu into serving dishes, and top with leftover peanuts and cilantro (optional).
- Because the Thai red chili peppers are really hot, especially if you’re not used to them, reduce the amount used. If you need an extra kick, you can always add more.
- Vegetarian/Veganize it: Remove the fish sauce and replace it with more soy sauce.
This recipe serves around 4 people. Your desired portion sizes will determine the number of servings.
The nutritional values provided are for one serving using the ingredients mentioned, which includes steamed rice. The exact macros will vary depending on the brands and types of ingredients utilized.
Prepare the recipe as directed to get the weight of one serving. Weigh the final recipe, then divide the weight (not including the weight of the container in which the food is stored) by four. The weight of one serving will be the result.
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 293kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Sodium: 340mg, Potassium: 188mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 63IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 169mg, Iron: 3mg, Net Carbs: 21g