Every once in a while, I try a recipe that literally makes me want to break into dance and then make carpet angels on the floor. You know that feeling when you like like you just NEED to stream Uptown Funk, turn it up and get your groove on because you it tastes exactly like you wanted it to? That. This Lemongrass Tofu Salad did exactly that.
I’m a huge fan of tofu and bean curd, but as anyone who has ever had tofu/ bean curd would know, these things have zero flavor of their own. They’re more about texture, which ranges from that of an omelette to that of soaked bread, and I consider them to be just the base to carry all the bold flavors I love so much. So I made sure to really pack a punch with this dressing!
The balance between sweet, spicy, savory and sour was just perfect int his lemongrass tofu salad! I’m not a fan of sweet chili sauce and like to really feel the heat, so usually when a recipe calls for sugar, I completely skip it. Today, however, instead of skipping it, I reduced the recommended amount of sugar but didn’t omit it altogether. The result was a more well-rounded, and less abrasive form of sourness from the fresh lime!
I found this recipe in a cook book on my shelf, and for the life of me I can’t remember which one. I took inspiration from it, but amended the ingredients and quantities in the recipe I created. I went with my gut, cooked by smell, and ended up loving my Spicy Thai Lemongrass Tofu Salad so much that I was swaying and dabbing with every bite. Yes, I’m modest and no, I am not blowing my own trumpet 😛
- 2 Thai red chilies, thinly sliced/finely chopped (I like to keep the seeds in, but if you’re a lightweight, you do you)
- 2 limes, freshly squeezed
- 2 tablespoons raw sugar
- 3 1/2 Tbs fish sauce
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced.
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped.
- 1 stalk of lemongrass
- 2 lb firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2 inch thick, rectangle slices
- A handful of fresh corriander
- Mix the fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar in a non-reactive bowl. Set aside.
- Finely chop/grate 6-8 inches of the lemongrass stalk, but make sure it’s only the soft end. Discard the woody/bruised ends.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pan. Add the onion, lemongrass, garlic, red chilies, and stir-fry for 5 minutes until fragrant and golden brown. Transfer this into the bowl with the fish sauce mixture and set aside.
- Working in batches if necessary, heat 2 Tbs of vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan, and fry the tofu slices on high heat until you get a golden brown color on each side. Drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper. If cooking in batches, add extra oil each time. I used a De’Longhi Multifry for this, so I managed to do this with even less oil.
- Plate the fried (and drained) tofu slices onto serving dish.
- Mix in handful of coriander into the fragrant mixture we made in step 3, and then drizzle this on top of the tofu.
You. Will. LOVE this Lemongrass Tofu Salad. If you don’t, we can never really be friends.