Original recipe can be found at The Splendid Table. This was such a great find. The flavors of the lemongrass with mint and Thai basil (if you can find it) make this dish so unique and different from the other dishes I usually make. It’s such a treat when I make this dish and I easily gobble up more than I should because of how much I like it.
- Steamed rice for serving (2 servings should do)
- 1 14 oz package extra firm tofu, pressed for 15 minutes
- Canola oil, for frying
- For the peanuts:
- 1/3 heaping cup unsalted peanuts
- 1/2 TB white sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Marinade Part 1:
- 3 lemongrass stalks
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- Marinade Part 2:
- 1 TB lime juice (or juice of 1/2 a lime)
- 1 TB white sugar
- 2 TB water
- 1 TB sesame oil
- Fresh herbs, preferably cilantro, mint and Thai basil leaves (AT LEAST get the mint, the dish isn’t the same without it)
- 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
- 3 -6 oz tender salad leaves (I like Sprout’s little gem lettuce)
- 1-2 limes, split in half, to serve
- Cook the rice.
- Cut the tofu into thin slices, then cut each piece into fourths (see picture on right). (Or just cut the tofu however it works for you.) Put in a container.
- Remove the outer leaves of the lemongrass and cut in half lengthwise. Press the knife down on the lemongrass to try to squish it a bit. Chop finely (it’s hard to chop lemongrass, just do your best). Mix lemongrass, garlic, and soy sauce together then pour over tofu, marinating for 5-10 minutes.
- Coarsely chop the peanuts, putting in a small bowl and mixing in the sugar and salt with the nuts.
- Pluck off the good parts of the mint, cilantro, and basil leaves and set them on a plate. Chop the carrot if you haven’t already and set next to the herbs. (See picture above – I prefer to have everything separate so people can choose how much to put on their own plate.)
- Fry the tofu in oil in a skillet over medium to medium high heat, 2 to 3 minutes per side (I like this dish with softer tofu, less fried, but you cook it to your taste). Put the fried pieces on a plate.
- While the tofu is frying, add the lime juice, sugar, water, and sesame oil into whatever liquid remains from the tofu dish (where it was marinating).
- Once all the tofu has been fried and is on a plate, turn down the stove to medium/medium-low and pour the marinade into the pan to heat for 1-2 minutes.
- To serve: put rice, peanuts, lettuce, salad fixings, and tofu in a large bowl and top with a bit of the warm marinade dressing. Serve with lime juice if desired. Mix that shit up and enjoy!
Serves: 4 people
Leftovers: Quite tasty, keep the tofu, rice, and peanuts in their own containers and all the salad fixings in a container and you’re set.