When I have the time, I like to make a big deal out of lunch. This usually means having something other than a sandwich, and eating at a table, not standing at the kitchen counter. It is a time for me to relax and get creative in the kitchen as a little break from the craziness of my work day.
You know you have a well-stocked fridge when you open it up and notice you have all of the ingredients to make fresh lemongrass & ginger tofu. It is simple to make, but the flavor is extraordinary. If you like your tofu spicy, go on and give this dish a shot.
1 handful of fresh assorted spring lettuce
1 block of tofu (dried and sliced into 8 pieces)
1/2 large white onion (sliced into half-moons)
1 cup cooked jasmine rice
1 tsp cornstarch
For the sauce:
1 stalk of fresh lemongrass*
1 quarter-sized piece of fresh ginger
2 cloves of garlic
1 serrano pepper (stem removed)
1 cup loose-packed fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon Braggs or soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
about 1/4 cup of water
Pan-fry the tofu with olive oil in a non-stick skillet until brown and crispy on both sides. This should take about 4 minutes per side. Remove tofu from the pan and drain on a paper towel. Add the onion to the pan and cook until translucent. Remove from heat. Place all sauce ingredients in a food processor and turn it on high. Add the water a little at a time until the sauce comes together. Allow the processor to go until sauce looks liquid. Return the pan to the stove over medium heat; add the sauce and cornstarch. whisk to incorporate. Add the tofu to the onion and sauce mixture. Allow everything to heat through and toss to coat the tofu. Serve the tofu on top of the lettuce with a side of jasmine rice. This is also great served with sliced cucumbers and tomatoes.
*To use fresh lemongrass: slice off the root end and the top. Peel the outer layers back until you are left with only the soft part of the stalk. It will be almost white in color.